Orlando Corrections School Options
Criminal justice programs can provide students with the education and training necessary to work in law enforcement, corrections, probation/parole or juvenile justice. This article looks at three colleges within a half-hour of Orlando that offer criminal justice programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It also features a table that showcases information a student needs when deciding on a school. Finally, there are a few facts about another Orlando-area school that offers relevant training.
- Valencia College, about eight miles from downtown Orlando, features an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice and a Criminal Justice Institute that offers several career training programs.
- University of Central Florida offers a bachelor's and master's degree in criminal justice. The university is about 10 miles from downtown.
- Located about 15 miles from downtown Orlando, Seminole State College of Florida offers an associate's degree and two certificates in criminal justice.
Comparison of Schools
When choosing a college, students should consider many factors, including school types, costs, enrollment and the graduation rate. The following table allows for a quick look at these important aspects, making comparisons between schools easier.
|Valencia College||University of Central Florida||Seminole State College of Florida|
|School Type||Four-year, primarily associate's; public||Four-year; public||Four-year, primarily associate's; public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)*||44,834||66,059||17,550|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large suburb||Small city|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)*|| $2,474 (in-state)
| $6,368 (in-state)
| $3,131 (in-state)
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)*||75%||87%||79%|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)*||N/A - open admissions||50%||N/A - open admissions|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)*||N/A|| 90% of full-time students
80% of part-time students
|Graduation Rate (for students who began in Fall 2011)*||41% (15% transfer-out rate)||70% (7% transfer-out rate)||37% (12% transfer-out rate)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
Valencia College offers a criminal justice technology degree program that can be used to transfer into a four-year institution or begin a career. The college is also home to the Criminal Justice Institute, which offers several law enforcement and correction training programs. All of the programs in the Criminal Justice Institute have limited openings, and incoming students must meet certain testing requirements to gain admission.
Criminal Justice Technology Specialist Technical Certificate
This 24-credit program can prepare students to work as support specialists in the criminal justice field. Courses include criminal evidence, criminology, criminal law and ethics. This certificate program can count towards the associate's degree requirements if a student decides to continue his or her education at Valencia Community College.
Correctional Officer Program
The correctional officer program requires students to complete 420 contact hours of coursework. Courses in the program teach students about firearms, defensive tactics, emergency preparedness, correctional operations and officer safety. Upon graduation, students must pass a state examination to earn correctional officer certification in Florida.
Law Enforcement Officer Program
Students in the law enforcement program are required to complete 770 contact hours. The coursework focuses on investigations, traffic stops and crashes, patrol, defense tactics, firearms and vehicle operations. Students who finish the program also need to pass a state exam in order to become certified.
Crossover: Corrections to Law Enforcement Program
This is a 518-hour program designed for individuals who are already correctional officers and want to work in law enforcement. Students are required to complete several crossover courses, in addition to classes in patrol techniques, investigations and stun-gun firing.
Auxiliary Law Enforcement Officer Program
Students who complete this program are qualified to pursue entry-level volunteer law enforcement positions. The program consists of 48 hours and ensures that students have an understanding of firearms, vehicle operations, defensive tactics and investigations.
Associate in Science in Criminal Justice Technology
The 60-credit criminal justice technology program includes an introductory course in corrections as well as classes in juvenile justice systems, criminal investigations, criminal law and policing systems. Students can also specialize in homeland security and take courses in transportation security, border security, intelligence analysis and security management. Students who've already completed the homeland security specialist or criminal justice technology specialist certificate programs can apply their credits to the associate's program.
University of Central Florida (UCF)
Students at the University of Central Florida can pursue criminal justice studies through the Department of Criminal Justice, which offers a bachelor's and master's degree in criminal justice.
Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
The bachelor's program in criminal justice includes courses in corrections, probation and law enforcement. Students who pursue the Bachelor of Arts must complete a foreign language requirement. Both programs cover the criminal justice system, crime in America, criminal justice careers and criminal justice research and analysis. Electives offer students the chance to learn about the legislative process, criminal law, economic history and political thought. Students can also pursue an internship, provided they meet the eligibility requirements. This program is available online.
Master of Science in Criminal Justice
In UCF's Master of Science in Criminal Justice program, students can choose between a thesis non-thesis option. Coursework is taken in the nature of crime, administration of justice and criminal justice research methods. Students can also take electives in corrections, law enforcement, juvenile justice and criminal courts. The program consists of 36 credits and includes a capstone course to go along with the elective and core courses.
Seminole State College
Seminole State College of Florida offers an associate's degree and two certificate programs with criminal justice training. The school also has homeland security certificate for students seeking specialized studies in the field.
Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Leadership Certificate
This 24-credit program offers courses in criminal law, criminal procedures, law enforcement and management of criminal justice organizations. Additional courses cover criminal justice ethics and the public face of criminal justice. Credits from the program are transferable to the associate's degree program.
Criminal Justice Technology Specialist Certificate
Students who want to pursue the criminal justice technology specialist certificate must complete 24 credits, which are also transferable to the criminal justice associate's degree program. Required courses include drugs and crime, corrections, law enforcement, investigations, criminal procedures and criminal law.
Associate in Science in Criminal Justice Technology
The associate's degree in criminal justice technology consists of 60 credits. Students can learn about corrections, criminal investigations, criminal procedures, organized crime, community policing, criminal evidence and terrorism. This program can prepare students for transfer to a four-year school, but students are encouraged to work with counselors to ensure that all university entrance requirements are met.
Other School Option
Students in the Orlando area can also pursue criminal justice and law enforcement training at the Osceola Technical College in Kissimmee, FL. This school is 19 miles from Orlando.