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Criminal justice careers give you the ability to play to your strengths and use your specific skills for a greater good.   Law enforcement officers, probation, parole and community corrections officers, lawyers, judges and correctional officers are some of the more common jobs.  Most of these career opportunities are available at federal, state, and local levels of government.  Furthermore, and not surprisingly, the private sector continues to expand its security and asset protection services within this multi-billion dollar industry.  While many careers in criminal justice are available, competition is keen with only the most qualified persons advancing beyond the applications stage.  Education is a key component for success.

  • As a law enforcement officer, you will join the ranks of a storied profession that dates back centuries.  The profession is growing and advancing to meet the needs of the 21st century environment.  Law enforcement is not a traditional 9 to 5 desk job, nor are its ranks filled with stereotypical figures from TV and movies.  Today, law enforcement offers a career environment that is diverse in both opportunity and personnel.  Law enforcement officers are empowered with the awesome responsibility and authority to maintain public order. 
  • The courts serve as the venue where disputes are then settled and justice is administered.  With regard to criminal justice, there are a number of critical people in any court setting.  These critical people are referred to as the courtroom work group and include both professional and non professional individuals.  These include the judge, prosecutor and the defense attorney.
  • Offenders are then turned over to the correctional system from the court system after the accused has been found guilty.  The correctional system is responsible for the administration of punishment that has been handed down by the courts.  Punishment can be imprisonment, probation, house arrest, fines or execution.  Professionals are needed to administer the various forms of punishment our criminal justice system has today.

HCC instructors are experienced criminal justice professionals with a "real world" approach to teaching.  They provide a solid foundation upon which students can build their future careers, as well as providing for practical application of skills.

Because of the variety and complexity of the criminal justice system, each student's education and career goals are taken into consideration when developing their degree path.  The student's class schedule will be customized to help them obtain a job after receiving their two year degree or transferring to a four year school to obtain a four year degree. 


Gavel and scales
Program Options

This program meets the needs of a diverse student population by offering two different degree options. Our degrees will prepare you for a job in criminal justice, as well as prepare you to further advance your education.

The Associate of Arts (AA) degree requires 64 credit hours.  For students planning to obtain a bachelor's degree in the future, or for students wanting to enter the workforce after obtaining their associates degree, this degree is recommended.  Visit the AA link below to see a list of the major's curriculum and the Semester By Semester suggested classes.

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) option requires 64 credit hours and is designed for individuals who already have law enforcement academy certification.  Appropriate academy certification will count for 12 credit hours of the 64 credit hours required for degree completion.

For a detailed listing of the degree requirements, click on the links below.

Our certificate program is under construction and will be designed to allow students to build upon the Associate of Applied Science degree by allowing students to obtain all but the 12 academy credit hours.  Once the student completes the required number of credit hours for the certificate, they can gain employment with a law enforcement agency, attend and graduate from an appropriate law enforcement training academy, transfer that training back to HCC and have those hours applied to the AAS program to obtain their associates degree. If you are interested in this pathway, keep checking back or contact the program coordinator for more details.

ALL of our courses are now offered online!

Criminal Justice Administration - AAS

Criminal Justice Administration - AA




Prisoner in handcuffs
Criminal Justice System

Criminal justice is a wide-ranging field that includes many different categories of work, requiring a variety of skills. These categories include law enforcement, courts and corrections.

Many jobs in criminal justice and criminology offer an almost unmatchable level of job security and stability.  If you have the fortitude to stick it out, you will more likely than not enjoy a long career that is relatively immune to the ebbs and flows of the private sector job market. 

The old police stereotypes are diminishing:  today's law enforcement officers and other criminal justice professionals have to think fast on their feet and be ready and willing to meet a host of challenges.  Regardless of what field or discipline you ultimately choose to pursue, whether it be a career in forensic science or policing, you'll enjoy putting your problem solving skills to the test day in and day out.

During your career, you will have tremendous opportunities.  You will receive some of the best training available and have opportunities others may never experience.  You will have ample opportunity to promote and advance in your career, and every day on the job comes with its own new and unique rewards.  The fact is, most careers in criminal justice offer exactly what most job seekers are looking for.

For more information

Brief Explanation

This program is designed to prepare students interested in careers in criminal justice. Criminal justice is a broad field with professionals serving as law enforcement officers, probation and parole officers, correctional officers, correctional counselors, and other specialties at local, state and federal levels.