Criminal Justice

Contact the Criminal Justice Program
For general information about criminal justice courses, please contact Marie Hansel, Interim Dean of Allied Health and Emergency Services, at

Learn, Serve, Protect
Our nation needs qualified and talented people to serve in our criminal justice workforce. These careers are exciting and fast-paced. Criminal justice careers range from police officers patrolling and protecting our neighborhoods, and detectives who investigate crimes, to crime laboratory technicians responsible for analyzing evidence, federal agents working in investigation and homeland security, 911 operators, as well as correctional officers who work in our nation’s prisons. In short, in the criminal justice field, there are many different ways for you to help make a difference in your community.

Whether you want to enter this exciting field, or advance your current career, Prairie State College (PSC) has the classes that you need. Through an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.), a Technical Certificate, or an Associate in Arts (A.A.) transfer degree that will help lead you to a Bachelor's Degree in criminal justice, you can be a part of a growing profession that will help you attain your career goals, and at the same time, help make our communities better.

Proficiency Credit Available
PSC offers proficiency credit for many of our criminal justice classes to full-time active duty police officers based upon previous experience and professional training. Consult with the criminal justice program coordinator, or an advisor for more information.

Degrees and Certificates
View the curriculum for each program in the current Academic Catalog. You can also access the entire catalog online. An archive of previous catalogs and addenda is also available.

Please visit Career Programs and Transfer Degrees, where you will find information describing the requirements needed to complete a degree or certificate.

A listing of course descriptions is available in the current Academic Catalog. For a listing of when courses are offered, consult the current course schedule or WebAdvisor.

Faculty and Classes
PSC criminal justice faculty have professional experience and expertise in the field. Students benefit from their knowledge and skill, learning in modern classrooms and computer labs. Classes are conveniently scheduled with flexible course offerings available.

Criminal Justice, AAS
This program provides a foundation in criminal justice for individuals planning careers in the fields of law enforcement, corrections, probation, parole, or private security. The core criminal justice classes focus on the major components and operations of our system of justice at the local, county, state, and federal levels. Students study criminal law and procedure, corrections, and the courts. They also review the administration, organization, and processes of the overall criminal justice system. Proficiency credits are available for actively working full-time police officers (and corrections officers) who are certified by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board as a Law Enforcement Officer or Corrections Officer. These officers must have completed the Approved Basic Law Enforcement (or Corrections) Officer Training Academies (400 or 480 hours) and have one year or more of full-time experience as a police (or corrections) officer, and they must have completed their probationary period.

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of societal impacts of crime control policies, particularly ethical dilemmas, and including different impacts by racelethnicity, social class, and gender
  2. Demonstrate an appreciation for the social science approach in dealing with societal issues, thus fostering the students to learn critical thinking skills so they can be successful in the criminal justice field
  3. Discuss the history, theory, and development of criminal justice in the United States