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Criminal Justice: Associate of Applied Science

For students whose goal is to pursue a career in the field of criminal justice, National American University offers the criminal justice associate of applied science degree. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a foundation in the knowledge, skills, and abilities for the criminal justice career field. Students who earn the associate of applied science degree are prepared for entry-level employment in policing, courts, and corrections. Policing and institutional corrections employment will also require the completion of a training academy. The associate degree can be a requirement for entry-level employment in various criminal justice agencies and is often criteria for higher skilled employment and higher pay scales. In some agencies, the associate of applied science degree can be a requirement or weighted factor in the promotion process. The student with an associate of applied science degree in criminal justice is qualified to apply for the positions of police patrol officer, court clerk, court bailiff, correctional officer, probation officer, parole officer, and some federal positions with the requisite law enforcement experience.

Students entering the criminal justice program should be aware that graphic images depicting violent crimes are utilized as teaching tools in various courses. Students should be prepared to view these images and to engage in discussions regarding these images as part of their required learning activities.

Program Goals

The program will:

  • Prepare learners to attain university core abilities and program learning outcomes by utilizing performance-based curriculum in a caring and supportive learning environment.
  • Measure and assess student learning and implement improvements, as needed, to ensure high quality academic programs and services.
  • Prepare learners to develop plans for the pursuit of graduate studies and/or continuing professional development activities and membership in professional and community organizations.
  • Confirm that faculty members meet university qualification guidelines, utilize effective and innovative teaching methods that promote academic excellence, and pursue opportunities for professional development.
  • Monitor the needs of the program’s community of interest and maintain the currency and relevancy of program curriculum through regular faculty and advisory committee meetings and academic program reviews.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the program will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the criminal justice system’s operations and issues.
  • Apply legal principles to the police, courts, and correctional components of the criminal justice system.
  • Apply ethical decision-making models and professional standards to criminal justice situations.