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Criminal Justice (Certificate)

The criminal justice system consists of three fundamental components: law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Each of these fields is actively seeking individuals to fill entry-level positions. If you’re seeking an advantage in the hiring process, this certificate program can pave the way for a promising career in the criminal justice system.

You will gain a comprehensive understanding of law enforcement principles, criminal laws and procedures, community and institutional correctional philosophies, as well as the functions and structure of local, state, and federal court systems. Through this program, students will develop the skills to analyze and address various public safety concerns and threats using a measured and balanced solution-oriented approach.

Criminal Justice at Penn Highlands Community College offers a well-rounded curriculum that covers all aspects of the criminal justice system. From law enforcement to court systems and correctional facilities, this certificate provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to enter the workforce immediately after graduation. The courses are designed to give students a solid foundation in key areas such as criminal law, criminology, and ethics.

This two-semester certificate program offers students a comprehensive introduction to every aspect of the criminal justice system. With a focus on the interplay and synergy between these components, the program aims to promote public safety and equal justice in society. Upon completion, students can seamlessly transition to our 61-credit Associate of Arts Criminal Justice Degree Program, as this certificate serves as a stepping stone towards obtaining a degree.

Requirements & Course Sequence

Program Objectives

  1. Introduce students to the field of criminal justice through the examination of historical data, statistical information, theories of crime causation, social control strategies, development of laws, and evaluation of criminal justice system policies, procedures, and trends.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the US Constitution and the allocation of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government; the relationship between the federal government and the states; and individual constitutional rights, including equal protection and due process of law.
  3. Develop effective verbal and written communication skills, analytical review of evidence and development of criminal cases for prosecution.
  4. Showcase a fundamental understanding of how the three components of the criminal justice system interconnect and bolster each other in fostering public safety.