Granada finishes in top one percent

By Amanda Duchsherer
Digital Communication Specialist

MINOT, N.D. – When it was time for Dominica Granada to take the national criminal justice area concentration achievement test, or ACAT, achieving a top score was the last thing on her mind.

Instead, she was looking forward to finishing the capstone class for her criminal justice major.

“When I took the test online, I received my results a couple minutes after I finished it,” Granada said. “I was like, all right, that looks like a good score, so let’s wrap this class up.”

Little did she realize it was one of the best in the nation.

“Dominica scored in the 99th percentile, which means she scores in the top 1% nationally,” Gary Rabe, chair of the criminal justice department at Minot State, said. “She was compared to 1,196 students who were administered the same test from across the U.S.”

The ACAT is a national exam that assesses student learning in six categories: correction processes, criminal justice systems, criminal law, criminology, juvenile justice, and law enforcement.

This isn’t the first time the department has ranked high on the test. In 2018, criminal justice majors scored in the top 8% nationally.

“On average, our students score consistently in the top 10 to 15% nationally,” Rabe said. “As freshmen our students score in the lower third compared to their peers across the country. We are most proud of the growth our students achieve as part of our program. This demonstrates that we have a strong curriculum taught by a highly trained and dedicated faculty.”’

Granada thinks the key to success on the ACAT is showing up.

“You either know it or you don’t,” the criminal justice and sociology double major said. “To make it easier on yourself, just show up for your classes because it’s the easiest way to just passively take in all that knowledge. It’s a test of what you should have been learning the whole time. If you’ve been enjoying your classes and remembering what you’ve heard and talked about, don’t stress.”

Passive listening isn’t the only key to her success, however.

“Dominica is a highly intelligent, articulate, and dedicated student,” Rabe said. “It was always a pleasure to have her in class and she made it easy to teach, and she elevated and brought out the best in the other students in class.”

With her criminal justice coursework completed, the Culbertson, Montana native is now finishing her sociology requirements and creating time to explore a new area on campus. While she has dabbled in watercolors the past couple years, her craft has been self-taught. Her last semester at Minot State seems like the perfect time to hone her hobby.

“I’m taking an art class for fun, a painting class,” she said. “I’ve never had a class where I wasn’t taking it because it wasn’t a requirement, I’m really excited.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 09/20/19   

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