Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Oklahoma
Which part of the criminal justice industry is most important? Is it criminology, which finds patterns among offenders and uses these profiles to prevent crime? Is it policing, a specialty that responds to ongoing situations and tries to de-escalate or respond? Is it the court system, which ensures that those who break society’s laws are held accountable?
The fact is that none of these specialties are more important than the others. For Oklahoma to remain one of the safest states in the country, all aspects of criminal justice need to work together to achieve common goals.
This is particularly true now, when Oklahoma is in the midst of criminal justice reform. The main goal of this plan is to reclassify low-level, nonviolent offenses that may leave offenders unable to turn their lives around once they serve their time (KFOR, 2016). By avoiding overly strict punishments, the field of criminal justice may reduce recidivism rates and help reformed defenders get a new start in life.
Ready to find out how you can help? Contact Oklahoma schools to find out how you can get started on the path to a criminal justice associate degree.
Criminal Justice Associate Programs in Oklahoma
Going back to school is a major commitment, and if you’re like most students, you want to know how quickly you can start working and using your skills. That is one of the main benefits of an associate degree.
It is considerably less time-consuming than a Bachelor’s degree, but many four-year schools accept associate degree credits for transfer.
Average associate degree completion times and costs are listed below:
- Timeframe: 4 to 5 semesters
- Credits: 60 to 69 credits
- Average tuition cost per year: $3,647 (College Board, 2016)
As you contact Oklahoma criminal justice associate degree programs, don’t forget to ask about their financial aid programs. Between state, federal, school, and private financial aid options, you may be able to reduce your educational expenses quite a bit.
You can narrow down your list of potential schools by deciding exactly what you want to do with your degree when you graduate. You may pursue a general criminal justice degree or you may look into options like paralegal studies, corrections, emergency preparedness and homeland security, juvenile justice, and law enforcement.
The courses you have to take should help you meet or exceed the learning outcomes of your program. Some programs require an internship, while others simply recommend it.
In a criminal justice program, you may enroll in the following commonly required courses:
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedures
- Police Organization and Management
- Crime and Delinquency
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in Oklahoma?
When you are close to graduating, you may start applying for associate degree in criminal justice jobs in Oklahoma. If you did an internship as a student, you may already have potential job offers or places to apply.
Across this industry, expected job growth in Oklahoma slightly outpaces national averages. Between 2012 and 2022, demand for security guards is expected to increase 15% in Oklahoma (O*Net, 2016). Job openings for police detectives may increase 7% during this time (O*Net, 2016). Parole officers may experience a 4% jump in job openings by 2022 (O*Net, 2016).
A wide range of average salaries is represented in this field. As you pay your dues and gain experience, you may find that your salary potential increases accordingly. The average income for an Oklahoma security guard is $28,110 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Police detectives claim an average salary of $68,240 per year (BLS, 2016). The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a mean income of $39,500 per year for parole officers (2016).
As this field continues to change, Oklahoma needs highly trained professionals who are willing to change their techniques and standards based on current research.
If you are ready to answer the call, learn more about learning an associate in criminal justice by contacting Oklahoma schools below.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia