What is Criminal Justice?
The criminal justice program at West Kentucky Community & Technical College prepares you for entry level positions in policing, corrections, and related occupations within the criminal justice system. The program also prepares criminal justice practitioners for advancement into administrative or supervisory positions in the field.
What are my career choices?
Criminal justice program graduates will be qualified to seek job opportunities at municipal, county, state, and federal levels of government. Some of the job titles include the following:
- Police officer
- Criminal investigator
- Juvenile youth worker
- Corrections, parole, or probation officer
- Security investigator or specialist
Opportunities in criminal justice are vast and growing. According to recent Bureau of Justice statistics, federal, state, and local governments spent an estimated $204 billion for law enforcement, corrections, and judicial related activities. Graduates are not restricted to government work. Business and industry now employ qualified professionals who are skilled in safety and security.
What are my degree, diploma, or certificate options?
Associate of Applied Science | Download the interactive guide (xlsx)
Technical certificates are embedded within the associate of applied science degrees. However, the program coordinator does not recommend students completing only the certificates because criminal justice agencies prefer applicants with both oral and written communication skills and other well-rounded knowledge gained through general education courses. The embedded technical certificates include:
- Advanced Technologies in CRJ
- Community Reentry Specialist
- Computer Forensics
- Crime Behavior Specialist
- Criminal Justice Core
- Industrial Safety and Security
- Law Enforcement
- Security and Loss Prevention
Length of Program
You must complete 61 hours of credit for an Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice.
There are no special admission requirements for this program. Please consult WKCTC's general admission requirements.
The criminal justice system has changed significantly over the last two decades. Applicants with minimal job skills can no longer expect to be hired. Criminal justice practitioners can no longer expect to advance without education and training. Today's successful candidates and practitioners must understand and demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the field to meet higher performance standards and higher expectations. The program is designed to help provide that knowledge.
Some of the criminal justice courses offered through WKCTC include the following:
- Criminal Investigations
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedures
- Computer Forensics
- Delinquency and the Juvenile Justice System
- Introduction to Criminal Justice
- Introduction to Law Enforcement
- Introduction to Corrections
- Issues and Ethics in Criminal Justice
- Police Supervision
This information should not be considered a substitute for the KCTCS Catalog. You should always choose classes in cooperation with your faculty advisor to ensure that you meet all degree requirements.
Field Licensure Requirements
Depending upon your choice of specialization, you may need to obtain additional certifications to work in the criminal justice field. For example, if you choose the law enforcement track you will have to attend an academy to become certified. However, no additional certifications are necessary to graduate from the program.