A career in a criminal justice occupation can be rewarding. This degree will help you develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities you will need to contribute to community life. Your coursework will address a wide range of subject matter required for entry level criminal justice practitioners and focus on combining theory with application.
After graduation, students can pursue certifications in law enforcement and jail by attending and successfully completing those academies at Western. Western also has transfer agreements with many other local universities for those students who desire a bachelor’s degree.
Courses are conducted at Western's Public Safety Training Center in Sparta and are taught by full-time educators who advanced degrees and full-time law enforcement experience.
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.
Estimated Program Cost
This program will cost about $9,700* 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.
Criminal Justice 2020-2021 Graduation Employment Stats
|Employed in Related Occupation||7|
|Employed in Non-related Occupations||0|
|Not in Labor Market||1|
Salary Data - Related Employment
|Part Time||Full Time|
|Average Hours Per Week||45|
|Median Hourly Wage||$29.00|
|Hourly Wage Range|
|Median Annual Salary||$67,855|
Respondents in Related Occupations
- Adolescent Secure Unit Worker, Arborist, Deputy, Detention Duty, Police Officer, Sergeant, Sheriff
- 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
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 Technical Standards
- Criminal Justice Background Check
- 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.
- Contact the Welcome Center to make an appointment to complete your Intent to Enroll Form. Prospective or returning students should meet with an Admissions Coach. Current students should meet with a Health and Public Safety College Advisor.
Software and Technology
Most of Western’s classes require the use of a personal computer or laptop, standard software, internet access, and other technology-related items.
If you do not have a personal computer or laptop, or if the one you have does not meet the following criteria, resources may be available. Submit a Student Resource Request using our online form.
- Smartphones are not recommended for completing assignments.
- Chromebooks are not recommended due to issues with installing software that is needed for classes, such as Office 365.
- Web camera with microphone (usually built into newer laptops or can be purchased separately) is necessary for online participation.
- Western uses the Blackboard Learning Management System. Some courses may use Zoom or Microsoft Teams to meet and work virtually. Visit our website for guidance on how to access and use these tools.
- Office 365 (available to download for free once you have a student email)
- Recommended web browsers: Chrome or Firefox
For detailed specifications, please review Technology and Software Recommendations for Most Classes on Western’s IT Knowledgebase.
- Western has several computer labs available. Visit our website to find open hours and locations on the La Crosse campus. Or find information on how to access resources on our Regional Locations web page.
- The Learning Commons has computers, webcams, and microphones available for in-house use. Our librarians recommend checking your local public library for computer access on the weekends. Staff members can also provide information on free, off-campus Wi-Fi spots. Contact them at LearningCommons@westerntc.edu or call 608-785-9198.
- Contact the Learning Commons! The staff are happy to answer questions, provide individualized assistance, and direct you to other supports as needed.