Online Colleges for Corrections: Info on How to Choose a School

When looking for an online corrections program, there are a lot of things to consider. You'll need to examine your career aspirations, degree options, as well as opportunities for hands-on learning experiences.

How to Select an Online Corrections School

Corrections programs are usually offered as concentrations in criminal justice degree programs. Some of these associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs can be completed entirely from the comfort of home. Students will want to consider the types of programs available, their career goals, and internship opportunities before choosing a program.

Career Goals

Associate degree programs in this field can prepare graduates for jobs as correctional officers or supervisors. Students interested in careers as caseworkers or as probation or parole officers may want to consider 4-year bachelor's degree programs. Managerial positions within the corrections system are sometimes available to 4-year program graduates.

Graduate degree programs generally prepare students to pursue positions as senior administrators. Other job possibilities include correctional sergeant, warden or correctional treatment specialist. These programs may also be of interest to students who have a bachelor's degree in another field but are interested in a career change.

Internship Opportunities

While programs at all levels may be completed entirely online, students might want to consider colleges or universities offering internship programs. Some schools even help online students locate these hands-on learning opportunities at businesses or agencies near their residences.

List of Online Corrections Programs

Online Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice

These 2-year degree programs are available with corrections or corrections administration concentrations. These programs often allow students to submit assignments or correspond with professors through course management systems, such as Blackboard or Angel. Coursework includes topics in:

  • Correctional procedures
  • Criminal procedure
  • Client counseling techniques

Online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Corrections concentrations are also available in baccalaureate-level criminal justice programs. Some schools allow students to further specialize in corrections rehabilitation or juvenile justice as well. Coursework for these programs is delivered via course management systems that provide access to discussion forums and assignments. Topics of discussion can include:

  • Criminal justice ethics
  • Criminology
  • Perspectives on crime and delinquency
  • Special corrections populations

Online Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Course content is often delivered through software such as Blackboard. Online materials may include video lectures and PowerPoint presentations. Students pursuing corrections concentrations at the graduate level can focus on areas like:

  • Corrections philosophies
  • Policy analysis
  • Social control
  • Criminology

Schools with Online Programs in Corrections

Many schools around the country offer various online criminal justice programs that may meet your needs for a career in corrections. Rasmussen College offers two degrees in criminal justice - an associate's and a bachelor's. While the associate's program is for first-time students, the bachelor's is an accelerated degree completion program designed for individuals who are looking to advance in their careers. Both programs can be finished in 18 months. For admissions, a background check is required.

Monroe Community College is a two-year institution that offers an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice - Institutional Corrections. At least 75% of this program can be finished online. As an option to complete coursework fully online, Monroe Community College also offers a broader Associate of Science in Criminal Justice program. Both programs include a required internship component.

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) is one in a handful of schools that offers degree programs in adult corrections and juvenile justice. EKU has a youth services certificate, a correctional intervention certificate, a Bachelor of Science in Corrections and Juvenile Justice Studies and an M.S. in Justice, Policy and Leadership. As part of the graduation requirements, bachelor's program students must finish a senior seminar; and for master's candidates, they must present a capstone applied research project.

Realizing your career goals and desired level of education are important factors to consider when choosing an online corrections program. There are programs available at the certificate, associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels; you may also wish to choose a broader criminal justice major or something more specific like corrections or justice studies.

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