The following core courses are just a few examples of the courses offered in the Forensic Investigation program at WVU Tech.
Students learn the intricate process of death investigation. Guided by experienced investigators, students follow the process of death investigation from scene to medical examiner. Common and uncommon causes of death are linked to expected evidence so that the student can rapidly assess a scene and appreciate the significance of medical findings. Body decomposition patterns, insect activity, and wound analysis are just a few of the topics covered in this course.
Blood Stains and Trace Evidence
Prepare to get messy. This course covers blood stain analysis and trace evidence. By creating and analyzing blood stains students determine what weapons may have been used, how an attack was executed and other information about an event. Students also work with fiber, hair, paint, and glass fragments to further develop reconstruction skills and to understand the value and limitations of these types of evidence.
Firearms and Tool-marks
BANG! BANG! BOOM! Guns and explosions are put under scrutiny in this course. Students are made familiar with the safe operation and handling of firearms. Impression evidence associated with bullets, casings, tool-marks and prints is explored in detail. The basics of explosion investigations are discussed as well as terminal ballistics.
Students learn about psychological manipulation and its uses and dangers within the context of an interview.
This course covers principles of various interviewing theories, including how to determine emotional states from speech and body language, build rapport for future cooperation, prevent contamination of the subjects knowledge, increase recall, and reduce the risk of false confessions.
Crime Scene Investigation
Time to get your hands dirty. Students process indoor and outdoor mock scenes after practicing basic documentation and collection techniques. Students process mock scenes created by their peers and attempt to document, collect and analyze all the relevant evidence.
Fingerprinting 1 and 2
This course series provides a complete guide to understanding fingerprint evidence. Topics include history; classification; comparison; latent prints; visible prints; and techniques for locating, preserving, and documenting fingerprint evidence. Also includes use of fingerprint evidence in a courtroom setting and in calculating probability of forensic identification.
Technical Photography has never been so fun. Students master their cameras in this forensic focused photography course. After mastering the technical aspects of exposure, depth of field and motion blur, students use these techniques to effectively document and communicate scenes involving alternate lighting, laser trajectories and even surveillance scenarios.
Introduction to Forensics and Criminalistics
A hands-on introduction to forensics and criminalistics. The student gets to experience lots of forensic related material in this course. This course sets the tone for the program by encouraging students to actually do forensic work. Students dusting for prints, execute search patterns and critically evaluating popular notions about forensic and crime-scene investigations.