Online Criminal Justice Degree Program

The Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Criminal Justice at Southwestern College Professional Studies provides learners with knowledge and skills they can apply immediately to a law enforcement career. In addition, students of our Criminal Justice degree program in Kansas and online learn perspectives and knowledge that transcend particular times and places. Management, communication, leadership, psychological and sociological aspects of the executive criminal justice professional are stressed. Course curriculum includes Foundations of Criminal Justice, Criminology and Deviant Behavior, Correctional Theory and Practice, and more. Our Criminal Justice degree program in Kansas is offered in both classroom and online formats for your convenience.

To learn more about this program, contact an admissions counselor today.

Program Outcomes

The Criminal Justice program provides learners with knowledge and skills they can apply immediately in the exercise of law enforcement policies and procedures. In addition, program students are afforded an understanding of the nature of crime and the personnel, institutions, and processes that prevent or respond to crime. Students learn both the theory and practice of the criminal justice system. Management, communication, leadership, psychological, and sociological aspects of the executive criminal justice professional are stressed. The curriculum covers crime and criminal behavior, policing, criminal investigation, criminal law and procedure, courts, corrections, and administration and management of criminal justice organizations.

Students completing the Criminal Justice program have a solid foundation for entry into or advancement in a variety of criminal justice fields. These fields include law enforcement, corrections, and the court system. Examples of jobs include, but are not limited to, police officer, criminal investigator, crime scene investigator, corrections officer, probation/parole officer, and court officer.

Program Outcomes:

  1. Compare and contrast criminal justice system agencies and relate the procedures used to apprehend, adjudicate, incarcerate, and treat criminal offenders.
  2. Describe the historical development of policing and techniques and practices of criminal investigation.
  3. Explain and discuss historical perspectives of corrections, alternatives to imprisonment, institutional corrections, and the types of correctional clients.
  4. Illustrate and interpret definitions and theories of deviance and victimology with emphasis on motives, methods, and backgrounds of various types of criminal predators.
  5. Summarize the origins and sources of criminal law and procedure rights of the accused as well as the elements of crimes and parties to crimes, types of crimes, criminal defenses, search and seizure, arrest, interrogation, identification procedures, the pre-trail process, the criminal trial, and sentencing and punishment.
  6. Identity and appraise the endemic and emerging administrative problems and issues confronting the criminal justice agency as well as synthesize contemporary management problems and issues in a criminal justice organization.

Required and Core Courses

Foundation Courses

CORE101 Developing Academic and Professional Strengths
CORE110 Information Literacy
ENGL101 Composition I
ENGL102 Composition II
COM 125 Speech
Mathematics Requirement*
HUM 201 Ethics
COM 301 Professional Communication

Disciplinary Perspective Courses

Humanities (6 credits)
Natural Sciences/Mathematics (4 credits)
Social Sciences (6 credits)

Major Courses

CJUS300 Foundations of Criminal Justice
CJUS315 Perspectives in Policing
CJUS325 Criminal Investigation Techniques
CJUS335 Correctional Theory and Practice
CJUS400 Criminology and Deviant Behavior
CJUS425 Criminal Law and Procedure
CJUS430 Criminal Justice Organizations: Administration and Management
CJUS440 Criminology and Deviant Behavior
CAPS495 Senior Capstone

* MASC110 Statistics & Probability, or MASC115 College Algebra, or more advanced college credit bearing mathematics course requiring college algebra or higher as a prerequisite

Course Descriptions

CJUS300 Foundations of Criminal Justice

Foundations of Criminal Justice surveys the concepts of crime and justice, the rule of law, and provides an overview of how crime impacts society. It provides a summary of police, prosecution, courts, and the correctional system. Additional issues and challenges in the criminal justice system such as juvenile crime, terrorism, and transnational organized crime will be reviewed.

CJUS315 Perspectives in Policing

This course examines the history, roles, and challenges of law enforcement careers in American society. Learners will develop an understanding of the constitutional, ethical, and workplace expectations of law enforcement professionals, the development of modern police agencies, and the nature of police work. This course also covers contemporary issues, including diversity, discretion, misconduct, use of force, and the dynamics of community policing.

CJUS325 Criminal Investigation Techniques

This course surveys the principles, practices, concepts, and theories applicable to the investigation procedures of law enforcement agents and agencies. Learners assess techniques for collecting, preserving, and evaluating physical evidence. Learners will examine evidence collection relying on interviews and interrogation techniques with a focus on ethical standards and the admissibility of evidence. Learners will also review legal standards associated with criminal investigations and examine the range of evidence that can be collected and admitted in federal and state criminal courts. Finally, learners will examine the elements of crimes against persons and property and the techniques for effectively documenting evidence and information for presentation in court.

CJUS335 Correctional Theory and Practice

This course surveys the history, philosophy, and structure of the American corrections system. Learners will examine the roles and functions of jails, probation, prisons, parole, intermediate sanctions, and community corrections. Learners will also examine correctional clients and careers, facility management and culture, constitutional guidelines, and the societal and individual impact of prison, probation, and other correctional approaches. Finally, learners will examine controversial issues including the death penalty, the disproportionate incarceration rate of minorities, and the expansion of the corrections industry, including privatization and community surveillance.

CJUS400 Criminology and Deviant Behavior

In this course, learners will explore the origins of criminal behavior and apply criminological knowledge in the effort to understand criminal and deviant behavior. Learners will examine misconceptions and myths about crime as they develop an informed and critical understanding of crime as a function of social and political structures. Learners will also examine how politics and societal attitudes impact policy formation and develop the tools to use data, facts, and evidence to achieve results. Finally, learners will examine the evolution of theories of crime causation, strategies and purposes of crime measurement, and new and future trends in crime.

CJUS425 Criminal Law and Procedure

This course surveys due process rights of individuals in the criminal justice process. Learners will discuss and analyze the structure and processes of local, state, and federal judicial systems, paying special attention to the impact of the Bill of Rights on the practices of police, prosecutors, and judges, including an examination of the remedies available for the violation of those rights. Learners will explore topics including searches and seizures, interrogations and confessions, and the identification and processing of suspects and defendants throughout the pretrial, trial, and post-trial stages.

CJUS430 Criminal Justice Organizations: Administration and Management

This course introduces learners to endemic and emerging administrative problems and issues confronting the criminal justice agency. Learners will describe, analyze, and synthesize contemporary management problems and issues in a criminal justice organization. Modern management concepts significant to criminal justice organizations will be reviewed.

CJUS440 Criminology and Deviant Behavior

In this course, learners will explore the origins of criminal behavior and apply criminological knowledge in the effort to understand criminal and deviant behavior. Learners will examine misconceptions and myths about crime as they develop an informed and critical understanding of crime as a function of social and political structures. Learners will also examine how politics and societal attitudes impact policy formation and develop the tools to use data, facts, and evidence to achieve results. Finally, learners will examine the evolution of theories of crime causation, strategies and purposes of crime measurement, and new and future trends in crime.

CAPS495 Senior Capstone

Learners will be required to develop a professional portfolio that demonstrates their knowledge, skills, and abilities in their major discipline. Particular attention will be given to the presentation of evidence and artifacts from their major courses as well as recent research relevant to their major courses and their specific program outcomes. The purpose of the final portfolio project is to document learner achievement and to ensure learning outcomes are met. Additionally, learners will conduct research and report on career potentials within their major field, careers for which they are potentially most qualified, and a specific career and career path of interest resulting from their research. This project is both submitted individually and as a part of the professional portfolio. Both projects are required for successful course and degree completion. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all major courses.

Admission Requirements

Entering learners must have earned at least 6 college credits from previous college coursework or ACE evaluated military training, a GPA of 2.0, and have three years of work experience. Transfer hours accepted for Professional Studies admittance should include English Composition I and II, and mathematics (college algebra preferred).

These courses may be considered in transfer or completed at Southwestern College.

Contact a program representative to evaluate your options.

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The bachelor of science degree with a major in criminal justice at Southwestern College provides learners with knowledge and skills they can apply immediately in a multitude of law enforcement careers.