Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Classes You Didn't Know You Could Take: Criminal Behavior in the Workplace with Roddrick Colvin

A Q&A with Roddrick Colvin about CJ 596

Classes You Didn't Know You Could Take:  Criminal Behavior in the Workplace with Roddrick Colvin

Roddrick Colvin

by PSFA Stories Team

June 18, 2021

In this series, we’ve asked instructors to talk about their new, unusual, or little-known PSFA classes that you can take in Fall 2021.

Roddrick Colvin

CJ 596: Criminal Behavior in the Workplace

Units: 3

Prerequisites: Criminal Justice 300 or graduate standing.

How I would describe this class to someone I met in line at the coffee cart:

Crime occurs everywhere. This course explores the unique types of crimes - committed by employees - that happen in the workplace. Employees often steal money, workplace supplies, equipment, even intellectual property. Those who don’t steal might engage in other illegal activities like drug use on the job, harassment or bullying. In most industries, criminal actions by employees often exceed crimes committed by customers or clients. In this course, we cover theories that explain employee crime, and actual crimes committed in the workplace.

Who should definitely take this class?

Given the array of topics covered—sexual harassment, bullying, theft, drug abuse, violence, etc—any student who is working or plans on working in the future will find this course both useful and interesting.

Who should not take this class?

Grifters, thieves, and malcontents should avoid this class. We see you!

Why I’m enthusiastic about teaching this class:

I’m enthusiastic about teaching this class because I know students will love it and will gain practical knowledge about crime in the workplace. The course has real-world application and 100% of students leave the course with tools that are useful in any organization.

Why I love this subject:

We get to discuss current topics related to employees and the workplace. Many of our discussion topics will be informed by events “ripped from the headlines” and will have relevance for all workplaces.

How I’m preparing for this class:

I am monitoring the news for new cases of employee corruption. I am also listening to crime podcasts. We’ll use some episodes as “case studies” in the class. One podcast that I love is “This is criminal.” Another good one is “Someone knows something.” Both podcasts move beyond just telling you what happened ... instead, they try to explain why it happened.

Three things you’ll learn/do in this class:

Students will learn a multitude of common schemes and scams employees often try; they will learn how to conduct workplace investigations; and, they will learn strategies for reducing and preventing bad behaviors by employees.

Top five reasons you should study with me:

1. I created this course, and it is the only one of its kind at SDSU and perhaps in the state.

2. The knowledge, skills, and abilities you gain will be useful in any workplace.

3. We will tour an actual retail space and study their prevention strategies.

4. There is a very good chance you will be accused of a crime at work ... I will teach you how to protect yourself and your reputation.

5. I consulted actual criminals when I developed the course.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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