Forensic Science Seminars

Nebraska Wesleyan University offers the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in forensic science conveniently and affordably.

The Forensic Science Seminars help prepare students to be leaders in the field of forensic science as law enforcement professionals, crime scene investigators, or forensic laboratory specialists. Courses provide college credit, as well as law enforcement continuing education credits.

See all available seminars

Recent seminars have covered:

  • Firearm evidence analysis
  • Interviewing
  • Fire scene investigations
  • Crime scene imaging
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Toolmark evidence
  • Sexual offense behaviors


Contact Denise L. Polson at dpolson [at] or 402.465.2329 for information about registering for the Forensic Science Seminars.

For more information on courses, contact Jodi Ryter, Ph.D., Program Director at jryter [at] or 402.465.2258 / 800.541.3818.

Tuition and Fees

Costs for the 2014-2015 academic year:

  • $365 / Graduate credit (5000 course level)
  • $265 / Undergraduate credit (4000 course level)
  • $185 / For law enforcement personnel (Applies to undergraduate credit only. Please note law enforcement position on registration).

Mail registration and payment to:

Nebraska Wesleyan University
Forensic Science Program
c/o Denise L. Polson
5000 St. Paul Ave.
Lincoln, NE 68504-2794

Fall 2014
FORSC 4620/5620 Crime Scene Imaging
Course Description: As film cameras become extinct, it’s essential to develop effective digital skills. This class will introduce students to court-approved techniques for digital imaging enhancements of crime scene photography using Adobe Photoshop. Students will take an image from a crime scene or lab analysis, enhance or clarify the image, and be able to explain how and why that enhancement was completed without altering the image. They will be given several examples and be expected to enhance those images with little or no guidance after the lecture. The students will then be tested on knowledge gained through lecture and the practical exercise.
Credit: 1 hour
Dates and Times: September 26, 2014 (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
September 27, 2014 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Instructor(s): C.L. Retelsdorf, M.F.S., Forensic Scientist &
Josh Connelly, M.F.S., Douglas County
Location: Olin Hall 113, Nebraska Wesleyan University
FORSC 4770/5770 Expert Witness Testimony
Course Description: Expert witnesses are called to testify for their expertise and experience in a specific subject, such as DNA analysis, scene investigation and psychology. These subjects can be difficult to present to a jury in limited time. This course will show students how best to prepare in order to present themselves, their credentials, and their testimony in a professional manner and how to anticipate questions from opposing counsel. The students will learn preparation techniques and become familiar with trial procedures. They will prepare a court C.V. and participate in a mock trial exercise.
Credit: 1 hour
Dates and Times: October 24, 2014 (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
October 25, 2014 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Instructor: Leigh Ann Retelsdorf, J.D.
Location: NWU Omaha site, 14010 FNB Parkway
FORSC 4750/5750 Interviewing
Course Description: Much of the outcome at civil and criminal trials hinges on evidence gathered from witnesses, victims and offenders through interviews. This course outlines how to gather this evidence in an effective and legal manner and examines the issues involved in interviewing.
Credit: 1 hour
Dates and Times: November 7, 2014 (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
November 8, 2014 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Instructor: Gary Plank, M.A.
Location: Burt Hall LL-2, Nebraska Wesleyan University
Spring 2015
FORSC 4720/5720 Violence, Mental Illness and Risk Assessment
Course Description: How do the physiological, cognitive and learning factors involved in criminal behavior inform the assessment of risk? Students will examine the relationship between mental illness, criminal behavior and violence from a psychological perspective as they assess the corresponding risk. Risk assessment has developed as an important avenue to identify and manage re-offense risk.
Credit: 1 hour
Dates and Times: February 13, 2015 (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
February 14, 2015 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Instructor: Kirk Newring, Ph.D.
Location: Burt Hall LL-2, Nebraska Wesleyan University
FORSC 4730/5730 Assessment and Treatment of Sexual Offense Behaviors
Course Description: Examine the history and current best practices to assess and treat sexual offense behaviors. Students will review clinical and actuarial assessment approaches, treatment planning and treatment modalities. Discussion will focus on adult males with sexual offense behaviors, and include information on juvenile male, female and adult female offense. Sexual offender management and public policy issues will also be presented.
Credit: 1 hour
Dates and Times: January 30, 2015 (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
January 31, 2015 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Instructor: Kirk Newring, Ph.D.
Location: Burt Hall LL-2, Nebraska Wesleyan University
FORSC 4610/5610 Fire Scene Investigations
Course Description: Arson is defined as the willful or malicious setting of a fire with criminal or fraudulent intent. Arson is the leading cause of investigated fires; it causes injury and death, and has an average cost greater than any other type of property crime in the U.S. Yet, for all its economic and legal importance, analytical fire investigation remains one of the most difficult areas of investigation because potential evidence is often lost in a fire. This course will give students a basic knowledge of the analysis of incendiary fires including the behavior of fire, fire pattern recognition, properties of common liquid fuels, evidence recognition, collection and preservation, and an overview of laboratory services.
Credit: 1 hour
Dates and Times: April 17, 2015 (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
April 18, 2015 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Instructor: Christine Gabig, M.S.F.S. &
Shanon Tysor, M.F.S.
Location: Omaha - location TBA