Criminal Justice | Western Technical College

Criminal Justice

Associate of Applied Science

Program Number: 



Financial Aid Eligible

Typical Start: 


If you want to contribute to your community by helping people and protecting them, a career in the criminal justice field may be very rewarding. This degree helps you develop the multidisciplinary base of knowledge, skills, and abilities you will need. Your coursework will address a wide range of legal and procedural subjects, plus written and verbal communication skills and knowledge of psychology and related contemporary social issues.

You can pursue specialization in law enforcement, corrections, or security using the knowledge and skills you gain in this program. Possible pathways also include pursuing a bachelor’s degree at one of many area universities with whom Western has a transfer agreement.

Courses are conducted at Western's state-of-the-art Public Safety Training Facility in Sparta and are taught by full-time educators, law enforcement officers, and supervisors recognized as leaders in law enforcement training.

To view the Criminal Justice program’s required disclosure on professional licensure, please click here.

*Please note that the delivery method for fall courses may change as the COVID-19 situation unfolds. Our goal is to ensure that teaching and learning happens in a safe environment. We will communicate updates as quickly as possible.

Estimated Program Costs

Estimated Program Cost

Criminal Justice

This program will cost about $10,700* based on tuition and basic program fees. There may be additional fees for books, materials, and testing. For more information on tuition costs, visit the Tuition Page.

* Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Graduation Employment Stats

Criminal Justice 2018-2019 Graduation Employment Stats

Graduates Responding15
Employed in Related Occupation3
Employed in Non-related Occupations1
Seeking Employment0
Continuing Education11
Not in Labor Market11

Salary Data - Related Employment

Part TimeFull Time
Average Hours Per Week
Median Hourly Wage
Hourly Wage Range
Median Annual Salary

Respondents in Related Occupations

No occupations reported.

Career Opportunities

Police Officer
Deputy Sheriff
Security Officer
Law Enforcement Officer
State Patrol Officer

Program Outcomes

  • Living responsibly
  • Refining professionalism
  • Cultivating passion
  • Explain how criminal justice is a reflection of historical and contemporary American society
  • Analyze historical and contemporary philosophical ideologies that shape the cause, nature, and extent of a crime
  • Recognize how the criminal justice system addresses human behavior and social problems which affect individuals and society
  • Describe crime causation and societal impact along with the concept of justice from different perspectives which demonstrate critical and analytical thinking
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the various roles of criminal justice practitioners
  • Apply their knowledge of the criminal justice system, crime prevention and crime deterrence through community involvement
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the importance of cultural awareness in contemporary American criminal justice
  • Demonstrate core values and ethics of the criminal justice practitioners

Admission Requirements

College Requirements

$30 Application Fee
High School transcript or GED/HSED

Program Requirements

Western Technical College uses ACCUPLACER, a computer-based, online assessment that measures your abilities in writing/sentence skills, reading comprehension, and arithmetic. This information will be used to place you in courses that best fit your academic goals. Based on your scores, you may need to take additional general studies course(s) along with the general studies courses required for your program.

Several options for waiving the ACCUPLACER test are available; view the exemptions here.

Learn more about placement tests and how they are used at Western: Placement Testing.

Additional Requirements:

To enroll in the Criminal Justice program, first apply for admission to the College, then read the program’s Essential Functions and complete a background check.  You can find links to these documents below.  In addition, you must complete a Request for and Consent to Release Information form for a driver’s license check.  The last step for admission to the program will be to complete an Intent to Enroll form. Please see the details below.

  • Criminal Justice Essential Functions
  • Criminal Justice Background Check form
    • The background check is required but will only be used for career advising purposes and not for determination of admittance to the Criminal Justice program.
    • The background check will be processed by Western. Please make checks payable to Western Technical College and the cost for the background check is $20.00. Western does not accept third-party background checks (except in the case of students who live out of state).
  • Contact the Welcome Center to make an appointment with a Career Coach to complete your Intent to Enroll form.

Additional Information

In fall 2017, Western started an evening cohort in La Crosse.  Course sequencing for that cohort is below:

Transfer Agreements

University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Viterbo University

Career Pathways

This program is part of a career pathway, a laddered approach to career education. It allows you to earn employer-recognized credentials that lead to job and career advancement.

Criminal Justice

Career Pathways

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