The Criminal Justice program is comprised of professional and general education courses and is designed to provide the student with a broad exposure to criminal justice theory and process as well as contemporary issues and problems. The curriculum provides a balanced approach to both law enforcement and corrections, with supporting courses that enhance both perspectives. The program has been developed in conjunction with active professionals in the field of criminal justice who serve as members of an advisory committee.
Program Length: 6 Quarters
Program Code: CJLCJAPT
Career Opportunities and Earnings
The demand for trained personnel has grown significantly over the past several years and is expected to continue as police agencies expand to meet the demands for crime control. Graduates typically find employment in the criminal justice system at the federal, state, and local levels of government. Security-related employment in the private sector also provides a wide variety of career possibilities. The demand for persons trained in criminal justice is expected to remain strong over the next several years.
Prospective criminal justice students should be aware of the fact that criminal justice and security employment candidates are subject to extensive background checks that may include drug screening, polygraph testing, physical and psychological examinations, and oral and/or written proficiency examinations. Successful completion of the program does not necessarily guarantee that students will obtain employment in the field of criminal justice. The goal of the program is to provide students with an educational opportunity that prepares them for the rigors of employment competition within the scope of criminal justice career planning. The criminal justice program manager will work diligently to assist qualified students in finding meaningful employment.
- Adult and juvenile probation officers
- Correctional officers
- Law enforcement officers
- Parole officers
- Private security officers
For current employment and wage estimates, please visit and search for the relevant occupational term: bls.gov/oes.
When this program is completed, the student will be able to:
- Correctly identify the major steps of the criminal justice process
- Develop an understanding of the function of each step of the criminal justice system and the key decisions that are made at each step
- Define each step and critically analyze how a case proceeds through the criminal justice system
- Articulate the functions of policing in the united states in terms of its historical roots, structure, and contemporary issue
- Develop an understanding of the court system in the united states in terms of constitutional issues and historical precedents
- Identify and understand correctional practices in the united states in relation to philosophies of punishment, sentencing practices, victim’s rights and institutional limitations
- Demonstrate knowledge of the purpose, function, and historical evolution of the American criminal justice system in terms of the three major branches of criminal justice: police, courts, and corrections
- Articulate the differences between the major criminological theories of the causes of crime and how those theories relate to policies toward crime and criminal behavior
- Apply individual criminological theories to specific types of offending and criminal behaviors
- Demonstrate an understanding of the steps in the research process as it relates to the scientific method
- Apply basic computational skills to practical applications
- Communicate in writing for a variety of purposes and audiences
- Demonstrate competencies to succeed in the selected career pathway workplace
College-level skills in English and math (eligibility for courses numbered 100 or higher) are required before registering for the English, math, or applied math courses required in this program. Students may need to complete prerequisite coursework. The placement test will help determine placement level if not known. Previous coursework may also indicate placement level.
Approximate Additional Costs
Books, supplies and miscellaneous fees (per quarter): $230
This sample schedule is provided as a guide for a full-time student starting in fall quarter whose goal is to earn an AAS. The typical student schedule is based on entering the program during the fall quarter, however some programs allow students to enter in the winter or spring as well. Since not all do, please confirm with an advisor whether this program must be started during a specific quarter or not.
First Quarter (Fall)
Traces historical development of courts, corrections, and law enforcement to understand structure and process of the criminal justice system. Examine roles, responsibilities, and perspectives of its participants. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Elective)
Substantive criminal law applied to crime prevention and control activities in criminal justice. Examines definitions, classifications, grades, prohibitions, and punishments ascribed to criminal law through statutes and case law. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Elective)
Active reading, effective writing, and critical thinking, using subjective and objective approaches. Introduction to research techniques. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Communication Skills)
Overview of what to expect in an online course and how to make web-based learning more productive and rewarding. Meet in an online classroom that simulates a typical web-based learning environment. Students will learn how to use online courseware, navigate threaded discussions, locate articles and research materials, create an electronic presentation, and save electronic documents for presentation on the internet. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Second Quarter (Winter)
Comprehensive study and analysis of constitutional law applying to administration of justice (criminal law procedure), specifically constitutional guidelines guaranteeing due process of law, equal protection, and fundamental fairness in application of the law. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Rules of criminal evidence regulating the burden of proof, admissibility, relevancy, materiality, weight, and sufficiency of evidence in criminal legal proceedings. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Report writing for law enforcement provides students with a comprehensive guideline that documents all the aspects of the criminal justice system, from the arrival at an incident to the presentation of the written report in court. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Third Quarter (Spring)
Criminal investigation case management, interview/ interrogation techniques and methods for reconstructing past events. Provides basic skills for conducting criminal investigations. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Examines institutional and community correction applications, focusing on correctional facility operations, probation, parole, and intermediate sanctions within the American criminal justice system. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Elective)
Overview of the juvenile justice system covering due process requirements of each phase of the process. Also examines theories behind delinquency causation and discusses treatment modalities and programs. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Elective)
Fourth Quarter (Fall)
Provides an overview of the types and purposes of police patrol, including vehicle patrol and routing patrol procedures, mediation, and management of crisis situations. Emphasis is placed on citizen protection, crime prevention, and identification and apprehension of suspects. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Human social behavior, social institutions, and society from sociological perspective. Includes introduction to sociological theory and research and application to topics such as social structure, socialization, deviance, inequality, and stratification. Completion of ENGL& 101 or concurrent enrollment recommended. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Social Sciences, Elective)
Fifth Quarter (Winter)
Introduction to selected issues and practices associated with police supervision. This course focuses on strength based leadership, ethics, communications, empowerment, self-control, and teamwork. Students will learn how to apply basic leadership theory and practice of police supervision to improve performance and accountability. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Introduction to fundamental economic concepts through contemporary social issues. Examine how societies deal with limited resources and social, cultural, and political responses to changing economic conditions. Recommended for those seeking a greater understanding of economics and contemporary issues. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Social Sciences, Elective)
Examines elements that create differences within society and exposes learners to a variety of cultural ideas that will lead to a better understanding of people who are different. Culture, ethnicity, lifestyle, religion, disabilities, age, and gender issues will be examined. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Social Sciences, Elective)
Understanding Diversity (SOC 115) or an advisor approved social science course.
Sixth Quarter (Spring)
Philosophical foundations of moral and ethical theory, doctrines, and controversies for understanding the necessity for practicing good moral and ethical judgment when performing criminal justice duties. This class may include students from multiple sections.
Examines vital issues for people who use mass media or are affected by it. Emphasis on freedom of expression, censorship, fair trial, privacy, ethics, law, media economics, technology, effectiveness in communicating to audiences and relationships to social, cultural, and political values in the United States and throughout the world. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Humanities, Elective)
Introduction to science of behavior. Emphasis on biological foundations of behavior, cognition, learning, intelligence, motivation, memory, personality, and psychological disorders. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Social Sciences, Elective)
Your personal educational plan will vary based on many factors including: