I want a B.A. in JUSTICE! Part II


Last week, I shared with you Steps 1 and 2 for how to complete a college degree in preparation for your imminent career as a superhero.  One that may even make Phoenix Jones go “Damn!”

Shall we continue? A-thank you!

STEP 3: Plot Out Your Courses

All the following courses are based out of (read: blatantly and shamelessly borrowed from) a 2010 Course Catalog within the California State University system (San José State University, to be exact). They have been balanced to cover all General Education requirements, and exceed the standard 120 unit requirement that most 4-year colleges have for conferring Bachelor’s degrees.

Now, the four year college of your choice may not have all these classes choices; this is meant to simply act as a template for how to plan your destiny.


Lower Division

Public Speaking

You’ll need this in case your alter ego happens to be of a higher profile and needs to speak publicly. It covers principles of rhetoric applied to oral communication; selecting, analyzing, adapting, organizing and delivering ideas effectively, as well as sounding damn smart at a cocktail party. 3 Units

English Composition I

Your alter ego needs to have concise writing skills if they are to survive in the professional world of non-super types. This would cover expository writing, combined with critical reading, a typical GE requirement. 3 Units

Logic and Critical Reasoning

It’s not just physical prowess that will aid in your ongoing battle with villainy, but also a well-composed written argument, especially on morals and ethics. This course will help you understand basic concepts of logic, goals and standards of both deductive and inductive reasoning, techniques of argument analysis and assessment, evaluation of evidence, language and definition, and fallacies. Take that, supervillains! 3 Units

Science of High Technology

Um…DUH!  Unless you plan on obtaining super powers by some chemical/cosmic accident or through mystical rituals, you’re going to need gadgets. How can you build kick-ass crime fighting gadgetry if you don’t know how they work?! With this class, you will learn the scientific principles behind electronic devices and systems such as Computers, iPods, Cell Phones, Cameras, and the Internet. It may also emphasize the practical applications of scientific principles to products and services. So if crime fighting doesn’t work out, you can always work for Apple. 3 Units

Human Biology

(If planned properly, this will also fulfill a science lab requirement)

Your body will be your primary and most valuable weapon in your quest for Justice, and thusly your understanding of how it functions will be critical. Here you will be introduced to physiology, reproduction, development, heredity, and aging. 3 Units

Mathematics and Logic for General Education

Let’s face it: you don’t have to be a math whiz to be a bringer of Justice. A basic, but solid understanding of quantitative reasoning will suffice for most alternative law enforcement professionals. This course is a survey of basic concepts and mathematical methods, focusing on logic, computation, sets, numbers, geometry and probability. Emphasis will be placed on using these concepts in daily life and in coping with public issues. 3 Units

Beginning Acting

Acting classes? Really?  YES!

You will need to know how to play the part of our costumed persona convincingly. Plus, you have to get inside your opponent’s head. This is a basic acting class for non-theatre/film people. It’s an exploration of inner and external resources for performance, analysis of text and character, guidelines for successful rehearsal and performance, and learning to be seen, heard, understood, and believed. Think of this as an extension of Public Speaking. 3 Units

FACT: Batman stretches and does proper vocal warm-ups before hitting the streets of Gotham.

Intermediate Acting

The analysis, internal methods and characterization for playing scenes, with lab exercises in disciplined stage movement. Now you’ll be able to fully flesh out the psyche of your costumed persona. Just don’t talk in a gravelly, deep voice. It’s creepy. 3 Units

Costume for the Performing Arts

This is another superhero no-brainer.  Unless you have a tailor who’s sworn to secrecy, you’ll need to build your own costume. This is a costume production lab introducing costume construction techniques and materials, basic alteration techniques, costume craft techniques, costume shop organization, management, personnel, and equipment. 1 Unit

Introduction to Philosophy

What if you were to find yourself having a metaphysical crisis mid showdown with an adversary or need to contemplate your motivations for superheroism?  This class addresses the average perennial problems in philosophy, such as, “Who am I? What can I know? How should I live?” You can use classical philosophical statements bearing on these issues. 3 Units

Moral Issues

If you want to have any level of moral authority as a superhero, you’ll need to have a sound understanding of right and wrong. Here, you will learn moral philosophy covering major ethical theories and contemporary moral issues, such as abortion, euthanasia, animal rights, capital punishment, and sexuality (though if you’re seriously considering this, I’m not sure if the latter applies thatmuch). 3 Units

English Composition 2

Ha-hah! You thought you could just get away with one written class!  No no, my friend! This is a continuation (read: punitive extension) of expository writing, supplemented by critical reading and analysis of expository prose or literature. Perhaps your first super-foe will mark their crimes with literary references. You will be all the more prepared. 3 Units

Performing Culture and Society

Seeing as you will be practicing the performativity of a costumed hero, you should externally understand live performance as a method for exploring human behavior as it occurs within contemporary cultures and societies. You’ll practice performance of texts, street performance, personal narrative, oral history, everyday life, and social justice. 3 Units

Note: The list of performance types is verbatim from the course catalog.

Global Geography

Do not scoff at what appears to be a class devoted to studying mere maps!  As an Agent of Goodness, you need to be prepared to operate everywhere. Everywhere. Therefore, you need to learn regions and countries, natural environments and resources, settlements and land use, cultural diversity, and economic and political patterns. 3 Units

Social Problems

This revisits the whole “understanding your enemy” mentality. This course is a sociological analysis of selected contemporary social problems such as housing and homelessness, economy and employment, environment and consumerism, family and divorce, crime and drugs, politics and media, race and gender, wealth and poverty, and war and peace. 3 Units

Philosophy of the Person

His name is Batman, not Batmanchild! This course covers essential philosophical issues concerning the origins, development and maturation of the self. In other words, an academic course devoted to learning how to function in society as an adult. 3 Units

Philosophy and Computers

Here you’ll learn to address philosophical problems related to computer science and the use of computers; for example, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, internet, and privacy issues. Trust me, this will come in handy later when you develop your own computer system. 3 Units

Social Justice

As a costumed Do-Gooder, you need to understand true justice. This is a critical examination of competing conceptions of justice and their application to social issues in a pluralistic society. 3 Units

Upper Division GE

Physical Fitness & Nutrition

Remember how I said your body was your most valuable weapon?  Yeah, I meant that. Here you will learn the proper use of scientific principles, scientific investigation, and current technological advances to assess the relationship between diet, physical fitness, and disease.  And if this doesn’t help, there’s always P90X! 3 Units

Race, Gender, Inequality, and the Law

True bringers of Justice are also champions of the oppressed. This class covers the history of legal issues and individual and institutional discrimination of women, ethnic/ cultural and religious minorities, gays and lesbians and the disabled in all of society’s constructs, and you’ll learn solutions for structured inequality in the U.S. 3 Units

Family and Community Violence

Now we get serious. This is that hard part of the job. Thankfully, this class teaches you to examine abusive relationships, responsive community and justice systems, and policy and preventive interventions. Topics include child abuse, neglect, gang and hate crimes, rape, marital violence, and elderly abuse. 3 Units

Professional and Business Ethics

Unless you’re going for drastic contrasts between your costumed persona and your alter ego, you should probably know how to be an upright citizen when not wearing you crime fighting duds. This is an interdisciplinary study of types of ethical problems which arise within the contexts of business occupations and professions. Major ethical theories, critique of economic and criminal justice. 3 Units

Science, Technology and Human Values

The aims, methods, and world views of science and technology; such value issues as technological determinism, design aesthetics and moral implications of computer and other technologies. 3 Units

100W: Upper Division Writing

This class exists solely to ensure the California State University Board of Trustees that you are not functionally illiterate. If you can avoid this class (and you can, under the right circumstances), do it. However, if you are stuck taking it, at least you will be writing prose of fair play and even-handedness. 3 Units

Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication

There’s nothing more awkward than making a cultural faux pas with either the person you’rs saving or fighting. This course focuses on direct experience and the development of skill in intercultural communication with an opportunity for discussion of variations within and among cultures. 3 Units

FACT: Political Correctness always pays off.


Introduction to Programming

Hamanawhat? Why programming? Remember when I said you needed to understand technology to build kick-ass gadgetry?  This is part of that. This will teach you basic skills and concepts of computer programming in an object-oriented approach using Java, as well as Classes, methods and argument passing, control structures, iteration, basic graphical user interface programming, problem solving, class discovery, and stepwise refinement. Like I said: basics. 4 Units

Introduction to Data Structures

You’ll be the most tech-savvy crime fighter around when you understand stacks and queues, recursion, lists, dynamic arrays, binary search trees, iteration over collections, hashing, searching, elementary sorting, and of course Big-O notation (not that Big-O). 4 Units

Introduction to Computer Systems

Well aren’t you becoming the code-junkie? Why don’t we dive a bit deeper?  Let’s teach you instruction sets, assembly language and assemblers, linkers and loaders, data representation and manipulation, interrupts, pointers, function calls, and argument passing. 3 Units

Programming in C

It’s a beginning course in the C language. And you can always write the award-winning mobile app you’ve been putting off: iFightCrime. Prerequisite: Previous programming experience and completion of math GE. 3 Units

Introduction to Justice Studies

Now we get to the point where you begin to learn “the system.”  You’ll explore the justice system through its historical and philosophical development, and learn to describe, analyze, and evaluate criminal justice agencies. 3 Units

Police and Society

Ah yes. You will certainly need a multidisciplinary study of law enforcement failures from the early 1800’s to the present, and focus on the significant studies in relation to the role of police and analysis of current models and practices. 3 Units

Courts and Society

To continue your understanding of “the system,” you’ll need to know the structure and functions of the court system. This emphasizes attorneys’ and judges’ roles and the court process. You’ll examine federal and state legislative, executive and judicial branch actions, including Supreme Court decisions in civil and criminal cases. 3 Units

Corrections and Society

Logically, we now progress to post-judicial matters, through an interdisciplinary examination of issues of race, class, gender, ethnicity, economy, and culture as it relates to punishment, the penal process, and social control. 3 Units

Research Methods in Justice Studies

Effective crime fighting requires proper research. This is an introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods used in Justice Studies. It includes the relationship of theory to empirical evidence; logic underlying methods of inquiry; ethics in conducting empirical research; methodological design, operationalization, and data analysis. Okay, so maybe it’s not the most effective for “in field” use, but at least you’ll understand the processes behind such statistics. 3 Units

Justice Management and Ethics

This class teaches the theory and practice of managing justice system agencies, including organizational change and contemporary issues, with an in-depth examination of ethical challenges in managing justice agencies, and strategies for ensuring ethical practices. Secretly, this is in case you do really really well at crime fighting, and want to form your own super team. 3 Units

FACT: Team names are always cooler when you attach “League” to your team’s name.

FACT:  It is inversely as uncool to attach “Friends” to team’s title.

Crime and Delinquency Theory

This may be the single most important class on your quest to achieve superheroism.  You will analyze the nature and extent of crime, including causation and prevention, and learn descriptions of offenses, criminal typologies and victim surveys. Evaluation of various control and prevention strategies. This is some serious Batman-type shit. 3 Units

Internship: Justice Studies (read:  Supervised Alternative Law Enforcement Sessions)

This is a supervised field work experience in “agencies,” “organizations,” and other community settings relevant to Justice Studies, by arrangement; your participation in several group activities and a final paper is required. Isn’t it interesting how much the context changes when you add in quotes?  This is where you practice making an interesting entrance to a crime in progress. 3 Units

FACT:  If there is a glass ceiling, you must always enter by breaking through it. Always.

Phew!  Now that your mind is full of knowledge of the inner and outer working of the criminal world, law enforcement, and technology, you are mentally preparing to fight the good fight.

But hold on, we aren’t done yet.   Now we have to prepare your body for the routine brutal and intense beatings stress it will endure as a crime fighter.  These classes are to help you master Kick-Assery in the strictest sense possible.

Beginning Archery

This course is designed to introduce the student to the basic skills and concepts, and provides the opportunity to learn, practice and analyze correct shooting form and to participate in a variety of archery tournaments. Anyone who ever wanted to be Green Arrow or Hawkeye will love this course. Anyone else will still love this course. 1 Unit

Intermediate Archery

This course builds upon beginning level skills and knowledge and provides the opportunity to shoot a variety of different archery rounds, and explores winning archery contexts while in disguise. 1 Unit

Body Sculpting

This is designed to increase muscular endurance and improve muscle tone by performing a higher number of repetitions using light to moderate weights. Taught in a group setting with music. Equipment includes: dumbbells, tubing, light weight barbells, and steps. Love handles, your days are numbered. 1 Unit

Beginning Weight Training

This course is designed to teach the basic concepts of weight training for muscular strength and endurance. Its goal is to provide students with knowledge about the principles involved in weight training and the health-related components of fitness through a variety of exercises. 1 Unit

FACT: You will obtain a six-pack if you complete this course at least 12-25 times.

Intermediate Weight Training

This course is designed for individuals with prior training experience and involves higher level exercises. Students will be exposed to a wide variety of machine as well as free weight exercises and will then design a program based on individual needs. 1 Unit

FACT: You will obtain a 10-pack if you complete this course at least 12-25 times.

Advanced Weight Training

This course is designed for students who have had prior class experience in resistive exercise training. Students who have not taken these classes must demonstrate adequate knowledge of lifting technique, terminology and weight room etiquette. 1 Unit

FACT: You will literally be able to wash clothes on your abs if you complete this course at least 12-25 times.

Beginning Aikido

You didn’t think I’d write a whole course catalog on becoming a superhero and not include martial arts, did you? Of course not!  This class is an introduction to the philosophy, history and basic level training skills in the Japanese-derived martial art of Aikido. 1 Unit

Intermediate Aikido

Intermediate level training in the Japanese-derived martial art of Aikido, and the life and times of Steven Seagal1 Unit

Beginning Karate

Now that you’ve learned to deflect your opponent with Aikido, now you can learn to beat them into submission neutralize them with Karate. This course is designed to teach the beginning concepts of Japanese Karate-do. Its goal is to provide the student with the skills and knowledge necessary for belt promotion and insights into the martial arts. 1 Unit

Intermediate Karate

This course is designed to reinforce basic level skill fundamentals and to introduce intermediate techniques required for higher levels of performance in the art of Karate-do. Oh, and it covers how to get kicked in the crotch and not flinch. 1 Unit

Total Units: 121

Provided you’ve completed these courses, and haven’t been committed to a mental hospital, you have now completely and indisputably earned the credibility to assume the mantle of Justice!


Now about the fancy car…


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