Teacher Spotlight: The Vivacious Life in the Criminal Justice Career Field

By Alexandra Blockton
ablockton@lc.edu

Professor Jessica Noble was born on June 6, 1985, and her hometown is Jefferson City, Miss. Her department is located in Criminal Justice and her title is Program Coordinator and Associate Professor.

She teaches courses in criminology, American criminal justice, introduction to corrections, juvenile offender, crime and popular culture, and criminal investigation and forensic: trace evidence.

Back in the Fall of 2011, Professor Noble started teaching at Lewis and Clark Community College (L&C). She taught introduction to college from 2006-2009 and taught crime and media in 2009 prior to her graduating with her master’s degree.

Professor Noble decided to become a teacher because she has always enjoyed working with the student populations.

“In college, I was heavily involved in student life and really enjoyed teaching. After graduating, I worked the juvenile populations, and was a role model for the kids that were on my caseload. After leaving my hometown, I realized I needed to do something I was passionate about, and I applied to teach at Lewis and Clark,” said Professor Noble.

She has prior teaching experience. Since she was just 15 years old, she has been involved with the educational system as well as a volunteer. Ultimately, she became a teaching assistant at the K-12 level. In college, she was selected by a faculty member to help teach an introduction to college course, which introduced students to campus, and helped them navigate the new experience.

“I did this for three years and was also selected to teach crime and media by another faculty member during my last year as a graduate assistant,” said Professor Noble.

During her time as a graduate assistant, she guest-lectured for faculty and worked with them on their research projects. In the summer of 2008, she worked in the Johnson County Juvenile Detention Center. She then worked with juvenile offenders that were being held by the court.

Professor Noble said, “I really enjoyed working with these kids, and when the summer ended, I knew I wanted to be a role model for kids in these situations.” After she graduated, she worked as a Juvenile Probation Officer for Cole County, Miss.  for one year. Then she moved to St. Louis. That is when she became a Permanency Specialist for kids in foster care, which she approximately did for one year before applying to L&C.

“The best part of my job is sharing my enthusiasm for criminal justice with students. I really enjoy being a mentor to them and helping them with career choices and educational goals,” said Professor Noble.

This program has so many opportunities for students! There are options with the two-year degree and options to transfer and get a bachelor’s degree at some of the top rated schools in our area.

Students who would be interested in a career field that changes every day, where they are constantly using critical thinking and are able to help people and make a difference in our society, this is the career choice for them.

Professor Noble considers L&C to be a part of her family. She has made life-long friends and people she considers family. “I am able to continue to help students even after they leave Lewis and Clark. I really feel at home here,” said Professor Noble.

She thinks the best thing about her program is that the instructors care. They want you to succeed and continue on your educational journey as well as becoming life-long learners.

“My teaching method is to equip students with skills they will use in the field. I want them to think critically and make ethical decisions that will benefit our system as a whole. I use case studies, and different instructional methods to help them achieve these goals,” said Professor Noble.

Her greatest strength as a teacher is kindness, and she thinks that there is a level of compassion you have to show to students. Also, her instructors in college always showed compassion, and she felt that it really helped her learning.

The most challenging part of being a teacher, she mentioned, is staying organized, while making sure she has the best assignments. The most rewarding part of being a teacher is when a student tells you that you made a difference in their life.

Professor Noble is currently the Vice-Chair of the Community College section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

“I think my proudest moments are when students ask me to attend special events (academy graduations, job promotions, weddings) and when they come back and tell me that I made a difference in their life,” said Professor Noble.

The advice she would like to give students coming into her career field of criminal justice is to do your own research, do not believe what you hear in the media and you must look at the data and find the truth.

“I aspire to help as many students as I can by contributing members to the criminal justice field. In years to come, we will need people with high ethical standards, good work ethic and a thirst to make the system better. I hope to help train those individuals,” said Professor Noble.

Professor Noble said, “I really think LC is a place to get a quality education. I would like to encourage anyone who wants to see what criminal justice is all about to let me know, and they can come sit in on my classes.”

 

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