Probation officers complete the legal reports detailing the activities of criminal offenders who have received probation in place of time served, and it also requires meeting deadlines set forth by the courts. Students in Ohio hoping to train for work as probation officers have a variety of degree programs to choose from; these program options include course-work in sociology, the courts, law enforcement, and criminal justice and lead to the award of associate's through doctoral degrees. Some programs related to the field include field experiences or internships. Site-specific on-the-job training and continuing education is also required.
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green State University offers the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, This degree requires the completion of general education requirements, major-specific coursework, and an internship, all of which aim to provide degree-seekers with the academic and real-world experience necessary to successfully prepare for the challenges of this demanding field. The B.S. in criminal justice at BGSU emphasizes academics, oral and written communication, and encourages research in this field. Prospective probation officers may find that the broad curriculum, which includes courses in psychology, sociology, government, and law, provides a good balance of interpersonal, administrative, and practical skills that may be helpful during employment as a probation officer.
Kent State University
Kent State University is located in a large suburb and enrolls more than 27,000 students. This 4-year school has 6 possible areas of focus for its Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Justice Studies. The justice and human relations concentration is designed for students with an interest in sociology, community relations, and counseling - areas that are relevant to some of the skills required of probation officers. Choices about the optimal concentration for each degree-seeker in this field are made with the help and advice of a faculty advisor, who can help students align course-work with future career and educational goals.
Athens, is home to Ohio University, which enrolls more than 26,000 students in its range of certificate, undergraduate, and advanced degree programs. Students who already posses an associate degree in law enforcement or a related field, may pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice at this school. This program exposes students to a multidisciplinary curriculum, which is intended to provide students with the varied skill-set needed for work in law enforcement, the justice system, corrections, parole and probation, or other public service agencies.
Tiffin University takes its name form the small town in which it is located. The Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Justice Administration is an online, off-campus program designed to serve working students. Some of the courses required for this degree include ethical issues in criminal justice, comparative criminal justice systems, criminal nature, and substance abuse. For those students who have completed an associate degree or two years of college course-work, this program should take an additional 2 years to complete and may prepare students for careers in law enforcement, adult or juvenile probation, intelligence analysis, or youth counseling.
University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati is a large school, with more than 30,000 students, and it is located in a large city. The school of criminal justice at UC serves more than 1,500 students and it offers four options for prospective probation officers. The undergraduate minor, B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in criminal justice are all offered as part of UC's school of criminal justice, which also offers two degrees in paralegal studies. Courses in general criminology, as well as specialty areas of criminal justice are included in the degree programs in this field of study. Seniors enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program are required to complete a 112-hour field-placement course. This allows students to get practical experience in settings that include youth services, juvenile courts, probation offices, and rehabilitation centers: a Washington DC federal internship is also available.
University of Dayton
The University of Dayton offers the Bachelor of Art in Criminal Justice as a 4-year program (option A) or as a continuation program for students who have already completed an associate degree elsewhere (option B). There is also a minor in criminal justice available at this school. Adding a criminal justice minor to a major like sociology may provide appropriate training for prospective probation officers, depending on one's area of focus in this field. Students in this department are encouraged to tailor course-work to specific career or future educational goals and have the option to double major in areas like psychology or political science. Criminal behavior, criminal justice institutions, and law are all areas of focus that may be explored by degree candidates in the criminal justice major at UD.
University of Toledo
The University of Toledo enrolls more than 20,000 students. This school offers the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice. These programs include classes in corrections, communications, constitutional law, ethics, juvenile justice, and human relations. A minor in criminal justice is also available for students pursuing other, related degrees. The Master of Art in Criminal Justice at the University of Toledo includes a 12-unit certificate in juvenile justice, and all degree-seekers are encouraged to tailor electives and a cap-stone experience to support future career goals.
Wright State University
Wright State University is located in Dayton, Ohio, and it offers two options for those pursuing careers in the field of law enforcement. The Undergraduate minor and Bachelor of Art in Crime and Justice Studies are offered in the liberal arts department, and both programs include interdisciplinary course-work that incorporates law, public policy, theories of criminal behavior, and justice administration. The B.A. program option requires students to complete 124 units and includes courses in math, sociology, ethics, and communications. The minor in crime and justice studies can complement degrees in sociology or political science, which are also available at this school, and may provide appropriate preparation for a career as a probation officer.
Xavier University, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, enrolls almost 7,000 students and offers the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. For prospective probation officers hoping to pursue an academic focus in another area, an 18-unit minor in criminal justice is also available at this school. One of the requirements of criminal justice majors at Xavier is the practicum, which includes 150-hours of field-experience in settings that can include courts, law enforcement, or corrections. For students hoping to pursue advanced study in this filed, a Master of Science in Criminal Justice program is also available, and it aims to give students an understanding of the nature and scope of criminal behavior, delinquency, contemporary issues in law enforcement, and the courts.
Youngstown State University
Youngstown State University gets its name from the small city in northeastern Ohio where it is located. A Bachelor of Science in Applied Science, 2 undergraduate minors applicable to probations, and the Master of Science in Criminal Justice are all offered at YSU. The Bachelor of Science in Applied Science requires a minimum of 124 semester hours of course-work in subjects that include human relations, crime and delinquency, legal research, and criminal law. Degree-seekers in this field have a number of minors to choose from, but prospective probation officers may find that the minors in juvenile justice, or criminal legal processes will provide some preparation for work in this field. Additionally, advanced study is also available at YSU: the MS program aims to prepare students for positions of leadership in various criminal justice agencies and requires up to 35 semester hours of course-work, including a comprehensive thesis or graduate research paper.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that an undergraduate degree is typically required for entry-level employment as a probation officer. The state of Ohio outlines the training requirements for newly hired probation officers: they are mandated to complete 40 hours of training within the first year of employment and 20 hours of professional development course-work in each subsequent year on the job.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Probation Officer Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Bowling Green State University||4-year, public; small town||Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice|| $10,796 in-state,
|Kent State University||4-year, public; large suburb|| Associate of Arts in Justice Studies,
Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Justice Studies
| $10,012 in-state,
|Ohio University||4-year, public; rural||Bachelor of Art in Criminal Justice|| $11,548 in-state,
|Tiffin University||4-year, private; distant town||Bachelor of Criminal Justice in Justice Administration||$22,165*|
|University of Cincinnati||4-year public; large city|| Minor in Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Master of Science in Criminal Justice,
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice
| $11,000 in-state,
|University of Dayton||4-year, private not-for-profit; mid-size city|| Minor in Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Art in Criminal Justice
|University of Toledo||4-year public; large city|| Minor in Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
| $9,547 in-state,
|Wright State University||4-year, public; large suburb|| Minor in Crime and Justice Studies,
Bachelor of Art in Crime and Justice Studies
| $8,730 in-state,
|Xavier University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Minor in Criminal Justice,
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice,
Master of science in Criminal Justice
|Youngstown State University||4-year, public; small city|| Minor in Juvenile Justice,
Minor in Criminal Legal Processes,
Bachelor of Science in Applied Science
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
| $8,317 in-state,
Source: *NCES College Navigator