(Level I Certificate)
- Students pursuing this certificate are waived from the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) standards, but must meet course prerequisites.
- Students must earn at least 25% of the credit hours required for graduation through instruction by the college awarding the degree.
Degree Plan Code: C1.CJ.DF.PRIV.INV
The Digital Forensics and Private Investigation Certificate is designed to prepare an individual for a future career in a specialized area of Criminal Justice. The Certificate in Digital Forensics and Private Investigation will provide students with the knowledge and skills to become a Texas Private Investigator. Individuals not employed by a law enforcement agency must be licensed as a Private Investigator to perform digital forensic investigations in Texas. The certificate is also designed to provide professional development opportunities to those who are currently employed in related industries.
Job opportunities for students who complete this certificate will be available in local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, Digital crime labs, paternity identification labs, and Homeland Security.
Digital Forensics Science is the application of computer science and investigative procedures for a legal purpose involving the analysis of digital evidence (information of probative value that is stored or transmitted in binary form) after proper search authority, chain of custody, validation with mathematics (hash function), use of validated tools, repeatability, reporting, and possible expert presentation.
Scientific discoveries along with advances in technology have increased the accuracy of forensic results and thus the pursuit of justice. Therefore, it is necessary for this particular certificate to combine the knowledge that comes from different academic disciplines, criminal justice and digital forensics. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, along with private detectives, attorneys and judges, rely heavily on the work of the professionally trained criminal digital forensic investigation specialist.
Course content for the Digital Forensics and Private Investigation Certificate will focus on the basics of the gathering and the analysis of evidence by qualified, experienced faculty from both Eastfield and Richland Colleges. Please note that courses in this certificate will be taught at Eastfield College under the Criminal Justice Program and at Richland College under the Digital Forensic Program.
|ITDF 1400||Introduction to Digital Forensics+ OR||4|
|HMSY 1470||Cyber Terrorism++ OR||(4)|
|ITSY 2443||Computer System Forensics++||(4)|
|CRIJ 2314||Criminal Investigation++||3|
|HMSY 1337||Introduction to Homeland Security++||3|
|ITDF 1405||Digital Data Storage Forensics+ OR||4|
|ITSY 1400||Fundamentals of Information Security++||(4)|
|SLPS 2330||Security of Computers and Data++ OR||3|
|SLPS 2333||Private Investigation++||(3)|
|Minimum Hours Required||20|
+These courses will be taught by Richland College Faculty.
++These courses will be taught by Eastfield College Faculty.
In 2015, the Texas Private Security Board approved the Digital Forensics and Private Investigation Certificate in lieu of the required twenty-four (24) months of investigation related experience (as allowed by 35.121(a)(6), when submitted with an associate degree in criminal justice. These students must have the knowledge to pass the Private Investigator license exam. They will obtain that knowledge by successfully completing the identified courses taught through the Eastfield Criminal Justice Program. Individuals who are planning to go into a career related to criminal investigations must have a background and foundation base in digital forensics. They will obtain that knowledge by successfully completing the identified courses taught through the Richland Digital Forensics Program. The merger of these courses provides the opportunity for both groups of students to attain their career goals with the best instruction possible.
The students who enroll at Richland College for the digital forensic courses will be Richland students, and Richland College will report those students. The students who enroll at Eastfield College for the criminal justice courses will be Eastfield College students, and Eastfield College will report those students. It will be an Eastfield College Program and the students will receive their certificate from Eastfield College.
NOTE: Students enrolling in this program who plan to transfer to a four-year institution should consult an advisor or counselor regarding transfer requirements and the transferability of these courses to the four-year institution of their choice.