Criminal Justice Program
The Criminal Justice Program strives to prepare students for career employment in criminal justice agencies and related fields as well as for transfer to bachelor's degree programs. The curriculum emphasizes both an academic and practical approach to the three major areas of criminal justice: police, courts, and corrections, providing the student with basic knowledge of legal issues facing practitioners in these fields. Emphasis is placed on oral and written communications skills, as well as interpersonal skill building and understanding of multicultural issues necessary for working with diverse populations. The program's faculty bring many years of professional job-related experience to the classroom. Several courses offer the opportunity for students to engage in service-learning in the community.
Students have their choice of three areas of emphasis:
Administration of Justice Option
The Administration of Justice Option is designed for students interested in working in such criminal justice fields as probation, parole, corrections, victim/witness advocacy and related occupations. Students are able to develop a strong foundation in criminal justice and also study topics such as victimology, juvenile justice and corrections.
Click Here for the course descriptions for the Administration of Justice Option.
Law Enforcement Option
The Law Enforcement Option is designed for students interested in working as police officers and in other law enforcement careers. This option provides students with a strong foundation in criminal justice and the opportunity to focus their studies in the areas of law enforcement and policing.
Click Here for the course descriptions for the Law Enforcement Option.
The Transfer Option is designed to prepare students for transfer to bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice and related fields, and is aligned to the MassTransfer Program. Students are able to develop a strong foundation in criminal justice and also study topics such as victimology, juvenile justice, corrections and policing.
Click Here for the course descriptions for the Transfer Option.
- Students can take both general education and criminal justice courses days or evening at the Bedford or Lowell campus.
- Most courses are also available online.
- Developmental course work may be required based upon college placement testing.
- Students must maintain an overall grade average of 2.0 (C-) or better to be graduated from the program.
- Students who choose to enroll in service-learning must arrange their own transportation to the service site.
Standard Skills for Criminal Justice
- The program requires that students demonstrate sufficient emotional maturity, academic ability and analytical skills to attain positions of responsibility in the community.
- Applicants are expected to understand and respect the diversity of people and possess a willingness to work with all segments of society.
- A felony conviction may be an impediment to employment in certain criminal justice fields.
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education regulations do not allow academic credit to be awarded for life experience, or for military, police academy or other training.
Students are encouraged to gain experience in community organizations by participating in Service-Learning opportunities offered in courses throughout the degree program.
Graduates of the Criminal Justice Program are prepared to:
- Describe the functions and interrelationships of the major components of the criminal
Describe the social goals served by the criminal justice system.
Identify the cooperative and competing interests within the system.
- Evaluate and utilize effective verbal, nonverbal, and written communication.
Identify valid research sources and use technology as a research tool.
Develop and produce oral presentation on a criminal justice topic that demonstrates knowledge of the specific criminal justice content and effective communication and listening skills.
Assess the effectiveness of a specific (both verbal and nonverbal) communication.
Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of effective communication in the criminal justice field.
Use technology as a research and information gathering tool.
Evaluate the validity of information gathered.
Identify the main idea in a writing and develop and support the main idea/thesis statement in their own writing.
Use appropriate and standard English (correct grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling)
Construct a good narrative of events and present ideas in a logical order.
Effectively compare and contrast a concept in writing.
- Demonstrate an understanding of ethical standards in the criminal justice system and
apply these standards to practical situations.
Identify rights and responsibilities of the individual and society.
Describe the relationship between ethics, discretion, and credibility.
- Describe the diversity of experiences and viewpoints within society and analyze how
perceptions are affected by culture.
Define ethnocentrism, bias, discrimination, prejudice, stereotyping and discuss the impact of these concepts on the criminal justice system.
Recognize the importance of diversity in the criminal justice system.
Identify communication styles that are respectful, objective, and fair.
- Recognize a social problem, develop a problem solving approach, formulate and evaluate effective responses.
- Apply the law to a set of facts and describe possible outcomes.
Identify the significant facts that affect decisions which are made.
Analyze facts for significance and reliability.
- Demonstrate knowledge of career options in criminal justice and an understanding of
qualifications and professional expectations.
Recognize transfer opportunities to baccalaureate institutions.
Understand educational requirements for specific careers in criminal justice.
In order for a student to be eligible to participate in an academic, community or clinical program that involves potential unsupervised contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly, the student may be required to undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check and/or a Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) check. Contact Admissions for details.
Click Here to e-mail us for more information about the Criminal Justice Program at Middlesex Community College.