Two Southeast Students Participating in Prestigious U.S. Marshal Cooperative Program

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March, 2 2007 – Southeast Missouri State University students Brian Biermann of Washington, Mo., Amber Schindler of Perryville, Mo., and Heather West of Jackson, Mo., are interning this semester in the U.S. Marshal’s office in Cape Girardeau.

Biermann and West are taking part in the prestigious U.S. Marshal Service (USMS) Centralized Student Career Experience Program (CSCEP).

The CSCEP is a 16-week cooperative work study program in which students who are interested in becoming Deputy U.S. Marshals and are majoring in criminal justice, political science, psychology, public administration, sociology, or social science with a concentration in one of the areas listed can receive on the job training and work experience with the USMS. If chosen, first by the University and then by the USMS, students will have the opportunity to earn a salary with benefits. Participation in this program may lead to eligibility for full-time employment with the USMS.

“Our early success is overwhelming,” said Dr. John Wade, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology. “We have three students taking part in the program, Biermann and West, who are actively involved now and Amber Schindler who is awaiting federal health approval. One thing we do that makes us successful is, as faculty, we identify students early on and make them aware of the CSCEP program. Faculty work one-on-one with the applicants doing things such as mock interviews.  We instill in our students very early that when you apply you must be physically fit. It is easier to stay in shape than it is to get in shape. It’s no coincidence that the CSCEP program targets small- to medium-sized universities that have that one-on-one student/faculty experience and build confidence in their students.”

In order to meet requirements for the program, students referred by the University must be at least 20 years old, have U.S. citizenship and maintain a 3.0 grade point average within their major field and an overall grade point average of 2.75, and be near completion of degree requirements. Once chosen by the school, the student must then pass a structured interview, full-field background investigation, medical and psychological examination and fitness test.

“I was overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude when I discovered my acceptance into the program. I had so much to be thankful for. Most people wait years to become a part of the U.S. Marshals. The program provides students with direct access to the Marshal Service. Unlike the majority of people wishing to get into federal law enforcement, I did not have to take a national test. I have a wonderful opportunity to spend four months in a Marshal office, where I will gain priceless knowledge and experience before becoming a marshal,” said Heather West, a Southeast criminal justice major graduating in May.

The two Southeast interns have the opportunity to gain experiential learning from one- on-one work with the Marshals.

“Getting to work closely with the deputies every day is my favorite part. I really get to see what goes on in their daily operations. It’s not what television makes it out to be. It is an important and necessary function of the legal and criminal justice system,” said Brian Biermann, a criminal justice major, also graduating in May.

Upon successful completion of CSCEP and all degree requirements, students may be offered a Deputy U.S. Marshal position. According to Wade, this non-competitive process provides a direct line of employment, compared with the less direct, traditional route of working in public service for three or four years before moving into a position with the USMS.

Wade said he believes the University’s involvement with the CSCEP is a great recognition for the University and the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology.

For more information on Southeast’s involvement with the CSCEP, contact the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology at (573) 651-2541.