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Program Purpose: The Criminal Justice Program is designed to qualify students for entry into the field of law, law enforcement, private security or corrections directly from Ventura College, as well as for those who desire two years of criminal justice study for transfer to the State University system or law school. California certificated instructors, with criminal justice and/or legal experience, teach all Criminal Justice courses offered at Ventura College. Full college credit is granted for each course successfully completed, and a Certificate of Achievement or Associate in Science Degree is awarded upon completion of the respective program chosen.

Public concern with rising crime rates and the increasing role of law enforcement in public service work has contributed to the growth of criminal justice agencies throughout the nation. There is a broad range of employment opportunities for men and women in all components of the Criminal Justice System. The criminal justice system is a diversified occupational area with available employment opportunities on the federal, state and county levels: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Border Patrol, California Highway Patrol, municipal police departments, county sheriff's departments, federal and state departments of correction, probation, parole and private security.

Program Description: This Criminal Justice Program offers an education to students in the varied aspects of law enforcement, court procedures and corrections. A foundation of knowledge is provided for those interested in becoming competitive candidates for these rewarding and challenging positions.

About Criminal Justice:

Criminal Justice training continues to be dynamic! Current events, improved training curriculum, police and investigative advances in tactics and technology, field incidents, public concerns or perceptions, case law, and annual legislative changes are only a few of the variables that keep Criminal Justice methodologies fluid. The criminal justice program at Ventura College is designed to meet these dynamics and challenges by preparing students to successfully complete the training and testing procedures required to enter law enforcement and corrections academies, or work within the private sector. Criminal justice professionals function to prevent and control crime, shield the public from harm, and provide detention and rehabilitation services.

Career Opportunities:

Advancement within law enforcement and corrections agencies generally require an AS degree for lower level promotions and a Masters Degree for administrative promotions. An Associate in Science (AS) degree in Criminal Justice (CJ) provides the opportunity for employment and advancement in the traditional areas of law enforcement, such as:

  • The Police and Sheriff's Departments
  • Probation, Parole, Corrections
  • Security
  • Victim's Services
  • Courts

The AS degree program at Ventura College also fulfills undergraduate requirements for transfer to most four-year universities where a student may pursue advanced degrees in CJ, Criminology or Public Administration.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

Degrees & Certificates Offered:

Advisory Committee - Meeting Minutes


Department Chair: Laz Salinas