Criminal Justice

Education for the challenges of peacekeeping and law enforcement

Criminal justice professionals provide many services to keep the peace and enforce our laws-always standing up for the values of fairness, order, and integrity. Jobs in criminal justice include police officers (peace officers), constables, deputies, troopers, corrections officers, probation officers, federal agents, and security officers. ACC provides educational options for students interested in careers in criminal justice, including courses to qualify students to be licensed by the state. Individuals with prior police experience may be eligible for limited credit toward a degree. Students benefit from day, evening, and weekend classes taught by instructors with vast experience in the field. Many ACC courses transfer to four-year universities.

The following degrees and certificate options are available:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Corrections
  • Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement
  • Texas Peace Officer Sequence Certificate

What skills can I gain?

Students pursuing a degree in law enforcement learn to perform key duties such as conducting investigations, making arrests, and testifying in court, as well as responding to calls and taking action at the scene of an emergency or disturbance. Criminal law, police and court systems, criminal procedure, and criminal investigations are also components of the curriculum.

The correctional degree program covers juvenile procedures, probation and parole, and institutional and community-based corrections. Some additional correctional duties covered by the program include supervising defendants awaiting a court hearing and overseeing convicted criminals serving time.

Students in the peace officer program complete the academic equivalent of the basic peace officer training course required by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) for state licensure. This program has multiple prerequisite requirements, and all students must meet with the department chair prior to registration.

How long will it take to get a degree or certificate?

The amount of time needed to complete each program heavily depends on whether a student is taking classes full-time and whether a student has prior education or work experience. Full-time students typically require two years to complete an associate degree. The Peace Officer certificate requires one year and one semester of study by most full-time students.

Where can I work with this education?

Local sheriff's departments, constable's offices, and area police departments are common employers of ACC graduates. A vast number of potential careers in the criminal justice field are possible with an education from this program.

How do I get started at ACC and where can I find out about financial aid?

Visit ACC's future student's page for admissions information. The financial aid page has links for eligibility and applications.