Program Overview

The Human Services Violence Prevention and Intervention (VPI) minor is a multidisciplinary 20-credit curriculum focusing on violence prevention and intervention. Because the prevention of violence requires efforts across many disciplines, the VPI minor draws on a number of fields to prepare students to work in a broad range of human services. The VPI concentration can increase students' competence in a variety of areas including general human services, public health, corrections and criminal justice, public policy, education, sociology, psychology, and gender studies. These disciplines work together to promote effective prevention of and intervention in violence at the individual, family, and community levels. Students who are VPI minors study not only the theories and dynamics of interpersonal violence, but various approaches to responding to and preventing violence as well.

Prerequisites

Students must complete at least one course in one of the following disciplines: Sociology, political science, anthropology, psychology, human services, ethnic studies, gender studies, nursing, or criminal justice.

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Requirements

Courses required for your specific program are listed in the right column on this page. They include prerequisite, foundation, core and elective courses. Contact your advisor with questions concerning your degree plan.

Prerequisites

Students must complete at least one course in one of the following disciplines: Sociology, political science, anthropology, psychology, human services, ethnic studies, gender studies, nursing, or criminal justice.

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Course List

Prerequisites

Requirements ( 20 total credits)

Violence Prevention and Intervention Minor Required Courses (8 credits)

  • HSVP 300 Violence: Origins and Explanations
    4 credits

    This course examines causes and underlying factors that account for violence in American Society. Students examine the extent, causes and challenges of violence in today's society. For those students who work in the human services field, this course prepares them to identify and critique methods and strategies for addressing violence. It may be taken alone or as the first of three core courses required for the community violence prevention minor. Prerequisite: Courses in psychology or sociology.

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  • HSVP 301 Violence: Individual, Community and Global Responses
    4 credits

    This course addresses how violence is responded to at various levels. It examines the role and development of personal skills and involvement in addressing violence, community intervention resources, systems responses such as punishment and rehabilitation in violence prevention, social change movement responses to violence, and international violence and the growth of human rights movements.

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Violence Prevention and Intervention Minor Required Electives (4-8 credits)

  • HSVP 302 Advocacy in Violence Prevention
    4 credits

    This course is designed to build skills in the practice of advocacy for those who work with issues of violence and who work across systems such as the police, courts, child welfare, and families. The course will cover individual, community, and systems advocacy, and the relation of advocacy to social reform issues and systems change.

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  • HSVP 307 Gender Violence in Global Perspective
    4 credits

    This course examines gender violence in its multiple forms from a global perspective. An introduction to the history of violence against women, current theories and research on the causes of violence in intimate relationships, past and current responses, and interventions and prevention models to address this worldwide problem will be discussed. Understanding the multiple approaches for addressing gender violence will provide students the knowledge to describe culturally competent intervention and prevention strategies.

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  • HSVP 308 Family Violence Across the Lifespan
    4 credits

    This course is designed as an introduction to the study of family violence across the lifespan. It will introduce students to history, current theories, research, and policies in the three areas of family violence: child maltreatment, elder abuse, domestic violence. You will examine the cultural, social and political roots of family violence, as well as the dynamics of abuse in the family and in intimate relationships. You will explore the effects of abuse at the individual, family, and community levels, and be able to identify abusive and controlling behaviors. The content of the course focuses on current theories, research and policies on domestic violence (battering, sexual assault, stalking), child maltreatment (physical and sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect) and abuse of vulnerable adults (elderly, non-elderly vulnerable populations). This course is an introduction to the topic. It will give students a basic overview of the issues across types of family violence intervention and prevention and how societies have responded through direct services, community sanctions, the criminal justice system, and public policy. The course will also integrate issues of gender, race, culture, age, physical ability, and sexual orientation throughout our examination of these topics.

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  • HSVP 309 Violence and Disability
    4 credits

    This course explores the connections between violence and disability. It investigates how models of disability affect the understanding of violence and abuse of people with disabilities as well as the response to such violence. The focus is on the lived experiences of people with disabilities who have experienced violence and abuse, and how systems and policies have aided or hindered successful interventions. The course also explores how being a victim of violence can affect a person's disability status and the implications of such a connection for policymakers, human services workers, and people with disabilities themselves. The course employs the socio-ecological model of violence prevention and challenges students to apply this model to case studies.

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Violence Prevention and Intervention Minor Required Interdisciplinary Electives (4-8 credits)

A total of 20 credits are needed. Students must take 5 classes for the minor. Students who take two VPI electives only need to take one interdisciplinary course. Students who take one VPI elective must take two interdisciplinary courses.

CJS courses are three credits. If student takes a CJS elective, more than five courses will be needed for the minor.

  • HSCD 301 Substance Use and the Family
    4 credits

    This course is designed to teach students to understand the family dynamics of the person who is chemically dependent and to learn skills which will help them to work with these families at a beginning level. Course topics include family relationships and chemical dependency, and treatment theories and counseling techniques for individuals and their family members.

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  • HSCD 306 Prevention of Substance Use Problems
    4 credits

    This course will focus on how prevention practitioners can design and implement scientifically defensible prevention principles, programs and practices that meet the needs of their own communities. The course will examine science-based prevention and its relevance, the theoretical approaches to evidence-based prevention, and identify effective prevention principles, programs and practices. Special emphasis will be placed on adapting evidence-based models to meet local needs and interests. Successful completion of the course will qualify students for certification as a Certified Prevention Professional (CPP) through the Minnesota Certification Board.

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  • HSCO 332 Rehabilitation in Corrections
    4 credits

    This class reviews major issues related to the rehabilitation of public offenders and introduces the evidence in support of the major correlates of a criminal history and the major risk/need factors predictive of criminal futures. Topics include understanding, exploring antisocial cognition and antisocial associates; consideration of the social contexts of school/work, family/marital, and leisure/recreation; substance abuse and criminal behavior; use of community resources. The class includes field visits.

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  • HSCO 326 The Impact of Crime on Individuals, Families, and Communities
    4 credits

    This course discusses concepts and evidence based practices of community corrections and the impact crime has on individuals, families, and the communities. Halfway House programs, restitution projects, program coordination, work release activities, court diversion processes and programs, truancy tracking programs, and community out-reach will be discussed. In addition, theories, trends, issues and strategies will be discussed to assist working with individuals, family and communities impacted by crime.

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  • HSCO 327 The Role of Diversity in Corrections
    4 credits

    This course provides an overview of the special populations in the correctional system to include elderly prisoners, adult male and female prisoners, prisoners with HIV/AIDS, mentally ill prisoners, long-term prisoners, and prisoners on death row. Military veteran prisoners, sexual minority prisoners, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered as well as the juvenile offender will be also discussed. The focus will be on assisting students going into the corrections field with understanding the differing profiles of offenders, crimes committed, and the unique problems they encounter in correctional systems.

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  • HSCO 321 Juvenile Offending Prevention and Intervention
    4 credits

    This course explores the causes of juvenile delinquency and the social and psychological factors involved in the predictive studies and theories concerning the development of delinquency and the intervention processes. Topics also include formation of youth gangs, methods of coping with gang activity, the types of crimes committed by children and youths, narcotics problems, neglected and dependent children, the youthful offender and wayward minor, the operation of the juvenile court, and crime prevention and intervention programs.

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  • CJS 346 Victimology
    4 credits

    This course is designed to prepare criminal justice and law enforcement students to work with victims and to understand the complexity of victim issues. This course will look at victimization from a sociological, psychological, as well as, legal perspective. Students will be exposed to current research, ethical considerations in victim response, psychological phenomena common to crime victims, legal obligations for victim service providers, and resources available to victims.

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  • CJS 333 Gangs
    4 credits

    This course examines the nature and extent of gangs in America. It addresses the history of gangs, when they exist, when they are illusory, and public reactions to them. It considers variations among street gangs, and contrasts these with other extra-legal groups, including prison gangs and mafias. Attention is focused on individual-level correlates and risks associated with gang membership, group processes in gangs, and macro-level correlates of gangs and gang behaviors. The role of the community and criminal justice system in gang prevention, intervention, and suppression is also considered.

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  • CJS 354 Restorative Justice
    4 credits

    This course is designed to allow students to develop a working understanding and knowledge of Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice looks at the concept of justice through nontraditional and alternative viewpoints. Rather than focus on "what is the crime, who did the crime and what should the punishment be," Restorative Justice focuses on "who has been harmed, what was the harm and who is responsible to repair the harm." Students will examine Restorative Justice from historical, sociological, criminological and psychological perspectives. Throughout the course, a wide range of specific "restorative practices" will be studied, reviewed and analyzed. Some of the concepts the course will explore are trauma and healing, conflict transformation, issues related to juvenile justice, and alternative processes such as Victim-Offender Dialogue and the Circle Process.

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  • CJS 356 Violence in America
    4 credits

    Students will explore the nature and extent of the violence problem in the United States using a tripartite approach, which incorporates patterns, explanations, and interventions. The course will cover the history and epidemiology of violence; roots of violence, including biological, psychological, and sociological causes; specific types of violence; media portrayals of violence; the physical, emotional, social, economic, and political consequences of violence; and ways to control and prevent violence in our communities, including criminal justice and public health approaches.

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  • CJS 360 Diversity in Criminal Justice
    0 credits

    This course provides an in-depth examination of the opportunities and challenges of providing criminal justice services in a multicultural society. The course provides students with a knowledge of the diversity that exists in communities and criminal justice agencies. It provides both theoretical and practical information to respond effectively to diversity issues. Examples of community issues include conflict resolution, crime prevention, victimization and strategies to improve relationships with the community. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism.

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  • PSYC 304 Psychology of Intimate Partner Violence
    4 credits

    This course explores the emergence of battered women as a social issue. It reviews the historical and social roots of violence, theories of wife-battering causes, and related research and statistics. The historical and current roles of the social service and legal systems are discussed, including the growth and role of grassroots services such as shelters, safe homes and hotlines. The class includes presentations from community resource people and identifies advocacy and helping approaches. Overlap: PSYC 304T Violence Against Women Theory Seminar.

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  • PSYC 341 Violence and the Media: Psychological Effects of Film and Popular Music
    4 credits

    This course surveys social science research and theories of the impact of graphically violent or sexual materials on children and adults using two influential aspects of culture as examples. It stresses research design and systematic interpretation of results, along with intensive behavioral analysis of film and music, and presents clinical techniques for minimizing the negative effects of violent or sexually graphic materials on children.

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  • PSYC 333 Psychology of Victims
    4 credits

    This course defines the psychosocial dynamics of victimology, identifies the psychological stages of victimization, and defines relationship dynamics between the victim and the victimizer. It describes the concepts of secondary victimization, stress response syndrome, and anomie and victimization. Students examine the roles of women and human service professionals as victims in a class discussion format. Overlap: PSYC 333T Victimization Theory Seminar.

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  • ETHS 303 The Politics of Racial Resistance and Protest in the United States
    4 credits

    There have been various efforts by individuals and communities of color as well as Native communities to challenge institutional racism, state oppression, and other intersectional forms of domination along with their devastating impact on the parameters of everyday life, the human psyche, families, and American society. These individual acts of protest and social resistance movements continue to play a central role in the construction of politicized racial/indigenous identities and they also inform our understanding of the histories of these communities as well as the structures of settler colonialism, enslavement, nation building, and white supremacy. This class will read personal acts of resistance alongside modern social movements, paying close attention to their relationships to and impacts on racial, ethnic, and indigenous identity; social consciousness; power and agency; and revolutionary freedom in the United States.

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  • ETHS 305 Major Issues in U.S. Race Relations
    4 credits

    Will race matter in this millennium? This course explores major issues currently impacting race relations in the United States, such as affirmative action, immigrant education, employment, housing, health and welfare, and so on. This course takes historical and interdisciplinary approaches to help students understand the interrelationship between social structure, public policies, race and ethnicity. Videos and movies are shown as part of class discussion on these issues.

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  • SOC 303 Ethnic Conflict in Global Perspective
    4 credits

    This is an era characterized by a global resurgence of ethnic identity and a revival of ethnic antagonisms. This course applies a comparative and historical perspective to the sources and dynamics of ethnic conflict. The processes of ethnic mobilization and social conflict are explored in case studies both global and domestic. Films, fiction, memoirs and classroom exercises are used to explore this topic.

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  • SOC 306 Deviance and Social Control
    4 credits

    Who determines what is "normal" in society? What is the difference between deviance and social rebellion? How is labeling linked to discrimination and discrediting rather than helping and healing? This course examines the role of professionals and social institutions responsible for creating and enforcing public and private codes of behavior. Sexual orientation, mental illness and gender stereotypes are examples examined. Those who resist conforming to those codes are also studied. Students analyze theories, read criticism, view films and evaluate other forms of interdisciplinary documentation.

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  • HSTD 390 Conflict Resolution
    4 credits

    This course examines causes and underlying factors of interpersonal conflict in human interactions. The course covers principles and techniques to diagnose conflict, develops an understanding of issues causing conflict, differentiates between various types of conflict, explores the variety of forces and factors which push conflict in a productive or dysfunctional direction, and develops personal skills to influence outcomes to the inevitable conflict situations one encounters in one's personal and professional lives.

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