Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Missouri
Missouri’s location gives it a complex criminal justice system that is influenced by many factors. It is affected by the criminal justice culture of both the South and the Midwest, with needs that vary greatly between the state’s rural areas and its major cities.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol Statistical Analysis Center indicates that criminal justice efforts have seen some success in this state, although there are areas that could be improved (2016).
While property crimes have steadily decreased each year for several years, violent crime rates have stabilized in the state. More radical reform may be needed to have a significant effect on violent crime rates.
There are many benefits to earning a criminal justice associate degree. Missouri students may learn how to work in a variety of settings while staying within the bounds of state laws, standards, and ethics.
Get in touch with school professionals by contacting criminal justice programs below.
Criminal Justice Associate Programs in Missouri
An associate degree requires approximately half the work of a Bachelor’s degree, so it may be an ideal option for those interested in entry-level criminal justice jobs. These programs make the most of your time, allowing you to get into the workforce fairly quickly. Keep in mind, though, that credit and hour requirements vary between schools, as do tuition rates.
Missouri average criminal justice degree costs and completion requirements are listed below:
- Timeframe: 2 to 3 years
- Credits: 60 to 72 credits
- Average tuition cost per year: $3,194 (College Board, 2016)
If you do well academically or display financial need, you may have a variety of financial aid options to consider. Financial need-based scholarships are often available through state and federal government agencies, while nonprofit organizations and associations may award scholarships based on merit.
Consider local groups; the Missouri Peace Officers Association is one well-known organization that funds a scholarship program.
While exploring your schooling options, you can weigh the benefits of online programs and in-person programs. While online options may offer greater flexibility and program variety, in-person degrees may keep students on schedule and encourage interaction with others in your field. Take into account your learning style and preferences to choose a criminal justice Associate’s degree that is right for you.
As noted, several different programs expand the offerings of traditional criminal justice degrees. Options that may be available at Missouri schools include law enforcement, corrections, criminology, paralegal studies, adult corrections, and juvenile services.
Course requirements are unique to each program, as are internship openings and requirements.
Courses that are commonly require in criminal justice associate degree in applied science programs include:
- Criminal Law
- Organizational Leadership
- Juvenile Justice Systems
- Ethics in Criminal Justice
- Criminal Investigation
- Rules of Criminal Evidence
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in Missouri?
The type of jobs open to you after graduation may depend on your field experience, your connections, and any specialized training you’ve received. Associate degree in criminal justice jobs include policing jobs, correctional positions, and assisting jobs.
If you can work in a fast-paced setting and have excellent intuition, you may thrive as a transportation security officer. Between 2012 and 2022, job openings for transportation security officers are expected to jump 14% (O*Net, 2016). Missouri transportation security officers earn an average of $38,720 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).
Policing can be a challenging field with lots of room for advancement. The average salary for a police patrol officer is $46,230 annually (BLS, 2016). Job openings may swell 4% by 2022 (O*Net, 2016).
Courtrooms run smoothly through the work of bailiffs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average salary of $33,640 for Missouri bailiffs (2016). Through 2022, you may see a 5% increase in job openings (O*Net, 2016).
Are you ready to transform the field of criminal justice? Take the first step now and contact Missouri criminal justice programs.
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