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Evidence-Based Practices in Corrections Certificate

The Evidence-Based Practices in Corrections Certificate prepares students for working with justice-involved individuals. Developed in partnership with the Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation, this one-semester program provides the training and empirical basis for the techniques and tools used by correctional professionals in the field. Students gain the expertise they need to help facilitate changes in behavior, including:

  • the research behind evidence-based practices
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • the Risk-Need-Responsivity model
  • administering risk/needs assessments (i.e., the Level of Service/ Case Management Inventory)
  • cognitive-behavioral interventions
  • facilitating groups
  • combining all of these skills to develop an effective case plan

Student outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • understand the relationship between academic knowledge and the practical application of that knowledge in working with the justice-involved client
  • understand how various evidence-based practice (EBP) interventions and practices relate to and support each other
  • identify the eight principles of effective intervention and supporting theory
  • demonstrate and model interviewing skills, Motivational Interviewing (MI) skills, critical thinking skills and problem solving skills
  • understand and apply the Risk Need Responsivity (RNR) model
  • examine the research behind cognitive behavioral interventions (CBI) and what it looks like in the field of corrections, including facilitating CBI groups
  • demonstrate how EBP, MI, RNR and CBI inform the case planning process

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Program eligibility requirements

Students must have at least one year post-secondary education OR one year relevant experience in corrections or related human services field.

There is an application process for admittance into the EBP in Corrections Certificate program. Please contact Lesli Blair for more information:

Application instructions

First, apply to the Evidence Based Practice Corrections Certificate Program.

Download the application


If accepted into the EBP Corrections Certificate Program and not already a current student, you will then receive further instructions on how to apply for admission to Metropolitan State University.

Please reach out directly to the Coordinator, Lesli Blair, with any questions about the program.

The Evidence-Based Practices in Corrections Certificate Program (EBP Program) requires 12 credits.  The structure of the EBP Program is unique.  Although students enroll in four courses (for a total of 12 credits) concurrently, the content is presented consecutively.  The class meets two nights per week and approximately one Saturday per month over one semester. 

Each cohort of the EBP program is limited to 20 students.  To be admitted to the program, students must either have at least one year of post-secondary education (within one year of degree completion recommended) or one year of relevant experience in corrections or related human services field.  Students must obtain access to observe a correctional group, which may include passing a background check.

Course requirements


Special permission is required to register for these courses. Criminal Justice majors may apply these credits to their required directed electives.

CJS 304 Case Planning with Justice-Involved Individuals

3 credits

The goal in corrections is to reduce risk of reoffending and help clients change their thinking and behavior. This course utilizes strategies within a case planning process by addressing criminogenic needs that most effectively protect the public and effect change in the client's criminal behavior. This will teach you a process for creating initial case plans in partnership with clients, as well as a process for ongoing case plan development.

Full course description for Case Planning with Justice-Involved Individuals

HSER 346 Counseling and Interviewing Skills

4-5 credits

This course introduces students to basic counseling skills. As such, it is designed to help students develop essential helping skills needed for client engagement, follow-through, completion and overall therapeutic effectiveness. Specific skills and techniques covered include; developing rapport, building empathy and listening, encouraging trust, self-disclosure, immediacy, questioning & evoking, addressing discrepancies, etc. This course is highly experiential in its format. Students will participate in classroom exercises, real plays, and video-taping of counseling skills.

Full course description for Counseling and Interviewing Skills