Man with mustache in police chief uniform sitting at a desk with five computer monitors. A student is seated to his right, pointing at the screens.Digital Forensic Science (DFS) is the controlled extraction and analysis of legally admissible evidence from digital storage devices. Throughout the program, students are immersed in both technology and the investigative procedures necessary for effective criminal prosecution or defense and for civil discovery. A heavy emphasis is placed on critical thinking, effective communication, scientific inquiry, and adherence to ethical standards.

The program goal is not simply to produce well-trained digital forensic examiners, but to produce highly-competent civic stewards who have the technical skills necessary to reliably discover relevant evidence, the critical thinking necessary to adapt to rapidly changing technology, and the knowledge necessary to recognize and place contextual significance on recovered evidence.

Successful completion of the program includes an internship and completion of a nationally-recognized digital forensic certification.


GRADUATE OUTCOMES

Defiance County Sheriff’s Office
Illinois State Police
Keller Logistics
Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation
SecureState
State of Illinois Attorney General's Office
US Drug Enforcement Administration
Vestige Digital Forensics Investigations


STUDENT ORGANIZATION & ENTREPRENEURIAL OPPORTUNITIES

HIGH TECHNOLOGY CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION ASSOCIATION (HTCIA)

Defiance College started one of the very first student chapters of the HTCIA and has sent student representatives to the international conference in 2012 and 2014. While membership in this organization is mostly DFS students, it is open to students in related disciplines, including Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Forensic Accounting.

DCPC

Working under the umbrella of Project 701, DCPC offers free PC repair services to members of the local community, repairing dozens of PCs over the few years it has been operating. Additionally, student volunteers have built and installed local area networks for local non-profit organizations such as the YMCA and COMPASS. DCPC provides students with opportunities to gain experience in conducting diagnostics and repair to a variety of personal and business technology, and even setting up small networks.

DETECTIVES OF DEFIANCE

The “Got Clue?” summer camp is run every year by volunteer students from digital forensic science, forensic science, and criminal justice. The students work together to create crime scene scenarios and simulate the evidence used to create the crime scene. This integration of disciplines provides an enriching experience for the campers who attend the camp; moreover, it provides DC students with genuine experience at tackling common, real-world situations. The ability to integrate and de-conflict multiple forensic disciplines at a single crime scene is a skill set that is badly needed by many agencies.


COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING

DFS faculty and students regularly participate in and often initiate human trafficking awareness events. Several current and past students have worked with the Human Trafficking Protection Project with tasks such as helping to design and build websites, distributing educational materials, and collecting and organizing data.

In 2011, two DFS students and one faculty member developed a digital forensic/human trafficking training scenario which was used to provide training for law enforcement and telecommunications personnel from at least 7 different countries in Doha, Qatar. 

Ohio Liberator of the Year Award

In another project, students have put time and effort into coding software to help track missing persons and bring human traffickers to justice. The project earned international recognition in 2016 with an award from the Reimagine Education Conference sponsored by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Defiance College has a student chapter of Free the Slaves, an organization dedicated to ending slavery world-wide. In January 2016, they were awarded the Ohio Liberator of the Year award for their efforts in anti-human trafficking.


MEET THE FACULTY

Aaron Napierala, M.S., MCSE, MCSA, Network+, A+
Sheldon Goodrum, Ph.D.
Steven Sondergaard, JD
Timothy Wedge, M.A., CFCE, MCSE, CISSP, A+