Rehabilitative Justice Certificate Program

This certificate program provides education and training and a foundation for achievement to complete two-year and four-year degrees in preparation for employment in high-demand fields with average (~11%) to above-average (~18%) job market growth in rural, suburban, and urban communities.

This program includes courses commonly transferable to Associate of Arts and/or Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science programs. Seven of the courses have been approved for inclusion in MyCore — BU’s point-based general education program. The 24-credit certificate program will be delivered over the course of four academic terms. Students will enroll in two three-credit courses per term.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the 24-credit certificate, students will be able to:

  • Articulate the value of multidisciplinary approaches to knowledge and problem solving
  • Compose written documents for particular audiences, purposes and genres
  • Identify cultural differences in written, verbal and nonverbal communication and apply that understanding in a peer support environment
  • Apply multidisciplinary social science principles in academic and peer support environments
  • Apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to academic and peer support situations
  • Apply theories, techniques and strategies of chemical dependence in a peer support environment
  • Determine basic psychological concepts, vocabulary, and principles concerning personal adjustment, coping, and emotional awareness, and apply them in a peer support environment


Course Titles





FYS.100 - First Year Seminar


ENG 101- Foundations of College Writing


COMMSTUD.104 - Interpersonal Communication


PHIL 110 - Critical Thinking


PSYCH 131 Psychology of Adjustment


SOCWORK 133 - Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare


CRIMJUST.212 - Restorative Justice


SOCWORK.310 - Intervention in Chemical Dependency


Total Credits for Certificate



FYS - First Year Study/Seminar - Designed for first-year students, this course cultivates scholarly and academic success, promotes engagement with the university community, fosters personal development and wellness, and promotes understanding of diversity and social responsibility. Individual sections of the course are devoted to specific themes selected by instructors and of interest to students as they begin the intentional process of degree and career planning. This course is required for all first-year students.

ENG 101- Foundations of College Writing (3 Credits) (BU General Education-Goal 1 Communications; 3 General Education Points): Provides foundational writing experience and instruction to facilitate first-year students’ transition to writing at the postsecondary level by exploring the implications of writers’ rhetorical situations (audience, purpose, media, and genre) and of individual and social writing processes (drafting, peer review, and reflection) on the texts they generate. Engages students in critical reading and use of source materials. All students will compile and submit an ePortfolio to the English department. Satisfies the General Education requirement of a foundation course in English composition that students are expected to fulfill in their first year of enrollment.

COMMSTUD 104 - Interpersonal Communication (3 Credits) (BU General Education-Goal 1 Communications; 3 General Education Points): Introduces students to the process of interpersonal communication. Students will explore the role of conversations and relationships to enhance their participation in daily interactions and their critical awareness of the process. This skills-based course typically includes lecture, discussion, and in-class activities. The course is open to all students and is offered every fall and spring.

PHIL 110 - Critical Thinking (3 Credits) (BU General Education-Goal 3 Analytical and Quantitative Skills; 3 General Education Points): Surveys several forms of argument, including inductive, deductive, analogical and legal reasoning, in order to teach students how to construct and evaluate arguments effectively. Designed for students who aim to improve critical thinking skills. This course fulfills requirements for the Philosophy major and minor. Three hours lecture per week. Open to all students, no prerequisites.

PSYCH 131 - Psychology of Adjustment (3 Credits) (BU General Education-Goal 10 Citizenship; 2 General Education Points): Examines the personal and social meaning of psychological adjustment. Emphasizes psychosocial wellness in adulthood, and application of psychological concepts in the social and cultural contexts of everyday life. No perquisites. Three lecture hours per week. Provides two GEP points toward General Education Goal 10, Citizenship.

SOCWORK 133 - Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare (3 Credits) (BU General Education-Goal 6 Social Science; 3 General Education Points): Provides students with an overview of the principles and concepts of the social welfare system in the United States as well as a survey of the social work profession. This foundational class has no prerequisites. It is required for students majoring in Social Work and is available to all students. Three hours of lecture per week. Offered each fall and spring semester.

CRIMJUST.212 - Restorative Justice (3 Credits): Emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior as an alternative to the punitive approach which underlies the practice of criminal justice in the US. Students will examine the impact crime has on victims, communities, and offenders and evaluate restorative justice strategies for effectuating meaningful personal, interpersonal, and organizational change to address the harms caused by crime in a holistic manner. Three hours lecture per week. Prerequisites: None.

Inmates in PA State Correctional Institutions who are interested in enrolling in the certificate program should contact their guidance counselors.