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Criminal Justice (A.A.S.)

Have you ever been curious about the criminal justice system and how it works? The American criminal justice system is charged with providing for public protection with equitable enforcement of statutory laws, protecting the rights of the citizenry, ensuring due process, and punishing offenders for violating criminal laws. The criminal justice system accomplishes these tasks through the direct interaction of its three primary components; law enforcement, the judicial system, and corrections.

Through the Criminal Justice program, you will study topics within each of these three areas as they pertain to criminal and deviant behavior in our social world. Topics covered range from basic criminal justice terminology, court systems, theory, probation and parole, community corrections, juvenile justice, forensics, criminal investigation, U.S. Constitution, criminal procedure & law, ethics, deviance, and victimology.

With this Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree, students will build confidence and have the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to enter the criminal justice workforce as strong-willed, highly qualified assets. This program will also provide the opportunity to use the knowledge gained to pursue further education and/or training so that students can have the opportunity to pursue a variety of jobs at different levels.

Requirements & Course Sequence

Program Objectives

  1. 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.
  2. Identify and analyze emerging trends (deviance, victimology, punishment, etc.) in the criminal justice field through research and statistical data.
  3. 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.
  4. Link skills and knowledge necessary for entry-level employment in one of the three components of the criminal justice field (law enforcement, judicial system, and corrections). Communicate and apply fundamental ethical, management, leadership, and legal guidelines (e.g., Constitutional law) which govern the field of Criminal Justice.

Transfer Opportunities

Your ability to start here and earn a bachelor’s degree anywhere makes Penn Highlands the right college choice. Plus, you will save thousands of dollars. Be smart, and get your associate degree with us before transferring on to something greater.

Penn Highlands has signed transfer agreements to continue your studies in Criminal Justice with:

  • California University of Pennsylvania
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Mount Aloysius College
  • Robert Morris University
  • Saint Francis University
  • Seton Hill University
  • Southern New Hampshire University

Ready? Schedule a visit to discuss your future. Transfer options are different based on the college you plan to attend; our team can help you determine the right path for what you are looking for.

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Note: This program requires travel to the Ebensburg Crime Scene Lab during the final semester.