Frequently Asked Questions
- What criminal justice degree/certificate programs and concentrations are being offered at Vol State?
- Associate of Applied Science, Criminal Justice (AAS),
- Associate of Science, Emphasis Criminal Justice (AS), and
- Technical Certificate in Criminal Justice.
The criminal justice program at Volunteer State is multi-disciplinary, offering courses in policing/law enforcement, investigations, corrections, probation/parole and courts/legal system.
- What criminal justice courses are being offered at Vol State?
- CRMJ 1010: Introduction to Criminal Justice
- CRMJ 1020 Introduction to the Legal Process
- CRMJ 2010 Introduction to Law Enforcement
- CRMJ 2020 Introduction to Corrections
- CRMJ 203 Introduction to Criminal Law
- CRMJ 206 Juvenile Justice
- CRMJ 207 Criminal Investigation
- CRMJ 208 Terrorism/Homeland Security
- CRMJ 209 Probation and Parole
- CRMJ 210T Selected Topics in Criminal Justice
- CRMJ 211D Criminology
- CRMJ 212 Report Writing and Interviewing
- CRMJ 213 Criminal Justice Internship
- Does Vol State offer online criminal justice classes?
No, however Tennessee Regents Online is currently offering some online criminal justice courses. Vol State will be offering online criminal justice courses in the future. In addition, Regents Online will be continuing to develop more online criminal justice courses.
- What are the differences and similarities between the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Criminal Justice and the Associate of Science (AS) in Criminal Justice?
Both the AS and AAS are Associate degrees that are 60 credit hours. Students wanting to transfer to a four year college or university to complete a baccalaureate degree in criminal justice should be completing the AS (Associate of Science-University Parallel) in criminal justice. The Associate of Science-University Parallel is also known as the TTP or Tennessee Transfer Path.
The AAS (Associate of Applied Science) in criminal justice is recommended for students who do not intend on transferring to a four year college or university after completion of their associates degree and wish to seek entry-level employment in the criminal justice field upon completing their degree. Students who complete the AAS and wish to transfer to a four year college or university will need to complete additional general education coursework at the four-year level.
- Will Vol State criminal justice courses transfer to a 4-year college or university?
Depends on what college/university that you apply for. Vol State has several agreements with colleges/universities in Tennessee for transferability of criminal justice classes. Note: check with your advisor or contact the college/university that you are interested in transferring to.
- What jobs can I obtain with an AAS or AS in Criminal Justice?
Generally, entry level positions (correctional officer, deputy sheriff, police officer, investigative assistant, loss prevention officer, juvenile detention officer, etc). Students are encouraged to discuss their career goals with an advisor; additional education may be needed for certain jobs.
Note: If you are interested in working in a crime lab analyzing DNA, physical evidence (blood, fibers, etc) or working in a medical examiner’s office (assisting with death investigation or autopsies) these positions generally require a bachelors or masters degree in biology, chemistry, or some type of medical training. For students interested in working as a crime scene technician, crime scene investigator, latent fingerprint examiner, etc., an associates or bachelors degree in criminal justice may be acceptable depending on the employer and jurisdiction. However, practical work experience (internship or other entry level position) are desirable to obtain these positions.
- What jobs can I obtain with a Technical Certificate in Criminal Justice?
The technical certificate in criminal justice is an enhancement tool to provide a competitive edge for individuals applying for entry level positions in criminal justice or for individuals that currently have college education; or are working and would like to advance their knowledge in the area of criminal justice.
- How long will it take to complete the AAS, AS or Certificate?
The AAS and AS can be completed in four to six semesters depending on the number of courses taken per semester, course offerings or inclusion of summer sessions. The technical certificate can be completed in two semesters, again depending number of courses taking per semester, course offerings or inclusion of summer sessions.
- What are the cost of criminal justice courses for the AAS, AS or Certificate program?
Please visit the Business Office website for a listing of current tuition and fees.
- Do you offer day and evening classes?
Yes, we currently offer day and evening criminal justice and general education classes.
- What are the admission and/or application requirements for the criminal justice AAS, AS, or Certificate program?
You will need to complete an application packet. Please visit Office of Admissions in room 173 of the Ramer Building or contact them at (615) 230 - 3688 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
- Can I receive transfer credit for criminal justice courses taken at another college/university?
Yes, however courses evaluated for transfer must have been taken at an accredited college or university. In addition, the courses must be evaluated by admissions, the criminal justice program Director and be equivalent to courses offered at Vol State. Students who have attended other institutions of higher education, and will pursue a degree at Vol State, must provide official transcripts of all credits attempted. Transcripts are evaluated prior to, or during the initial term of enrollment. You must, however, earn at least a “C” or equivalent for a course to be considered for transfer. Note: Some criminal justice courses may not transfer.
- Can I receive credit for courses if I have experience and training in the criminal justice field?
Substantial training and experience in the field of criminal justice may be substituted for some criminal justice course offerings, however all requests will be evaluated by the Criminal Justice program Director with approval of the Office of Admissions. Those interested in credit for practical experience and training should prepare a detailed portfolio with information concerning all of their training and experience in the criminal justice field. For further information on Credit for Life Experience please visit the Career Placement website.
- Can I obtain a job in the criminal justice field if I have a criminal history?
If you have a prior felony and/or criminal convictions, domestic violence convictions, or you are prohibited by law to possess firearms, or have a dishonorable discharge or general discharge under other than honorable conditions; it may be difficult to find employment in the field of criminal justice.
- Can I obtain a job in the criminal justice field if I have a drug history?
Use of hardcore drugs (LSD, PCP, Ecstasy, Cocaine, Heroin, etc) may exclude you from consideration for various positions. Use of marijuana (depending on the amount and frequency) may exclude you from consideration for various positions for a certain number of years.
- What is the average starting salary for a career in criminal justice?
It depends on your education, training and experience, however starting salaries range from a low of $22,000 to a high of $42,000 per year.
- What is the job outlook for obtaining a career in the criminal justice field?
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010) job opportunities in most criminal justice fields (law enforcement, corrections and courts) will be favorable for qualified individuals.
- What are some of the hiring requirements for obtaining a career in the criminal justice field?
Hiring requirements will vary depending on the agency, level and type of position applied for. You can expect that most agencies will require an extensive background investigation, psychological testing, physical requirements and a medical examination. Note: Many positions do not have any age restrictions for hiring, however some law enforcement positions in the federal government have a mandatory retirement age that restrict appointment to positions beyond age (37) thirty-seven.
- Why choose the criminal justice program at Vol State?
We encourage academic excellence and integrity. We serve a diverse population throughout 12 counties. The instructors in the criminal justice program have a wealth of practical work experience and education in the criminal justice field. We encourage our students to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. We encourage hands-on teaching that involves students in activities and exercises that provide them with a “real world” understanding of various elements of the criminal justice system. We have active involvement with guest speakers, field trips and the criminal justice student organization Lambda Alpha Epsilon.