The Council of Forensic Science Educators is a non-profit organization that was formed in the 1990s by professors teaching in undergraduate and graduate forensic science programs at private and public colleges and universities. The goal was to achieve the highest academic standards for their respective programs and to develop excellence in programming to educate students seeking careers in the forensic science discipline.
Recently there has been a marked increase in the number of forensic science programs at colleges and universities. Many programs have been established despite very limited resources, insufficient personnel, lab space, and support for these programs. Students completing these programs expect to find employment in crime labs but are surprised to learn that lab management is not impressed by the curriculum.
Forensic science is a unique scientific discipline requiring its practitioners to have in addition to technical skills and knowledge, also critical, analytical thinking skills, communication skills and an ethical awareness of the role of the scientist in our criminal justice system. A complete educational program should therefore create forensic science professionals. COFSE encompasses forensic science educators who are dedicated to achieving the following objectives:
- To encourage the exchange of ideas and information regarding academic programs in the laboratory based forensic sciences and the discussion of problems of common interest,
- To work collectively toward the coordination and upgrading of academic forensic science programs,
- To promote constructive integration of formal academic training with postgraduate preparation for professional practice,
- To foster friendship, cooperation and synergism among academic forensic scientists, practicing professionals, and laboratory management,
- To encourage research and the advancement of knowledge benefiting forensic science, and
- To pursue other objectives appropriate to the advancement of forensic science education.
The Council’s annual meeting coincides with the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.