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Criminal Justice Associate Degree

Associate of Science

The Associate of Science in Criminal Justice provides a groundwork upon which a student may build a four-year degree in various majors within the criminal justice field. The program provides students with foundational knowledge, skills, and abilities for increased marketability for entry-level jobs in some criminal justice-related occupations. The general education component of the program focuses on course goals that include highly sought-after skills in communication, reasoning, respect for diversity, and professionalism. Students seeking transfer into four-year programs should select courses which fulfill requirements within their planned field of study.

An Affordable Criminal Justice Degree in PA

General Education Goals

In alignment with the general education goals of the college and upon successful completion of the program, students should be able to:

  • Communicate accurately and appropriately using verbal and written language to explain, discuss, and facilitate the exchange of relevant knowledge using information technology, critical thinking, and information literacy.
  • Demonstrate reasoning through a range of approaches for analysis, evaluation, and problem-solving that includes fluent and accurate use of computational methods and mathematical approaches to solve problems and analyze data, application of scientific approaches to explain physical phenomena, and expression of informed opinions about artistic or philosophical works.
  • Explore and analyze respect for diversity through exposure to differing ideas, opinions, experiences, and worldviews.
  • Exhibit professionalism through adherence to principles of ethical behavior and organizational codes of conduct while assuming responsibility and accountability for one’s actions.

Criminal Justice Program Goals

Upon successful completion of this program, students will successfully be able to:

  • Acquire, organize, analyze, and evaluate qualitative and/or quantitative information related to the criminal justice system, the corrections industry, modern policing organizations, and/or the private sector security industry through technological and traditional means.
  • Identify internal and external challenges associated with the criminal justice system, the corrections system, modern policing organizations, and/or the private sector security industry; explore and prioritize potential solutions and evaluate their veracity; and revise priorities as a means for purposeful action.
  • Evaluate issues of justice, professionalism, and ethics within law enforcement, the courts, the corrections industry, modern policing organizations, and/or the private sector security industry.
  • Discuss and compare a range of academically accepted theories about the causes of criminal behavior, the types of criminal behavior, and methods for predicting future crime.

What can you do with a Criminal Justice Degree in PA?

A criminal justice degree is for the person driven by the desire to help people, serve the community for the greater good, and maintain safety. Career opportunities include entry-level positions in public safety, such as dispatch or 911 operator, correctional officer, security officer, or fraud investigator. An associate degree in criminal justice also contributes to a student’s eligibility for a baccalaureate degree program, providing a pathway to careers such as state trooper, local police officer, or federal agent.