May 25, 2020  
2019 - 2020 Catalog 
2019 - 2020 Catalog Archives - Prior Version

Criminal Justice (A.S.)

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A.S. Degree

Program Description

The Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Criminal Justice prepares students for transfer to a four-year college or university, and meets the PA TRAC Statewide Program-to-Program Articulation Agreement for completion of a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. The A.S. degree program in Criminal Justice is designed to teach students the fundamentals of the criminal justice system: law enforcement, the judicial system, and corrections. This associate degree program is designed to prepare students by presenting numerous ideas, topics, and research which are directly connected to various aspects of human behavior in the social environment as they apply to the many levels of criminal justice understanding. Students will also be introduced to a variety of interdisciplinary concepts, such as those found within sociology and psychology and how they relate to the student of criminal justice. The curriculum is designed to offer a balance of theory and application to encourage and develop critical thinking skills in the field and to prepare the student for higher levels of academic learning beyond the two-year associate’s degree. An A.S. degree in Criminal Justice enables students to enhance their skill and knowledge base for working with diverse populations and provides a foundation for those wishing to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice or related course of study for careers in the criminal justice field that are beyond entry-level. 

Career Opportunities

Criminal Justice is a rapidly growing field of interest. The Criminal Justice program provides the opportunity to build a solid foundation in the area of criminal justice, which will help to prepare students for various entry-level positions in areas such as:

  • PA State Police Officer (Students wishing to pursue a regional policy academy ACT 120 certification may do so prior to or after obtaining a college degree.  The associates degree prepares the student for the academic and theoretical side of law enforcement.)

  • Security Officer

  • Victim Advocacy Counselor or Victim Services Trainee

  • Probation Officer Trainee

  • Corrections Officer Trainee

  • Institutional Parole Assistant

  • DCNR (Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources) Ranger Trainee Specialized Law Enforcement Instructor (Permanent, Part-time Employment)

  • Evidence Technician

  • Youth Detention Counselor

  • Legal Assistant

  • Crime Statistics Analyst

  • Insurance Investigator

  • Retail Loss Prevention

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  • Define the major concepts, theoretical perspectives of the criminal justice system (courts, criminal law, criminal procedures, and the adult and juvenile justice systems), and history as they relate to the disciplines of sociology and criminology.
  • Identify and analyze emerging trends (deviance, victimology, punishment, etc.) in the criminal justice field through research and statistical data.
  • Introduce strategies for working with diverse populations by recognizing and developing skills such as ethical standards, leadership principles, and legal practices in law enforcement, the judicial system, and corrections. Apply skills and knowledge working with diverse populations in law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole.
  • Communicate and apply fundamental ethical, management, leadership, and legal guidelines (e.g., Constitutional law) which govern the field of Criminal Justice.

Obtaining the Degree

To earn the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice, students must:

  • Matriculate into the program.
  • Satisfactorily complete all degree requirements, including General Education and Major Requirements of the degree.

Credit hours: 36

Credit hours: 27

Recommended Sequence of Courses

Minimum credits to earn A.S. Degree: 63

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