Spring 2016 commencement.

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An inaugural class of 14 students received a Master of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology from TCU’s online criminal justice master’s program.

Johnny Nhan, director of the online master’s program, said members of the program typically already have real-world experience.

“The nature of the people that we were after, people who wanted to have a master’s in criminal justice, typically they’re police officers, or they’re already working in the field,” Nhan said.

The graduates include police officers, individuals from federal agencies and students coming straight out of undergraduate programs, Nhan said.

Graduate Joe Herrera said he wants to use his master’s degree and background in law enforcement to teach at the college level. Herrera said he currently teaches a new program — Principles of Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security — at Waxahachie High School.

Jordanne Morrow graduated from TCU with a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice in 2014 and immediately joined the master’s program.

Morrow said she wants to work in white-collar crime investigations. She previously worked for the Bank of Oklahoma as an anti-money laundering investigator and fraud analyst.

“I saw a lot while working at [Bank of Oklahoma] that just having a bachelor’s degree in the area that I want to go into isn’t enough,” Morrow said. “I needed more to be a better prospect for jobs.”

After graduating, Morrow said she will intern with Disney in the fall before returning to Bank of Oklahoma’s fraud department.

Graduate Sophia Freeman said she wants to use her master’s degree to return to the criminal justice field.

Freeman has a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and said after moving to Fort Worth and exploring her options, she decided to advance her education at TCU.

Freeman said for a long time she wanted to become a police officer, but after becoming a mother, she decided to let that dream go.

“I have played with the idea of going to teach freshman criminal justice as a part-time instructor,” Freeman said. “I am still fascinated with the knowledge that comes with knowing and applying law and reason to everyday society.”