Students participate in 10-week courses offered winter and summer that incorporate two weeks of independent study and eight weeks of on-campus training. During campus sessions, they study polygraph techniques, instrumentation, question formulation, and chart interpretation. Final training involves interrogating recruits who fib to polygraph administrators.
"We are looking for volunteer subjects to undergo an exam administered by a student," says Connie Wildfang, WOU's Special Projects/Marketing Coordinator. Wildfang believes the course is the only one of its kind in Oregon and is one of only a dozen or so such programs in the U.S.
"The mock exams help students toward completion of graduation requirements. Ultimately students want to gain certification to administer polygraph exams as professionals in private, police, or government settings. It is a career achievement. Each volunteer must be over 17 and available during a two-hour time slot on a particular evening. Groups (say, of friends or classmates) are welcome, and in fact, help us, as we need several people at a time: one subject per student for two two-hour time slots. Sometimes a group of friends will make an event out of volunteering."
Time is short for those interested in fabricating falsifications. There are only a few scheduled slots left for the two-hour sessions from 6 to 8 pm and 8 to 10 pm August 20, 22, 27, and 29 at the University Park Conference Center at WOU. Participants who think they can beat the machines may want to think again. Wildfang maintains polygraph examiners and machines are 'right' much more often than not."
Since time is running out, liars who can't make a commitment this year will have to lie in wait until the winter session to participate. Located about 16 miles southwest of Salem, driving to Monmouth takes about an hour and a half from Portland. If you need to take time off of work, tell the boss your dog ate your grandpa. To volunteer call 1-800-451-5767.