Associate Degrees in Criminal Justice in Virginia
Why Should I Go Into Criminal Justice?
With its proximity to Washington DC and other major players in the criminal justice industry, Virginia has a duty to uphold high ethical standards and use the latest research in the development of statutes and laws.
If you start your career in this field by earning a Virginia criminal justice associate degree, you may learn about research, correctional techniques, and the role of different professions in this field.
With a grant of more than $83 million for criminal justice programs throughout the commonwealth, Governor McAuliffe has remarked "These grants will provide critical resources to strengthen our criminal justice system's ability to keep our communities and schools safe," With these grants, there will be many openings and opportunities for various criminal justice careers.
Are you ready to take your career to the next level and find out how a degree may help you? Browse the list of schools below and contact Virginia schools for more information on earning an associate degree in criminal justice.
Criminal Justice Associate Programs in Virginia
One of the most important things you can do as an aspiring student is to compare your school options. You may spend more than two years at your chosen school, so you want to know that it is a good fit for you.
Below, find out what the average Virginia school requires for graduation and the average tuition rate:
- Timeframe: 2 to 2.5 years
- Credits: 60 to 67 credits
- Average tuition cost per year: $5,127 (College Board, 2017-2018)
However, don't just look at a school's tuition rate. You should also investigate its financial aid program to find out what scholarships and grants may be available to you based on your financial need and academic performance. One scholarship that is available to students throughout Virginia each year is the Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators Scholarship.
Use our list of scholarships to find others you can apply for.
Another factor to consider is your area of study. If you are considering options beyond a general criminal justice degree, Virginia has programs that focus on law enforcement, corrections, administration of justice, forensic science, and protective services, among others.
You may wish to compare required courses and learning outcomes to differentiate between schools.
The following courses are often required in Virginia corrections programs:
- Survey of Criminal Justice
- Legal Evidence
- Constitutional Law for Justice Personnel
- Corrections and Community
- Controversial Issues in American Society
- Juvenile Delinquency
If you worry about being able to adjust your work schedule to fit classes, consider whether or not an online criminal justice degree may be a better fit for your situation. An online degree may cover the same topics, theories, and research, all while making coursework more convenient for working students.
What Can I Do With a Criminal Justice Degree in Virginia?
In your final semester of education, you should start looking into criminal justice Associate degree jobs in your area or in the area you want to live in. This can help you get a feel for what local employers expect and what jobs may be well-suited to your education and experience. The good news is that the criminal justice industry of Virginia appears to be growing.
O*Net has predicted only a 1% increase in bailiff jobs in Virginia by 2026 (2017). From 2016 through 2026, the demand for correctional officers is decreased by -6% (O*Net, 2017). However job openings for patrol officers may jump 9% in this time frame (O*Net, 2017).
As a new criminal justice professional, you may need to put in some time and gain some experience to boost your earning potential. The average salary for a Virginia bailiff is $40,360 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Correctional officers claim an average income of $40,200 annually (BLS, 2017). In Virginia, patrol officers have an average annual income of $56,290 (BLS, 2017).
Virginia residents need a criminal justice system that they can depend on. If you are ready to do your part in this industry, make your move now and contact Virginia criminal justice schools 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