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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Physical and Biological Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: FRSC 327
Course Title: Fingerprint Evidence
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Exploration of the techniques and methods of identification, capture and analysis of fingerprint evidence, including consideration of the fundamentals of fingerprint patterns, classification formulas and extensions, scarred patterns, amputations and missing fingers, filing sequence, searching and referencing, Henry Classification, techniques for taking good fingerprints, problems in fingerprinting, latent impressions, powdering and lifting latent impressions, preparation of fingerprint charts for court testimony, and practical exercises for capturing fingerprints on a ten print card and live scan fingerprint machines. Prerequisites: CJAD 101 and a declared Criminal Justice or Forensic Science major.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

CJAD 101 and a declared Criminal Justice or Forensic Science major.

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered Fall.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Fingerprint Identification, 2004 Edition
By Leo, William (Law Tech Custom Publishing Inc.)
Course Objectives
  • To provide students with exposure to a special topic area in Criminal Justice and Forensic Science.
  • To provide students with an opportunity to apply theoretical learning to practical problems.
  • To encourage the students' development of analytical skills.
  • To assist students in applying relevant scientific and investigative principles to real and hypothetical problems in the Justice system.
  • To enhance critical thinking and practical skills on relevant issues.
Measurable Learning
  • Describe the basic fingerprint pattern types and their interpretation.
  • Identify and explain the significance of questionable fingerprint patterns.
  • Describe significance of rolled and slap fingerprints.
  • Describe fingerprint classification formula and extensions.
  • Explain the processes used in searching, referencing and file sequencing for fingerprints.
  • Describe proper techniques for taking good fingerprints and problems associated with poor technique.
  • Apply recognized techniques in analysis of latent impressions, chemical powdering and lifting.
  • Analyze actual case studies and reports involving fingerprints.
  • Describe and apply relevant terminology and principles concerning fingerprints to report writing ¬†and courtroom testimony.
Topical Outline:
  • Fingerprint pattern types and their interpretation
  • Questionable fingerprint patterns
  • Rolled and slap fingerprints
  • Fingerprint classification formula and extensions
  • Searching, referencing and file sequencing for fingerprints
  • Techniques for taking good fingerprints and problems associated with poor technique
  • Techniques in analysis of latent impressions, chemical, powdering and lifting
  • Case study analysis
  • Report writing, demonstrative evidence and courtroom presentation
  • Study of glossary terms of fingerprints and courtroom testimony

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Barry Langford Date: November 22, 2013
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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