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College of Microscopy adds two new Introductory Level Forensic Courses


Developed for Inexperienced Forensic Scientists and Criminalists

WESTMONT, IL (JULY 21, 2008) – The McCrone Group Inc., internationally recognized as a world leader in microanalysis and the nation’s Premier Microscopy Resource, announced today that its College of Microscopy and learning center in Westmont, Illinois will offer two new introductory level forensic courses for newly hired forensic scientists and criminalists with responsibilities for trace analysis. The College of Microscopy has the largest array of advanced modern microscopy instrumentation within a single location in the United States.

The first new course, “Hair Comparisons” is a week-long introduction to forensic hair comparisons for newly hired forensic scientists. The course concentrates on practical use of the stereomicroscope, polarized light microscope and comparison microscope for the forensic comparison of human hairs for the purpose of individualization. This course is also well suited for experienced forensic hair examiners who desire additional training, as well as DNA analysts who require training for hair analysis.

The Hair Comparisons course is scheduled to run October 20 – 24, 2008. Students successfully completing course requirements are awarded a certificate of completion and 3.5 CEU credits.

The second new course, “Hair Identification for DNA Analysts” provides an introduction to forensic hair identification for DNA analysts and others responsible for identification of hairs. This course introduces the student to the principles and practice of human and animal hair identification. The course is scheduled for December 9 – 11, 2008. Students successfully completing course requirements are awarded a certificate of completion and 2.0 CEU credits.

“We are very excited to be able to offer these two new introductory forensic courses,” said Kathy A. Cyr, Director of Program Development, College of Microscopy. “There is a growing demand for entry level forensic training and we are addressing our course offerings to meet this need,” Cyr said.

The College of Microscopy will continue to offer “Microscopical Examination of Forensic Trace Evidence Particles.” The week-long course offers an initial introduction to microscopical trace evidence examination. This unique course introduces the student to the principles and practical use of the stereomicroscope and polarized light microscope for the analysis of common microscopic trace evidence (hairs, fibers, paint and glass). Students will learn the basic techniques of polarized light microscopy (PLM) directly applicable to trace evidence analysis.

Students successfully completing course requirements are awarded a certificate of completion and 3.5 CEU credits. The course will again be offered in 2009.

“Our expanded course offerings address the need to serve the newly hired forensic scientists and criminalists who may now find themselves with responsibility for hair analysis,” Cyr added.

To enroll or learn more about these new courses visit: and complete the registration form. Offline registration is available by calling the registrar at 630/887-7100.

“The College of Microscopy instructors are internationally recognized experts in the field of materials analysis and microscopy,” Charles A. Zona, Vice President and Dean of the College said. “These two new forensic courses will offer the newly hired and experienced scientists a valuable and unique combination of theoretical and practical experience,” Zona added.

The College of Microscopy specializes in training materials scientists, crime lab personnel, First Responders, researchers, technicians, conservationists, and educators how to characterize and identify unknown or suspect materials using modern microscopy techniques such as light microscopy, electron microscopy, and micro-FTIR/Raman spectroscopy.

Today, the College of Microscopy provides the most comprehensive learning and advanced microscopy resources available. These includes more than 40 accredited courses in the many advanced analytical methods used in materials analysis, and state-of-the-art resources including the McCrone online Atlas of Microscopic Particles ( and their complimentary subscription-based peer-reviewed journal,

The College of Microscopy was established in 2004 to help prepare companies and the nation to solve difficult materials analysis problems. The College of Microscopy is approved as an Authorized Provider of Continuing Education Units by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). All participants in College of Microscopy courses, seminars, or other continuing education learning activities are eligible to receive IACET Continuing Education Units (CEU).