Criminal Justice Department partners with Grove City College

Most people at Waynesburg University know Adam Jack as the chairperson of the Criminal Justice Department.

Those outside the university know him for his work in Greensburg as a detective.

What many might not know, however, is that Jack’s roots were planted in Grove City, and 25 years after leaving Mercer County for Greene County, Jack is leading an effort for Grove City High School and Waynesburg University to work together. 

With the help of Provost Dana Bear and Vice President for Enrollment Shari Payne, two classes that are a part of Waynesburg’s curriculum will be taught at Grove City by James Tanda, instructor of criminal justice.

Jack graduated from Grove City High School in 1994, and went immediately from there to what was then Waynesburg College, where he graduated in 1998. Jack has been teaching at Waynesburg in some form since 2000. A few years ago, Jack spoke at Grove City’s commencement, and after that, spoke to students specifically about the criminal justice program. From there, Jack and Grove City’s principal, Dr. Rea Lin Howard, began to talk about the two schools working together to bring aspects of Waynesburg’s criminal justice and forensic science program to Grove City. 

“We thought it was a good idea, and from there, we started pursuing it,” Jack said. “Dr .Shari Payne has put a whole lot of work into this with Dr. Howard from Grove City, and ended up being a great mix because Jim Tanda was willing to drive up there and teach the classes, and he’s one of the most beloved professors here on Waynesburg’s campus.”

Waynesburg’s criminal justice program is highly regarded, so Jack feels raising awareness of the program to high school students helps Waynesburg and Grove City. 

“My thought is it’s a win for both of us, because we’re getting Waynesburg instructors into the classrooms, and hopefully it will grow our criminal justice and forensic science programs to some of those students,” Jack said.

Although the program won’t officially launch until January, Jack is confident that the process will go through without a hitch. 

“It seems like it will be pretty seamless,” he said. “We’re going to roll right into it, and hopefully it is a great, longtime partnership. 

There will be two classes offered each term: Criminal Justice Administration, which Jack currently teaches at Waynesburg, and Introduction to Forensic Science. Both classes will be handled by Tanda, who has a convenient commute to Grove City, as it is only 30 minutes from Tanda’s home in Cranberry. The drive to Waynesburg is nearly twice that.

In high schools across the country, there are plenty of advanced level classes, taught in subjects such as Math, Science and English. For Payne, having criminal justice levels would give students knowledge that the common core subject cannot. 

“They’re sort of limited in certain areas,” Payne said. “We talked about how offering these types of classes would open up the students to careers in the law in a way that taking AP Biology, AP English and really the standard classes would not.”

There are a few Grove City students currently attending Waynesburg University, and Jack would love to increase that number. 

“I’d like to get some more,” he said. “That was my home. That’s where my family is from. My parents still live there, and my brother lives there, so I really have a love for that region.”