Karin Kaercher: 20 years of leadership in Camosun’s Criminal Justice program

In 1983, Karin Kaercher was a single mother with three young boys. Unsure of her future, Karin enrolled in the Employment Orientation for Women (EOW) program at Camosun.

The EOW helped her focus on her interests and abilities while she explored many career and educational options. Through this process, it became clear that Criminal Justice was a great fit for Karin’s passions and aspirations. It appealed to her deep and personal commitment to social justice. She enrolled in the Criminal Justice program, completing it in 1986.

After graduating, Karin packed up her boys and moved to Ottawa where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences with Honours in Criminology and a concentration in Psychology. Following this, she entered the University of Ottawa’s Masters program in Applied Criminal Justice.

After finishing her graduate courses in 1989, Karin was hired as an instructor in the Criminal Justice program at Camosun. She completed her thesis while adjusting to this new role. Her Masters degree was granted in 1990. A year later, Karin became Chair of the Criminal Justice program, serving in that capacity for 10 years.

Karin Kaercher

Thanks to Karin’s leadership, the college’s Criminal Justice program maintained its’ vital core components while incorporating many creative changes. It became more applied; incorporated current philosophies and practices and integrated new topics such as Aboriginal Justice and Women in Justice. Graduates regularly do well in the field and in further studies where there are a number of options for degree completion.

Karin joined the college’s Program Review and Renewal team in 2009, where she guided other programs in their curricular renewal efforts. Karin also served as Chair of the Integrated Curriculum Committee where she worked to develop mechanisms to support quality curricula throughout the college.

Submitted by Faye Ferguson, CCARE Retiree

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