Criminal Justice Associates Degree

Associate of Science

The Associate of Science in Criminal Justice provides a foundation of first and second-year coursework upon which a student may build a four-year degree in various majors within the field of criminal justice. The program also 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 a baccalaureate program should select courses that fulfill requirements within their planned four-year major field of study as identified by the college or university to which they plan to transfer. Students who seek to enter directly into the job market upon graduation should select courses based upon their career goals in consultation with their academic advisor.

An Affordable Criminal Justice Associate Degree in Pennsylvania

General Education Goals

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

  • Accurately and appropriately use verbal and written language to explain, discuss, facilitate, and comprehend the exchange of relevant knowledge, which includes information technology, critical thinking, and information literacy.
  • Employ a range of approaches for analysis, evaluation, and problem-solving that includes the ability to express informed opinions about artistic works, fluently and accurately use computational methods and mathematical reasoning to solve problems and analyze data, and apply scientific approaches to explain physical phenomena.
  • Express an appreciation of multiculturalism, promotion of a culture of respect for others, and recognition of different ideas or opinions.
  • Exhibit adherence to principles of ethical behavior and organizational codes of conduct, the exercise of good judgment, and the assumption of personal responsibility for one’s actions and choices.

Criminal Justice Program Goals

At the conclusion of this program, students will successfully be able to:

  • Acquire, organize, analyze, and evaluate qualitative and/or quantitative data related to the criminal justice system, the corrections industry, and/or the private sector security industry through technological and traditional means.
  • Use digital technology, productivity software, discipline-specific applications, and technology-mediated collaboration tools to complete tasks.
  • Identify internal and external challenges associated with the criminal justice system, the corrections system, 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, and/or the private sector security industry.
  • Discuss and compare recognized biological, psychological, and sociological theories about the causes of criminal behavior and the types of criminal behavior and methods for predicting future crime.
  • Analyze the management and organizational components in the modern police organization and the various methods and theories of policing, including reactive, proactive, and community policing.

What can you do with a Criminal Justice Associate Degree in Pennsylvania?

A criminal justice associate 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.