ACTC Criminal Justice Program Can Lead to Many Different Jobs

Graduates of the Criminal Justice (CJ) Program at Ashland Community and Technical College are well positioned for good jobs in the area.

The versatility of the Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) Program qualifies our graduates for all policing jobs and almost all corrections jobs as well, said Don OPell, ACTC professor and CJ Program Coordinator.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons requires a four year degree but will exchange experience for two years of college. Thus, the associate degree with two years of experience will meet the requirement of the Bureau of Prisons, OPell said. The Kentucky State Police requires 60 college credit hours, and our AAS degree provides over 60 credit hours.

The CJ Program offers four options for an AAS Degree: corrections, criminal justice, law enforcement and security/loss prevention. These options cover knowledge and skills for a variety of crime fighting, justice system, security and protection fields.

Corrections, criminal justice and law enforcement employment is found at the municipal, county, state and federal levels. Security/ loss protection jobs are found with businesses, industries, private and public organizations, and private security/protection agencies.

Job opportunities for police officers are expected to grow 10% through 2018 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Correctional Officer jobs will increase by nine percent. Employment for private detectives and investigators is expected to grow 22 percent due to heightened security concerns, increased litigation, and the need to protect confidential information and property of all kinds.

Jobs are available in this area, and some graduates will go on to larger cities, such as Lexington, OPell said. Pay for many jobs in the criminal justice field has increased in the last several years. Officers at most police and corrections facilities can expect to earn over $40,000 the first year, andlarger departments pay more.

Some students enter the program as their first step to a career, and others come to learn more about their field and prepare for advancement.

I always wanted to be a policeman, from Kindergarten on up, said Joseph L. George, a CJ student from Ashland. He started at ACTC after graduating from Boyd County High School in 2015.

ACTC is close to home and can get me started on a law enforcement career with a good future. He is still deciding on his choices after ACTC, which include the police academy, a job with local or state police, or maybe a bachelors degree in Law Enforcement from Eastern or Morehead State University.

All CJ degrees and certificates are offered online to help busy students fit classes into their schedules. Many courses are also offered on campus for those who prefer face-to-face interaction with instructors and fellow students

Fall classes include Intro to Law Enforcement, Community Corrections/Probations amp; Parole,

Liability amp; Legal Issues, Principles of Asset Protection, Criminal Investigations, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedures, Intro to Criminal Justice, Intro to Criminalistics, Issues/Ethics in Criminal Justice, Prison amp; Jail Administration, and Terrorism amp; Political Violence.

For information on the Criminal Justice Program, email OPell at: don.opell@kctcs.edu or call 606-326-2217. Class schedules and admission forms are online at ashland.kctcs.edu, and August 1 is the deadline to apply for fall classes.