Criminal Justice Studies - Learn More

Criminal Justice Studies

Associate of Applied Science

Credits Required for Graduation: 69.00

Learn More About This Program

Criminal Justice

Contemporary criminal justice and occupational areas such as law enforcement, corrections and probation/parole require knowledge, skill and ability (KSA’s) to operate effectively and competently in our complex society. Our program provides the foundational knowledge and skills required to pursue a career in Criminal Justice. Students desiring to become a certified law officer may apply to one of our Law Enforcement Academies following completion of this program. Students seeking careers in other areas of criminal justice may choose to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree at one of the area colleges that have articulation agreements with Western Technical College

Admission Requirements

  • Application to the college: Complete and submit the Wisconsin Technical College System application. If you are interested in more than one program, you must complete an application for each program. A one-time $30.00 application fee (made payable to Western) must be submitted with the application. Applications are available at Western in Room 129 of the Coleman Building (La Crosse Campus).

  • Submit official transcripts from high school and, if applicable, college. If submitting college transcripts, it is possible that you may have taken courses that can be applied towards your chosen program.

  • Placement tests (COMPASS, ASSET, ACT or ACCUPLACER) You are required to a placement test and meet the set scores unless the following applies: If you have a bachelors or masters degree, you are not required to take placement tests. If you have successfully completed (C grade or better) college level Written Communication or Beginning Composition, you are not required to take the Writing placement test. If you have successfully completed (C grade or better) college level Applied Math or Introduction to College Math, you are not required to take the Math placement test.

Program Head

Michael E. Earll, M.A.
Sparta Campus – 125B

Summer Contact

Gary Trulson
Associate Dean for Health and Public Safety

Web Related Links

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I consider Western's Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement Program over other Colleges or University programs?

Western is a local college with a good reputation that provides essential education and training at a very affordable price. Our program allows students to tailor their education toward their specific career goals. Our program has a proven employment placement record with law enforcement agencies, within our district, that have hired and continue to hire our graduates.

Western's Criminal Justice program faculty have advanced degrees in a variety of theoretical and scholarly disciplines that involve criminal justice. In addition, program faculty has real world law enforcement employment experience, which significantly contributes to the overall learning environment. The program faculty is committed to individual student satisfaction and success.

What are the educational and training requirements in Wisconsin for Law Enforcement and Jail Officers?

Wisconsin requires 60 college level credits and 520 hours (714 hours after May 1, 2015) of basic recruit academy training for law enforcement officers and 160 hours of jail officer academy training to meet the pre-service certifiability requirements. Both of these academies are offered annually at Western Technical College.

What is the difference between certifiability and certification?

Certifiability occurs when a student meets all of the pre-service training and education requirements for law enforcement or jail officer as identified by the Wisconsin Department of Justice/ Training and Standards Board, which is good for two years upon successful completion of our academies.  Certification occurs when a certifiable student obtains employment with a law enforcement agency during the two year time period after completion of an academy and their agency submits the student's academic transcript and employment verification to the Law Enforcement Standards Board, and the Board approves the request.