Criminal Justice

Protect. Serve. Succeed: The Future-BUILT Field of Criminal Justice

We’ve all seen enough Law and Order to know what Criminal Justice careers in Hollywood entail. Heck, even if you live on the moon, you’ve probably seen enough “Law and Order: Lunar Vice Unit” (or whatever they have up there) to have a pretty good idea.

But in the real world, Criminal Justice is about more than sliding off your shades and delivering slick one-liners. It’s a high-tech, high-touch field requiring technical, strategic and customer relations skills, not to mention an eagle eye for detail (sunglasses or not!)

Golden West College’s Criminal Justice Training Center, a Regional Law Enforcement Training Facility, is committed to providing high-quality instruction, in state-of-the-art facilities, leading to community-serving careers in law enforcement.

Golden West Criminal Justice grads enter the workforce in a variety of career paths, becoming police officers, corrections officers, forensics specialists, probation officers, security personnel, and more. All three programs offered at the Criminal Justice Training Center are designed with flexibility in mind, to meet the constantly changing training needs of the law enforcement profession. These needs are established collectively and independently by Municipal, County and State law enforcement agencies.

The Criminal Justice Training Center is a P.O.S.T.-approved facility, meeting all standards mandated by the State Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

Program Details

Criminal Justice Degrees & Certificates

Are you ready to launch a Future-BUILT career in law enforcement that YOU control? Golden West College is proud to offer four Associate degree paths and one Career Certificate in Criminal Justice:

  • Administration of Justice – Associate in Science (AS) Degree for Transfer:
    An excellent way to develop base concepts of criminal law, corrections and criminal justice in California and the U.S., this degree provides a basis for understanding Core principles used in criminal justice, preparing graduates for career opportunities in the field of Criminal Justice. Students go on to successful careers as detention officers, dispatchers, probation/parole officers, police officers, deputy sheriffs, instructors and attorneys. All courses are designed to develop students’ observation skills, practical application, and written abilities. Additionally, this degree prepares students for transfer into a CSU baccalaureate degree program.
  • Criminal Justice: Administration of Justice – Associate in Arts (AA) Degree:
    Covering theories, principles, and techniques of law enforcement agencies, juvenile justice, and corrections, this degree program represents a fast and focused pipeline to a rewarding law enforcement career. Students learn the complex roles of the law enforcement, courts, and corrections components of the criminal justice system, while studying biological, psychological, and social causes of criminal behavior.
  • Criminal Justice: Corrections – Associate in Arts (AA) Degree:
    Focusing on principles of the adult and juvenile justice corrections system, this specialized degree provides specific instruction to future law enforcement professionals seeking employment in prisons, jails, and other detainment facilities. The curriculum integrates technical and procedural training with important ethical and sociological principles, to provide a well-rounded basis for Corrections careers.
  • Police Academy – Associate in Arts (AA) Degree:
    Designed for students seeking an immediate career as a police officer, the Police Academy degree program provides the skills, abilities, and knowledge to enter a peace officer field-training program, and execute the duties of a peace officer in society. NOTE: As a prerequisite for admittance to the Regular Basic Course (Police Academy) and the Specialized Investigators’ Basic Course (State Investigators Academy), applicants must certify that they are free from any physical, behavioral, emotional, or mental condition that would adversely affect their behavior so as to create an undue risk of harm to themselves, other students, instructors, or other persons.
  • Law Enforcement – Certificate of Achievement:
    Developed with the assistance of an advisory committee comprised of Criminal Justice administrators, this curriculum covers basic fundamentals for entry into any type of Criminal Justice agency. In addition to procedural and situational training, courses focus on guiding principles like interpreting and applying the law, maintaining law enforcement ethics, and understanding criminal justice philosophies. NOTE: As a prerequisite for admittance to the Regular Basic Course (Police Academy) and the Specialized Investigators’ Basic Course (State Investigators Academy), applicants must certify that they are free from any physical, behavioral, emotional, or mental condition that would adversely affect their behavior so as to create an undue risk of harm to themselves, other students, instructors, or other persons.
  • For additional program details, see the Criminal Justice Program Main Page or the Golden West College Catalog.

Why Golden West College?
  • 100% of Golden West Police Academy grads report earning a living wage in a field related to their degree.
  • GWC’s Criminal Justice Training Center maintains P.O.S.T. certification, meeting all requirement of the State Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.
  • GWC’s knowledgeable and accessible faculty are chosen for their real-world industry experience. This ensures that Criminal Justice students learn the latest in techniques, technology and industry philosophy.
  • Golden West Cares! GWC is an energetic and welcoming community of learning, committed to supporting your higher education aspirations. Learn more about Golden West College’s student services and support resources by clicking here.
Golden Opportunities in Criminal Justice

Virtually every business and public jurisdiction requires an intelligent, efficient law enforcement infrastructure. Opportunities continue to expand in Orange County for graduates of Golden West College’s Criminal Justice program… on the beat, in corrections facilities and courtrooms, and pretty much anywhere there are people and property to protect. GWC Criminal Justice grads are succeeding in these positions and more!

  • Campus Security Officer
  • Communications Specialist
  • Correctional Officer
  • Custody Assistant
  • Crime Scene Evidence Technician
  • Criminalist
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Deputy Jailer
  • Detention Officer
  • Field Identification Specialist
  • Forensic Technician
  • Instructor
  • Investigator
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Loss Prevention Officer
  • Patrol Officer
  • Police Dispatcher
  • Police Officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Public Safety Officer
  • Security Agent
  • Security Guard
  • Security Supervisor
  • Sheriff’s Deputy
  • State Trooper
Affording the Opportunity

Golden West College is proud to provide excellent-quality Career Education at a low cost. Our goal is to remain accessible to ALL community members seeking to enrich their future.

Tuition: $46 per unit for California residents.

Information on College Service Charge and additional fees available at:
http://www.goldenwestcollege.edu/register/.

Accolades for Golden West College Criminal Justice

Golden West College’s Criminal Justice department is honored to be the recipient of two 2018 Strong Workforce Stars from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. Both the Administration of Justice and the Police Academy programs earned Bronze Stars for wage attainment outcomes.

Future BUILT Support

Golden West College is committed to providing students with affordable, accessible Career Education pathways, along with responsive staff to assist and guide you on your way!
 

  • Career and Employment Center:
    GWC’s Career Center is a hub for services related to the career development needs of students and the general public. Our friendly staff can assist you in exploring career fields with a comprehensive library of up-to-date, computerized and published resources.
  • Learning Resource Center:
    Featuring facilities and materials for general assistance in math, reading, writing, and more, GWC’s Learning Resource Center is a one-stop destination for student support. Take advantage of tutoring services, computer lab access, library resources, and more!
  • Special Programs:
    Golden West hosts a variety of career-oriented programs and services, including CalWORKS, Cooperative Work Experience (CWE), and many others.
  • Advising and Counseling:
    Make sure you’re in the right classes… and on the right course! GWC’s Planning and Guidance Services cover a broad range of student needs, including degree advising, career counseling, and transfer assistance.
  • Special Programs:
    Golden West College is committed to assisting our underserved and challenged students in any way possible. GWC offers specific resources for DACA students, Former Foster Youth, students requiring Basic Needs Assistance, and more.
Gainful Employment Information

For more information regarding the Criminal Justice program costs and employment outcome averages, click here.

Program Learning Outcomes

Administration of Justice – Associate in Science for Transfer:

  • Differentiate the roles of the law enforcement, courts, and corrections components of the criminal justice system.
  • Explain the legal justifications required for conducting a search and an arrest, and the exceptions to these requirements.
  • Identify the foundational requirements for the admissibility and the exclusion of evidence in a criminal court proceeding.

Criminal Justice – Administration of Justice:

  • Differentiate the roles of the law enforcement, courts, and corrections components of the criminal justice system.
  • Evaluate the biological, psychological, and social causes of criminal behavior.
  • Evaluate sources of information for criminal investigations.
  • Describe crimes by their names, elements, and classifications.
  • Explain the legal justifications required for conducting a search and an arrest and the exceptions to these requirements.
  • Evaluate legal arguments, and explain constitutional and statutory limits on the application of law.
  • Identify the foundational requirements for the admissibility and the exclusion of evidence in a criminal court proceeding.
  • Develop effective reading, writing, speaking, listening, and nonverbal communication skills for a variety of audiences.
  • Discuss the Six Pillars of Character as defined by the Josephson Institute of Ethics: trustworthiness, respect, fairness,responsibility, justice and fairness, caring, civic virtue and citizenship, and how they apply to personal and professional environments.

Criminal Justice – Corrections Associate in Arts:

  • Describe the roles of corrections professionals within the adult and juvenile justice systems.
  • Recognize the differences in staff and inmate hierarchies within the correctional environment.
  • Identify the components of an integrated and strategic supervision model for community corrections that reduces offender recidivism.
  • Describe the principles of evidence-based practice used by human service professionals to achieve effective interventions.
  • Explain the legal justifications required for conducting a search and an arrest, and the exceptions to these requirements.
  • Describe crimes by their names, elements, and classifications.
  • Develop effective reading, writing, speaking, listening, and nonverbal communication skills for a variety of audiences.
  • Evaluate legal arguments, and explain constitutional and statutory limits on the application of law.
  • Identify the foundational requirements for the admissibility and the exclusion of evidence in a criminal court proceeding.
  • Discuss the Six Pillars of Character as defined by the Josephson Institute of Ethics: trustworthiness, respect, fairness,responsibility, justice and fairness, caring, civic virtue and citizenship, and how they apply to personal and professional environments.

Law Enforcement Option – Certificate of Achievement :

  • Differentiate the roles of the law enforcement, courts, and corrections components of the criminal justice system.
  • Evaluate the biological, psychological, and social causes of criminal behavior.
  • Summarize the punishment philosophies of criminal law.
  • Demonstrate appropriate First Aid procedures.
  • Develop effective reading, writing, speaking, listening, and nonverbal communication skills for a variety of audiences.
  • Evaluate legal arguments, and explain constitutional and statutory limits on the application of law.
  • Discuss and practice the Six Pillars of Character as defined by the Josephson Institute of Ethics: trustworthiness, respect, fairness,
    responsibility, justice and fairness, caring, civic virtue and citizenship, and how they apply to personal and professional environments.

Police Academy – Associate in Arts:

  • Demonstrate the skills, abilities, and knowledge to enter a peace officer field-training program, and execute the duties of a peace officer in society.

Program Contact

For more information contact:

Average Salary in this Field

$40,980 –
$64,038

Bronze
Star

California Community College Strong Workforce Star Recipient

Careers in this Field

Police Officer
Sheriff’s Deputy
Forensic Technician

Ready to Get Started?

Orange County industry depends on Future BUILT professionals with the next-level knowledge and skills learned in Golden West College’s Career Education programs.
Apply today, and start building your  bolder future!

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