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Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

Explore the courts, police, juvenile delinquency and corrections — exciting career options

The study of Criminal Justice at St. Catharine College in Kentucky takes a broad perspective that not only prepares students well for employment within the criminal justice system, but also provides them with education that will enhance their value in other careers as well. In addition, the program is an excellent springboard to a graduate degree program or entry into law school.

Students explore how the criminal justice system works, with an eye toward how it is evolving and where positive changes underway will take it in the future. Coursework focuses on four areas: the police, the courts, juvenile delinquency and corrections.

Special program highlights and features:

  • Students learn about the courts by studying fascinating cases that have been in the news in recent years. Classes have explored the OJ Simpson’s murder trial, Martha    Stewart’s insider trading case, and astronaut Lisa Nowak’s attempted kidnapping case, to name just three.
  • Guest speakers, including chiefs of police, prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys and others regularly come to campus to share their unique perspectives on criminal justice.
  • Every student completes an internship that gives valuable on-the-job experience, so important in obtaining a position after graduation.
  • The Criminal Justice major at St. Catharine College is a robust program that encourages big picture thinking, including exploration of how social issues of the day impact the justice system. Such big picture thinking prepares students for jobs in fields related to Criminal Justice too, including positions in other areas of government. It is also excellent preparation for advanced education such as law or graduate school.
  • Site visits to locations such as the courtroom, police station and jail can be part of the experiential aspect of the program.
  • Students have the opportunity to enhance their education by participating in the Criminal Justice Club as an extracurricular activity.
  • Students’ advisors help them select courses that will enhance their pursuit of their future career and personal goals.

Also Available as a Minor:

Students interested in earning a minor in Criminal Justice must complete 18 hours of required coursework including such subjects as Social Problems, Abnormal Psychology, The Prison, Police Patrol and Plea Bargaining. Subject to future revision.

Interesting Courses You Might Take

Job Enrichment for the Criminal Justice Professional ­– This class explores cutting edge developments underway around the nation to improve the outcomes of criminal justice encounters. Previous class offerings in this course have studied police officer tutoring programs and supervised events that take delinquents out of their ordinary environment for experiences in the wilderness and on the water.

Field Experience Practicum – Get out of the classroom and see what it’s really like to work in law enforcement, with a parole officer or in a criminal defense office. The options are broad and the learning opportunities rich. Opportunities are subject to the cooperation of external agencies at any given time.

Social Problems – What are the greatest problems facing society today? How do they impact the types of crime being committed? Explore the roots of problems that those working in criminal justice must deal with each day. This class also serves students well if they decide to branch out from Criminal Justice in the future.

Meet the Instructors

  • Faculty who teach in the Criminal Justice program include: Dr. Harry Toder, chair; Landon Tingle; and Fred Armstrong.
  • All instructors in Criminal Justice program have extensive real world experience in criminal justice, including as law enforcement personnel, chief of police, criminal corrections and as lawyers. This assures that students receive an in-depth and accurate look at the challenges and rewards of a career in Criminal Justice.
  • Each professor in the program is an excellent classroom educator skilled at bringing coursework alive for students.

Career Outlook for Major

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the career outlook for law enforcement personnel is favorable. Competition is more intense for positions in federal and state level law enforcement and correctional agencies than for positions in local agencies. For those pursuing a law degree after graduation, employment prospects are estimated to grow by nearly 13 percent between now and 2018. Approximately 26 percent of lawyers are self-employed, practicing as partners in law firms or as solo practitioners.

What Students Say

“I have worked in the ever-evolving Kentucky court system for over five years.  The education I received in the St. Catharine College Criminal Justice Program has and will allow me to understand and embrace those changes in the judicial system.”  
                           John H Graves

       Chief Deputy Circuit Clerk

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