Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Colorado
Why Should I Go Into Criminal Justice?
Colorado has commandeered a large part of criminal justice news in recent years, due to the decision to legalize marijuana and tackle other controversial criminal justice issues. That alone is an excellent reason to get involved in this industry in Colorado; no matter what part of the industry you work in, you are able to learn from a state that is completely changing the face of criminal justice.
One of the ways in which this is manifesting is law reform. Although Colorado has been considered progressive in many ways, it still has many of the same reform issues that other states have.
Many experts believe that Colorado still has outdated drug laws and overly strict incarceration laws (Denver Post, 2016). These issues have led to a huge increase in Colorado's prison population, which burdens every part of the criminal justice industry. These laws and standards are changing throughout many Colorado cities and communities.
As an aspiring justice professional, you may find that a criminal justice associate degree is a great first step for you. Con-tact Colorado schools below for more information.
Criminal Justice Associate Programs in Colorado
There's a lot you can learn with a criminal justice associate degree. Colorado schools tend to be fairly flexible at this level, accommodating working professionals and those who prefer to complete their coursework online.
If you want the freedom to work in various areas of criminal justice, you may opt for a general associate in criminal justice. However, if you know what area or specialty you would like to work in, you may choose a more specialized degree. Options in Colorado include paralegal studies, law enforcement, loss prevention, fire science technology, and homeland security.
The degree program you choose determines the courses you take and how much time you have to spend in school. If you decide to enroll in a paralegal studies program, you may take a variety of courses that are heavy in law and theory.
A sample paralegal curriculum is listed below:
- Criminal Law
- Civil Litigation
- Legal Research and Writing
- Family Law
- Property Law
- Probate and Estates
- Bankruptcy Law
It's important to compare criminal justice AAS programs to find one that's a good fit for you, since degree completion time frames and expenses vary quite a bit between schools.
Colorado averages for earning your associate degree in criminal justice can be found below:
- Timeframe: 4 to 5 semesters
- Credits: 60 to 63 credits
- Average tuition cost per year: $4,077 (College Board, 2016)
Scholarship options are fairly widespread in this field of study, since criminal justice is obviously an essential part of a strong society. You may be able to apply for grants and scholarships through state agencies, federal funding programs, and private organizations. The Colorado Police Protective Association awards numerous scholar-ships to aspiring police officers every year.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in Colorado?
A CO criminal justice associate degree can be very versatile, giving you the core skills you need to pursue training and career opportunities in a variety of fields. Spend some time considering your options as you near graduation. If you complete an intern-ship as a student, you may use that experience to figure out your ideal work setting. Possible work settings include courtrooms, correctional facilities, police departments, and parole agencies.
If you specialize in fire science technology, you may be interested in working as a fire inspector. Through 2026, job openings in this field are expected to increase 18% (CareerOneStop, 2016). Currently, the average salary for a Colorado fire inspector is $67,400 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).
Policing agencies often hire associate degree graduates. Keep in mind that this process may involve going through a police academy, so you may want to prepare ahead of time. Job openings for police patrol officers may swell 13% by 2026, while job openings for police detectives may increase 9% during this time (CareerOneStop, 2016). An average salary of $65,700 per year is reported for police patrol officers (BLS, 2016). For police detectives, that number goes up to $83,110 per year (BLS, 2016).
There is a lot of good to be done in the field of criminal justice, from protecting victims to preventing crime and ensuring fair treatment of prisoners.
Explore your options today by contacting Colorado associate degree in criminal justice programs below.
Featured Schools Accepting Students from Across the US:
Online programs may not be available in all areas
Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
Associate of Arts in Homeland Security
Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies