Associate professor of criminal justice receives third Quality Matters certificate

portrait of Stephanie Whitehead

Stephanie Whitehead

Stephanie Whitehead, associate professor of criminal justice and director of the Center for Faculty Development, recently received her third Quality Matters certificate.

Whitehead received certification for her course, CJUS-P295: Criminal Justice Data, Methods, and Resources, on January 6. She previously earned Quality Matters certificates in June 2019 for her courses CJUS-P 100: Introduction to Criminal Justice and CJUS-P 301: Police in Contemporary Society.

She said she has no doubt the certification greatly benefits students in the course.

“The increased organization and transparency demanded by Quality Matters is designed to enrich the student experience in online learning,” Whitehead said. “I was fortunate to teach a section of a previously certified Introduction to Criminal Justice course in the fall. Assessments and course evaluations revealed growth in both student learning and student satisfaction with the course compared to previous non-certified courses. This growth in learning and satisfaction really reinforced to me the benefit of Quality Matters certification to our students.”

Quality Matters (QM) is a nonprofit organization that provides the gold standard for certifying the quality of online courses and programs. During the QM process, courses are reviewed by a team of three faculty members with current experience in teaching online. The review team uses the QM Rubric for Higher Education, which includes 42 specific review standards.

“As an instructor and CFD director, I find Quality Matters helpful to my growth in both roles,” Whitehead said. “I’ve served on over 15 peer reviews and have now developed three QM certified courses. I learn something new each time. This has helped me not only further my own development in online course design, but helps me as I work with other faculty who are creating and improving their own their online courses. It gives me a greater perspective on best practices in the field and how to better integrate that knowledge into our online courses at IU East.”

Whitehead received her Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from IU Bloomington. She received her Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Eastern Kentucky University and her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Murray State University. Her research interests include policing, race and racism; ethnographic methods; cultural criminology; and the cultural politics of emotions and crime.

“Quality Matters is the international standard for quality in online education,” said Daren Snider, dean of IU East’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Stephanie’s work in certifying her courses has been exemplary of the excellence in online teaching that we strive for at IU East.”

Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Michelle Malott said there are currently four IU East faculty members teaching seven courses with a QM certification. Jamie Buffington-Adams, associate dean and associate professor of education; Paula Baumann, associate professor of nursing and associate dean for Nursing Graduate Programs; and Chera LaForge, associate professor of political science and chair of Criminal Justice and Political Science, all have QM certifications.

“We are very proud of the leadership and work Stephanie has done to certify her courses through Quality Matters,” Malott said. “The QM certification is valuable for our faculty as we continue to develop quality online courses for our students.”

IU East offers a large number of online courses and online degree programs, serving students from a number of states and internationally.

IU East’s online degree programs offer an Indiana University degree to students throughout Indiana, nationally and internationally. IU East offers 11 options for students to complete their bachelor’s degree online in English with an emphasis in Technical and Professional Writing, Mathematics, Natural Science and Mathematics with a Mathematics Concentration, Communication Studies, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Political Science, Psychology, General Studies, and an RN to BSN Mobility Option. IU East also offers a Graduate Certificate in Composition Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Mathematics.