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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - ANG6772
Tracking Number - 5066

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Current Status: Approved by SCNS - 2015-02-01
Campus: Tampa
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):
Comments: for CSI Cert - required. GC apprd; Cleared USF Sys Conc 12/23; to SCNS 1/6/15. Nmbr 6518 apprd as 6772. Effective 2/1/15

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2014-09-18
  2. Department: Anthropology
  3. College: AS
  4. Budget Account Number: N/A
  5. Contact Person: Erin Kimmerle
  6. Phone: 8139745139
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: ANG
  9. Number: 6772
  10. Full Title: Homicide Investigations
  11. Credit Hours: 3
  12. Section Type: O - Other
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: N
  15. Are the credit hours variable?: N
  16. Is this course repeatable?: N
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): Homicide Investigations
  19. Course Online?: O - Online (100% online)
  20. Percentage Online: 0
  21. Grading Option: R - Regular
  22. Prerequisites: N/A
  23. Corequisites: N/A
  24. Course Description: Provide an introduction to the theoretical and practical issues in the field of criminal homicide investigations, and to teach the methods and tools necessary to collect, preserve, interpret and analyze evidence from violent crime scene

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: Needed for new program/concentration/certificate
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? This course is part of a new USF graduate certificate program, Crime Scene Investigations for Violation Crimes. The program is designed for advanced professional and graduate student development in the areas of crime scene reconstructions, investigations, and applied science methods and tools for violent crimes including human trafficking, criminal homicide and cold case investigations, exploited children, and missing and unidentified persons.

    The new tools and technological advancements through modern forensic science are changing investigations in practice. There is a strong need for in-depth focused programs that offer professional development and advanced technical training for a wide range of jobs within the medico-legal and security sectors. Moreover, many agencies are adopting a promotional model based on advanced training and education and therefore there is an increased need for leadership and command training in these areas. The topics in the certificate draw on the strengths of our existing program and the technical training and services offered through the USF Forensics Anthropology Laboratory and the USF forensics network.

  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? No
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) A qualified instructor should have earned a doctorate or terminal degree in the teaching discipline or a related discipline, which for the forensic sciences is a M.A.; M.Sc.; J.D.; M.Pharm.; or M.B.A. Additionally, the ideal candidate will also have at least 5 years of experience with criminal investigations or violent crimes.
  29. Objectives: During the semester, we will conduct an examination of the methodologies and techniques utilized by homicide personnel, crime scene investigators, and subject experts, such as applied sciences (i.e., anthropology, blood patterns, geology, entomology, etc.), during the criminal investigation.
  30. Learning Outcomes: After succesful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1. demonstrate a practical understanding of the basic requirements for a homicide investigator, medical examiner, anthropologist, and the inter-relationship between the criminal investigator and subject experts.

    2. demonstrate a practical understanding of the preliminary steps in homicide investigation, such as response to the crime scene, processing the crime scene, investigative photography and investigative notes, forms and other documentation, interviews, interrogations, case preparation, and presentation of evidence at a criminal trial.

    3. demonstrate a practical understanding of the physical changes after death, post-mortem rigidity and lividity, the methods of post-mortem identification, and certain accidental or natural causes of death that mimic criminal homicidal causes.

    4. demonstrate a working knowledge of accepted methods of investigation for blunt force and sharp force traumas, which include: determining direction of force, dissection of wound tracks, determination of the object from physical signs on the body, and the nature and importance of the interpretation of blood spatter evidence.

    5. demonstrate a working knowledge of the use of evidence in shaping investigations.

    6. demonstrate a general understanding of methods, tools and challenges in long term unsolved cases, long term missing person cases (presumed dead or endangered), and cases involving victims that were buried or dumped. Students will know the methods available for recovery, analysis and interpretations of these scenes.


  31. Major Topics: * Homicide and Forensic Anthropology

    * Homicide Crime Scene

    * Cold Cases

    * Case File Review

    * Death Certificates

    * Skin Impressions and Fingerprints

    * DNA analysis

    * Forensic Dentistry

    * Geographic Profiling

  32. Textbooks: Walton R. 2006. Cold Case Homicides, Practical Investigative Techniques. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

    Cooper G., and King M. 2010. Cold Case Investigations. LawTech Publishing Co., Ltd.

  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: Kimmerle EH. Practicing Forensic Anthropology: A Human Rights Approach to the Global Problem of Missing and Unidentified Persons. Annals of Anthropological Practice. Submitted, Under Review, Expected publication 2014.

    Kimmerle EH, Falsetti T, Ross AH. 2009. Immigrants, Undocumented Workers, Runaways, Transients and the Homeless: Towards Contextual Identification among Unidentified Decedents. Forensic Science Policy & Management: An International Journal, Volume 1, Issue 4 November, pages 178-186.

  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: GRADES:

    There will be a possible 500 points that you can earn during the course of the semester. Final grades are based on the following:

    5 Discussion Questions (20 points each) 100 pts 20%

    5 Assignments (20 points each) 100 pts 20%

    Case Study 100 pts 20%

    Mid Term 100 pts 20%

    Final 100 pts 20%

    Total 500 points 100%

    Final grades are based on the following scale:

    A+ = 98-100%, A = 93-97%, A- = 90-92%, B+ = 88-89%, B = 83-87%, B- = 80-82%, C+ = 78-79%, C = 73-77%, C- = 70-72%, D+ = 68-69%, D = 63-67%, D- = 60-62%, F =

  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: Participation and Class Discussion:

    Five discussion questions will be distributed throughout the course. Discussion questions will require students to respond in at least 500 words, and also provide a follow up response to another student in at least 300 words. All students are expected to be critical consumers of information and add to the discussion boards. Viewpoints MUST be discussed in a professional, academic, and non-judgmental manner. Disrespectful students will be addressed accordingly.


    Module questions will be assigned during certain weeks with the intention of looking beyond the lecture material for more in-depth analysis of the topics at hand. Students are expected to completely and thoroughly respond in a short essay of no more than two pages, sourced beyond the textbook/assigned reading materials. Sourcing must be in MLA or APA format, and user-created websites such as Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers, or Answerbag are never acceptable. Module assignments are to be turned in to the instructor no later than Saturday night at 5PM EST of the week they were assigned. Late submissions will not be accepted without prior permission of the instructor, within the guidelines discussed above.


    There will be two online exams throughout the semester. Each exam will consist of a combination of short answer and multiple choice questions, covering the required readings from the text and class material. Exams will not be cumulative. Exam grades will be posted on Canvas as soon as they are available. Students who would like to review exam grades will have the opportunity to do so by appointment. You will be able to take the exams from Monday at 5PM EST until Friday at 5PM EST, the week of exams. No exceptions.

    Remember, although you are completing exams electronically, these examinations are not designed to be open note or open book. You are expected to have full knowledge of the material as if you were sitting for a live exam. There will be a timer in place and you will have 60 minutes to complete the exam. Exams must be completed in one session; you must finish the exam 60 minutes from the time started.

    Being Locked Out of an Exam: Please make sure you use a reliable and stable connection, and you will not be able to back-track your questions. Failure to use a computer with a high-speed connection is not an excuse for failure to complete an exam on time. If you experience technical problems taking the test and experience a system lock out you must notify the instructor immediately and the exam will be reset. If you fail to contact the instructor within the Monday 5PM EST to Friday 5PM EST window, no resets for exams will be given. Taking the exam no later than the 12 hours from the due date will allow for ample time to contact the instructor if something happens.

    Please note, a significant portion of your grade is based on your performance on these timed, objective assessments. If you do not do well on these types of exams, it is suggested that you choose another course. No alternative assignments will be given for those that do not perform well on these types of assignments.

    Case Study:

    Students will be required to complete an analysis of an actual homicide crime scene and investigation. Students will be provided photographs, witness/victim statements, and a thorough description of the scene, as well as the physical evidence collected for the investigation of the case study. Students will be expected to evaluate the scene/evidence and make decisions to prioritize evidence processing, as well as the utilization of forensic analysis for investigative purposes. The goal of the assignment is to determine whether the student has a solid understanding of the investigative techniques necessary for a thorough and complete homicide investigation. There is no page limit for this assignment; however, 3-5 pages should be adequate to cover the required material. Any outside sources used should be referenced appropriately using the MLA or the APA format. This assignment will be due by the last Wednesday of class; a specific date will be provided in the forum posting for the particular week.

  36. Attendance Policy: Attendance and Participation:

    Attendance and participation will be evaluated by discussion forums and assignments posted on Canvas. No make ups will be permitted for missed assignments (except as dictated by documented circumstances or emergencies, prior arrangements cleared through the instructor or situations as outlined below). Assignments and projects are given on a weekly basis. These assignments and projects count for participation points towards the overall grade for this course. Assignments will be posted by Monday of each week.

    Absences due to Religious Observances:

    Students are expected to notify their instructors at the beginning of each academic term if they

    intend to be absent for a scheduled class forum, examination, or announced assignment. Students

    absent for religious reasons, as noticed to the instructor at the beginning of each academic term,

    will be given reasonable opportunities to make up any work missed. For further information,

    please refer to:

    Absences due to Medical Issues:

    If you need to be absent due to medical reasons (yours or your immediate family's) on an exam day or a day an assignment is due, please provide a physician's note and notify me prior to class or immediately after the missed exam or assignment.

    Course Attendance at First Class Meeting Policy for Graduate Students: For structured courses, 6000 and above, the College/Campus Dean will set the first-day class attendance requirement. Check with the College for specific information. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, Open University (TV), FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.). Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. Its the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

  37. Policy on Make-up Work: Any problem a student incurs must be brought to the attention of the instructor as soon as

    possible. Makeup exams will be given only if a student provides sufficient proof of a legitimate

    medical problem or other emergency. Late assignments will only be accepted if a student

    provides a legitimate, written excuse. In such cases, late work will be penalized one letter grade

    or the equivalent for each day that it is late.

    Extra Credit:

    There will be NO EXTRA CREDIT opportunities given. This policy is in the interest of fairness to all students and class members who dedicate their complete efforts to this course and attend class forums on a regular basis.

    A career in the field of forensic sciences is solidly molded on the integrity of the people presenting physical evidence that serves to acquit the innocent or convict the guilty. Therefore, forensic sciences and academic honesty are inseparable choices. There is no latitude for dishonesty or deceit in any form. Students enrolled in this course are expected to represent the highest standards of academic honesty. Students who do not represent these standards will be appropriately referred for disciplinary action.

    The University of South Florida has very specific policies and procedures regarding academic dishonesty or disruption of academic process. Penalties for academic dishonesty (including cheating and plagiarism) may include: assignment of an F or a numerical value of zero on the assignment, quiz, exam, etc.; assignment of an F or an FF grade (the latter indicating academic dishonesty) in the course; and/or suspension or expulsion from the University.

    If you have any questions, please refer to

    Student Academic Grievance Procedures:

    Use of plagiarism tracking software:

    The University of South Florida has an account with an automated plagiarism detection service which allows instructors to submit student assignments to be checked for plagiarism. I reserve the right to submit assignments to this detection system. Assignments are compared automatically with a huge database of journal articles, web articles, and previously submitted papers. The instructor receives a report showing exactly how a student's paper was plagiarized.

  38. Program This Course Supports: Crime Scene Investigations for Violent Crimes Graduate Certificate
  39. Course Concurrence Information: N/A

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