Aspiring probation officers in California can obtain the necessary education by taking probation officer core courses at one of several public 2-year colleges. Offering many hours of training, the courses allow for classroom- and laboratory-based learning. The courses may culminate with written and practical testing. Students can also find training options through local probation departments, such as the ones found in Riverside and San Bernardino.
De Anza College
The A.A. degree in corrections/probation at De Anze College in Cupertino prepares students for a career as a probation officer. The 90-credit curriculum equips students with knowledge of fundamental concepts, with courses introducing students to criminal law, evidence, social behavior, corrections investigations, and criminology.
Fresno City College
This school, located in Fresno, features a Probation Officer Core Course for students who are presently employed as probation officers. The course, which can be completed in about a month, completely satisfies STC regulations for entry-level professionals.
Santa Rosa Junior College
Aspiring probation officers can enroll in this Windsor school's Deputy Probation Officer Core Course. Over the course of a month, students will learn about a variety of topics that are required knowledge for probation officers, such as the California justice system, contemporary probation, risk factors, and the use of force.
American River College
Located in McClellan, American River College also offers a probation officer core course. In addition to standard classroom topics such as criminal justice and legal foundations, this 196-hour course also features hands-on instruction in weapons use police tactics.
To work as a probation officer for a California county, applicants must hold a 4-year degree in the social sciences. Prospective probation officers must also complete a state-approved 200-hour training course that is certified by the California State Board of Corrections and pass a psychological evaluation. Below is a list and comparison table with four California colleges that offer the training course required to become a probation officer in this state.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Probation Officer Programs Offered||Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)|
|De Anza College||2-year, public; small city||A.A. in Corrections/Probation||$1,542 (per year for in-state students), $8,382 (per year for out-of-state students)*|
|Fresno City College||2-year, public; large city||Probation Officer Core Course||$248 (full program cost)**|
|Santa Rosa Junior College||2-year, public; midsize city||Deputy Probation Officer Core Course||$308 (full program cost, agency sponsored), $325 (full program cost, non-sponsored)***|
|American River College||2-year, public; large suburb||Probation Officer Core Course||$492 (full program cost)****|
Source: *NCES College Navigator **Fresno City College, ***Santa Rosa Junior College, ****American River College.