Program Overview

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The Associate in Science degree in Criminal Justice provides dynamic and intensive instruction in all aspects of the criminal justice system. The first term focuses on core foundational criminal justice courses like Criminal Justice, Corrections, and the Court System. Starting in the second term and continuing into the sixth term, students are exposed to various specialized disciplines under the criminal justice umbrella and will gain valuable hands-on experience in a variety of topics, including  cybercrimes; police operations;  report writing; criminal procedure; forensic science; firearm skills; drugs;  terrorism, and gang and organized crime issues. In addition, an important part of the AS program covers contemporary criminal justice issues so students are aware of best practices in the field they will be entering.

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Full Description

The Associate in Science Degree in Criminal Justice provides dynamic and intensive instruction in all aspects of the criminal justice system. The first term focuses on core foundational criminal justice courses like Criminal Justice, Corrections and the Court System. Starting in the second term and continuing into the sixth term, students are exposed to various specialized disciplines under the criminal justice umbrella and will gain valuable hands-on experience in a variety of topics, including financial and cyber-crimes; police operations and report writing; criminal procedure; forensic science; firearm skills; drugs; and terrorism, gang and organized crime issues.

Criminal Justice students will utilize the skills and knowledge acquired to participate in an all-encompassing Criminal Justice (CJ) Portfolio beginning in the second term and continuing until graduation. The CJ Portfolio is a life-like investigative assignment starting with the commission of a mock crime event, gathering of victim and witness statements, processing a crime scene, and collecting evidence. This realistic process will culminate with the presentation of testimony in a Moot Court/Mock Trial scenario during which students present a portfolio that they have constructed and maintained during the entire investigative process.

In the sixth term, students may have the option to participate in a Criminal Justice Internship where they will work with criminal justice professionals in the community. During this Internship, students will have opportunities to apply classroom training to real-life situations in various police departments, courts, correctional facilities, and investigative agencies and gain first-hand knowledge of the criminal justice system. In addition, graduates of this program are eligible to continue on for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice.

Graduates of this program will be qualified to seek entry-level employment in a number of challenging criminal justice professions such as police officer, state trooper, correctional officer, court officer, criminal justice counselor, federal law enforcement officer, private security officer, crime scene investigator, corporate loss prevention, and insurance claims investigator. (Please note: a criminal record may affect a graduate’s ability to qualify for some law enforcement positions.)

Potential Career Opportunities

The Associate in Criminal Justice degree program will prepare students for employment opportunities for careers in law enforcement, corrections, victim advocacy, homeland security, crime prevention, criminal justice administration, public safety  and more. Additional career options include:


Correctional Officer

Crime Scene Investigator / Technician

Security Officer

FAQ

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Related Programs

Program Mission, Goals, and Outcomes

Program Mission

The mission of the Criminal Justice (CJ) Program is to provide a dynamic and intensive educational experience for students who intend to pursue professional careers in the field of Criminal Justice. Through a combination of theory and lab experiences, as well as an optional externship, the program will provide an extensive legal foundation in conjunction with the practical application of necessary skills and effective written and oral communications. The students’ ability to investigate and analyze evidence will be further developed through the hands-on experience encountered in the various courses incorporated in the curriculum.

Program Goals

  1. The CJ program will provide appropriate learning opportunities for students to acquire the theoretical knowledge, applicable practical skills, and appropriate mind-set required to function as entry-level criminal justice professionals.
  2. The CJ program will instill a sense of skill, pride and professionalism in students to be carried forth to a criminal justice organization.
  3. The CJ program will provide a thorough knowledge of the components of the Criminal Justice System and how they interact with each other.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Describe how the American system of criminal justice is affected by political and socioeconomic influences.
  2. Differentiate between the various components of the criminal justice system, the purposes and objectives of these components, and their roles in our society.
  3. Describe the basic concepts behind laws, the actions of law enforcement agencies, court proceedings, and the policies of correctional agencies.
  4. Describe the basic principles of criminal law, criminal investigation, and criminal procedure.
  5. Explain the constitutional rights of individuals under criminal proceedings.
  6. Investigate the causes of social problems and analyze the public’s response to the management of such problems.
  7. Utilize effective communication, critical thinking, and decision-making as they apply to criminal justice professionals in everyday practice.
  8. Collect and analyze data from a crime scene.
  9. Develop, arrange and present a professional portfolio containing relevant data and information necessary for effective law enforcement.

Courses Offered

For the latest listing of courses offered, please review our University Catalog here.

Q&A and Technical Standards

Questions & Answers

  1. When do my classes meet?
    Day Classes: Technical classes normally meet for at least three hours a day for up to five days a week. Classes normally begin in the early morning (7:45 a.m.), late morning (usually 11:25 a.m.), or mid-afternoon. The time slot for your program may vary from term to term.Evenings: Technical classes meet on the average of three nights a week, although there may be times when they meet four nights a week. Classes normally begin at 5:45 p.m. Students electing the CJ 262 Internship should be ready to participate at any time including days and weekends.In addition, to achieve your associate degree, you will take a total of approximately eight liberal arts courses, which will be scheduled around your technical schedule over the course of your entire program. Each liberal arts course meets approximately four hours per week. Liberal arts courses are offered days, evenings, and Saturdays.
  2. How large will my classes be?
    The average size for a class is about 20 to 25 students; however, larger and smaller classes occur from time to time. Note: One of the two technical elective classes offered as choices in Term VI (Internship –or- Terrorism-Concepts & Analysis) may be cancelled based on insufficient student interest.
  3. How much time will I spend in lab?
    Depending on the option you choose in Term VI, your technical courses will consist of either 32 (Terrorism – Concepts & Analysis) or 42 (Internship) hours of laboratory work. In order for you to get the most out of your laboratory experiences, you will first receive a thorough explanation of the theory behind your lab work.
  4. Where do my classes meet?
    Students should be prepared to attend classes at any of NEIT’s classroom facilities: either at the Post Road, Access Road, or East Greenwich campuses. In addition, certain classes may require visits to RI Courts and/or Correctional facilities.
  5. I have not earned my high school diploma or GED: can I enroll in an Associate Degree Program?
    A candidate for admission to an associate degree program must have a high school diploma, have earned a recognized equivalency diploma (GED), or meet the federal home school requirements.
  6. How long should it take me to complete my program?
    To complete your degree requirements in the shortest possible time, you should take the courses outlined in the prescribed curriculum. For a typical six-term curriculum, a student may complete the requirements in as little as 18 months.To complete all your degree requirements in the shortest time, you should take at least one liberal arts course each term. Students who need more time to complete their curriculum may postpone some of the liberal arts courses until after the completion of the technical requirements. Students are provided up to two additional terms of study to complete the liberal arts requirements without any additional tuition assessment fee. During these additional terms of study, students are required to pay all applicable fees.Students may also elect to complete some of their liberal arts requirements during Intersession, a five-week term scheduled between Spring and Summer Terms. Students will not be assessed any additional tuition for liberal arts courses taken during the Intersession but may be assessed applicable fees.

    Students wishing to extend the number of terms needed to complete the required technical courses in their curriculum will be assessed additional tuition and fees.

  7. Is NEIT accredited?
    NEIT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Accreditation by NECHE is recognized by the federal government and entitles NEIT to participate in federal financial aid programs. Some academic departments have specialized professional accreditations in addition to accreditation by NECHE. For more information on accreditation, see NEIT’s catalog.
  8. Can I transfer the credits that I earn at NEIT to another college?
    The transferability of a course is always up to the institution to which the student is transferring. Students interested in the transferability of their credits should contact the Office of Teaching and Learning for further information.
  9. Can I transfer credits earned at another college to NEIT?
    Transfer credit for appropriate courses taken at an accredited institution will be considered upon receipt of an official transcript for any program, biology, science, and mathematics courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the past three years and for English or humanities courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the last ten years. An official transcript from the other institution must be received before the end of the first week of the term for transfer credit to be granted for courses to be taken during that term. Students will receive a tuition reduction for the approved technical courses based on the program rate and will be applied against the final technical term of the curriculum’s tuition amount. No tuition credit is provided for courses which are not a part of the technical curriculum.
  10. What is the “Feinstein Enriching America” Program?
    New England Institute of Technology is the proud recipient of a grant from the Feinstein Foundation. To satisfy the terms of the grant, the College has developed a one-credit community enrichment course which includes hands-on community enrichment projects. The course can be taken for a few hours per term, spread over several terms. Students who are already engaged in community enrichment on their own may be able to count that service towards course credit.
  11. How many credits do I need to acquire my Financial Aid?
    In order to be eligible for the maximum financial aid award, you need to maintain at least 12 credits per academic term.
  12. What does my program cost?
    The cost of your program will be as outlined in your enrollment agreement, along with the cost for books and other course materials. Students who decide to take more terms than the enrollment agreement describes to complete the technical courses in their curriculum will be subject to additional fees and possible additional tuition costs. Students who elect to take the technical portion of the degree requirements at a rate faster than the rate prescribed in the curriculum and the enrollment agreement will be assessed additional tuition.Students who require prerequisite courses will incur additional tuition and fees above those outlined in their enrollment agreement.If a student elects to take a course(s) outside of the prescribed curriculum, additional tuition and fees will be assessed.

    Remember, students who withdraw and re-enter, one time only, pay the tuition rate that was in effect for them at the time of their last day of attendance for up to one year from their last day of attendance. Second re-entries and beyond pay the tuition rate in effect at the time they re-enter. The most economical way for you to complete your college degree is to begin your program now and continue your studies straight through for the six terms necessary to complete your degree requirements.

  13. What kind of employment assistance does NEIT offer?
    The Career Services Office assists NEIT students and graduates in all aspects of the job search, including resume writing, interviewing skills, and developing a job search strategy. Upon completion of their programs, graduates may submit a resume to the Career Services Office to be circulated to employers for employment opportunities in their fields. Employers regularly contact us about our graduates. In addition, our Career Services Office contacts employers to develop job leads. A strong relationship with employers exists as a result of our training students to meet the needs of industry for over fifty years. No school can, and NEIT does not, guarantee to its graduates employment or a specific starting salary.
  14. Where will job opportunities exist?
    Graduates have obtained employment in the local area. However, one of the most exciting aspects of this program is the ability to look nationally for employment opportunities.
  15. Is there any open lab time?
    Open lab time will be available to students with permission of a CJ instructor or the CJ Department Chair. Students may arrange with an instructor to utilize the lab in order to complete an assignment or as specific needs arise. However, all lab work is limited to what is being taught at the particular time.
  16. Am I required to attend classes during the Intersession?
    The intense curriculum, especially in Term VI, will truly challenge the students’ commitment to success. Due to the extremely heavy course load during that Term, students may also elect, and are strongly encouraged to complete some of their liberal arts requirements during Intersession, a special five-week term scheduled between Spring and Summer Terms. Students will not be assessed any additional tuition for liberal arts courses taken during the Intersession but may be assessed applicable fees.Students wishing to extend the number of terms needed to complete the required technical courses in their curriculum will be assessed additional tuition and fees.
  17. Will poor attendance impact my progress at NEIT?
    Due to the ongoing nature of the program and the intense course curriculum, students will be required to attend classes and labs when they are scheduled. Students that do not attend classes on a regular basis will be negatively affected and find it difficult to make up the time and instruction lost.
  18. What types of materials will be included in the Criminal Justice program curriculum?
    Students will be exposed to a significant amount of very graphic and potentially disturbing information, photos, videos and other types of physical evidence. The curriculum is designed to expose students to the actual nature of material that criminal justice professionals come into contact with on a daily basis and is necessary for a comprehensive educational experience. Therefore, students with sensitivity to such materials will not be excluded from the requirements of the program.Additionally, students will be required to compile a portfolio of work throughout their educational career for use and presentation in the Term VI Moot Court/Mock Trial. The portfolio is an organized, comprehensive source of material and information that will be necessary and beneficial to support successful completion of program outcomes. Instruction will be given in the preparation and maintenance of the portfolio throughout the program.
  19. What is a Criminal Justice portfolio?
    A Criminal Justice portfolio contains materials and evidence collected throughout the terms 2 through 6 that demonstrate student’s academic progression and acquisition of various Criminal Justice skills. It will be used as a means for evaluation proficiency and ability and will provide a comprehensive picture of each student’s individual learning experience.A portfolio will typically include sample reports, completed assignments, submission and evaluation of evidence and materials gathered in Forensics I and II, case studies, skill evaluations and information to be presented during the Moot Court/Mock Trial segment in Term VI. The main requirement is that students provide some type of documentation of the learning activities during your educational career.
  20. What are the typical requirements for Criminal Justice and related fields of employment?
    Many Criminal Justice occupations, particularly law enforcement positions, require civil service or other form of aptitude testing. Other requirements often include an active driver’s license, U.S. citizenship, the ability to successfully pass drug screening, polygraph testing and psychological examinations; firearms proficiency testing and the ability to obtain security clearance, if necessary. Additionally, pre-employment medical testing and physical fitness/agility testing are necessary components of any law enforcement position.  *Note that a criminal record may affect a graduate’s ability to qualify for some law enforcement positions.For examples of the regional standards that police officers must meet, go to www.rimpa.ri.gov/fitnessstandards.php (RI); www.mptc.org/patfitindex.html (MA); www.ct.gov/post/site (CT); for correctional officer standards, go to www.doc.ri.gov/administration/training/index.php (RI); www.mass.gov/Eeops/docs/doc/physical_abilities_test_rationale.pdf &  www.mass.gov/Eeops/docs/doc/pat_preparation.pdf (MA); https://www.das.state.ct.us/LawExam (CT); for federal standards go to www.usajobs.com.Students should also refer to the Technical Standards for the Criminal Justice program or see the Department Chair or supervising instructor for assistance in obtaining additional information.
  21. Am I required to obtain a criminal background check as part of the admission process?
    No. However, certain technical courses include visits to secure facilities and students will be subject to a criminal background check in order to enter these locations. Secure facilities reserve the right to restrict entrance to those persons that do not satisfy their security protocols and regulations. (Please note: a criminal record may affect a graduate’s ability to qualify for some Law Enforcement positions.)
  22. What kind of jobs will I be qualified to look for upon completion of the Criminal Justice program?
    Upon completion of your Associate in Science degree in Criminal Justice program, you will be qualified to seek entry-level employment in a number of challenging criminal justice professions, including police officer, state trooper, correctional officer, court officer, criminal justice counselor, federal law enforcement officer, private security officer, crime scene investigator, corporate loss prevention, and insurance claims investigator. (Please note: a criminal record may affect a graduate’s ability to qualify for some Law Enforcement positions.)

Technical Standards

These technical standards set forth by the Criminal Justice Department, establish the essential qualifications considered necessary for the students admitted to the program. The student must possess the following skills and abilities or be able to demonstrate that they can complete the requirements of the program with or without reasonable accommodation, using some other combination of skills and abilities.

Cognitive Ability

  • Good reasoning and critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to process, synthesize, organize and learn new material.
  • Ability to learn, remember and recall detailed information and to integrate it for problem solving.
  • Ability to organize or reorganize information presented in curriculum materials and problems.
  • Ability to use abstractions in specific concrete situations.
  • Ability to separate complex information into its component parts.
  • Ability to perform tasks by observing demonstrations.
  • Ability to role play.
  • Ability to perform tasks following written and verbal instructions.
  • Ability to perform multiple, complex tasks efficiently and competently.
  • Ability to problem solve independently and in groups.

Communications Skills

  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with faculty, students and staff, as well as law enforcement, correctional and court professionals.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in a classroom, crime scene, laboratory or courtroom setting on a one-to-one basis as well as before a group.
  • Ability to read English sufficiently to understand and comprehend college level text books, written protocols, laboratory results, as well as information necessary for documentation, evaluation and instruction.
  • Ability to demonstrate and use the knowledge acquired in the classroom and in the forensics laboratory to appropriately identify pertinent information and transmit the information effectively, efficiently and promptly as appropriate even when there are time constraints.
  • Ability to express thoughts clearly, both in writing and speech.
  • Ability to write English sufficiently to document and record information, as well as to complete course assignments.
  • Ability to orally report data, observations and information.
  • Adaptive Ability
  • Ability to follow instructions and complete tasks under stressful and demanding conditions.
  • Ability to work in an environment which may change rapidly in unpredictable ways, without warning.
  • Ability to think clearly and act quickly and appropriately in an emergency situation.
  • Ability to maintain emotional stability and the maturity necessary to interact with other members of the faculty, students and professionals in a responsible manner.
  • Ability to perform tasks and make appropriate decisions under stressful and demanding conditions.
  • Ability to adapt to new and changing situations with an open mind and flexibility.
  • Ability to adjust to a variety of individuals and their distinct needs.
  • Ability to maintain a professional attitude during all work performance.
  • Ability to identify one’s strengths and weaknesses and to request assistance when necessary.
  • Ability and willingness to view potentially graphic and disturbing materials in a professional manner.

Physical Ability

  • Ability to stand and walk for 1-2 hours at a time with no breaks.
  • Ability to sit for 1-2 hours at a time with no breaks.
  • Ability to bend, stretch, stoop or lie on the ground to collect evidence, view the mock crime scene, or perform testing or necessary tasks.
  • Sufficient strength to perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) on both adults and children.
  • Sufficient upper body strength great enough to carry 20 pounds.
  • Sufficient strength and agility to lift, move or utilize large and small pieces of equipment.
  • Ability to wear and tolerate masks and gloves and other protective equipment including lead aprons.
  • Ability to work in an environment where there are latex/latex based products.
  • Ability to perform learned skills, independently, with accuracy and completeness within reasonable time frames in accordance with accepted protocol.

Manual Ability

  • Sufficient manual dexterity and mobility to move equipment independently.
  • Sufficient motor function and sensory abilities to participate effectively in the classroom and laboratory setting.
  • Sufficient manual dexterity and motor coordination to coordinate hands, eyes and fingers in the operation of equipment/instruments.
  • Sufficient fine motor control to manipulate small equipment and instruments.
  • Ability to grasp, lift and carry various items of equipment.

Sensory Ability

  • Visual
    • Visual ability, with or without correction, to enable the student to differentiate between instruments/equipment.
  • Auditory
    • Acute enough to hear and understand words spoken by staff, students and other staff in an environment with background noise. *Individuals with auditory processing disorder may not have the visual cues needed to assist in processing the spoken word.