Hooke College of Applied Sciences offers this Special Forensics course as an initial introduction to forensic hair comparison. This course introduces the student to the techniques for the identification of animal and human hairs and introduces the student to the principles and practice of forensic hair comparison using microscopy and DNA analysis. The course concentrates on practical use of the stereomicroscope, polarizing microscope, and comparison light microscope for the forensic comparison of human hairs for the purpose of individualization. This course does not provide hands-on instruction in DNA analysis, although the subject is discussed because it is essential to the forensic hair comparison. There is instruction in the characterization of hair roots for purposes of selecting hairs for DNA analysis.
Course includes emphasis on scientific principles, objectivity, critical thinking, careful observation, and communication that lay the foundation for professional hair comparisons, as well as the history of the discipline, relevant literature, methodologies, and validation studies, instrumentation, statistics, knowledge of related fields, and testimony.
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be capable of beginning hair examinations, under direct supervision, and continuing the necessary study and practice required for proficiency. Competency and continued proficiency need to be proven in the home laboratory to the satisfaction of the home laboratory.
See below for course outline and additional information.
Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:
Students are expected to successfully complete a variety of tasks in the form of hands-on exercises, laboratory exercises, identifications of unknowns, and quizzes. Students are notified at the end of the course whether or not they have successfully completed the requirements of the course based on:
Upon successfully meeting these requirements, a student is awarded a certificate of completion and CEU credits, if available. Those who have not successfully passed the course requirements do not receive a certificate or CEU credits.