Orange Park, Florida, Schools Offering Certificate Programs in Criminal Justice
The Orange Park area has two schools that offer a variety of certificate programs in the field of criminal justice. Read about these two schools, which are both less than 40 minutes from downtown Orange Park. The table in the article compares valuable school information, such as school type, enrollment numbers and graduation rates.
- Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ), which is the larger of the two schools, is located 24.7 miles from downtown Orange Park. FSCJ offers a criminal justice technology specialist technical certificate, and correctional officer, crossover from correctional officer to law enforcement officer and law enforcement officer workforce certificates.
- Saint Johns River State College (SJR State) has three campuses located in the Orange Park area. The campus in the city of St. Augustine, which is 34.8 miles from downtown Orange Park, offers vocational certificates in the following criminal justice areas: corrections officer, law enforcement officer-crossover training to traditional correctional basic recruit training program, law enforcement officer and law enforcement officer-crossover to correctional officer.
Comparison of Schools
It can be difficult to choose a college. The table below, which compares important school information, can help make the decision easier.
|Florida State College at Jacksonville||Saint Johns River State College|
|School Type||Four-year; public (primarily associate's)*||Four-year; public (primarily associate's)*|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||21,092*||7,249*|
|Campus Setting||Large city*||Distant town*|
|Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$2,878 in-state; $9,992 out-of-state*||$2,839 in-state; $10,347 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||73%*||67%*|
|Graduation Rate (for those who began their studies in 2011)||35% (14% transfer-out rate)*||35% (10% transfer-out rate)*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator
Florida State College at Jacksonville
FSCJ is a large school with four divisions and several campuses located throughout northern Florida. The college offers a technology certificate in criminal justice as well three criminal justice certificate programs in law enforcement and corrections officer training through the School of Public Safety and Security.
Criminal Justice Technology Specialist Technical Certificate
The technology specialist certificate program requires the completion of 24 credits and can train students for entry-level positions in the general field of criminal justice. The program includes professional courses in criminal justice, corrections and the court system. Students also complete computer, speech and math courses. Students can opt to continue their education in the school's criminal justice technology associate's program after finishing this certificate program.
Correctional Officer Workforce Certificate
This program aims to train students in the areas of care, custody and control within a correctional institution. The operational procedures and legal aspects of the job, as well as emergency preparedness and defensive training, are all included in the program. The program is accredited by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission and includes 420 total contact hours. Courses in inmate supervision and institutional safety make up the majority of training in the program.
The application process of this limited-access program involves passing the Corrections Officer Basic Abilities Test (COBAT) and a polygraph test along with the completion of a driving record and background check. Potential students also undergo a medical examination, a physical agility test, a drug screening and an interview. Prospective students must also have a high school diploma or GED, a valid driver's license and be American citizens who are at least 19 years of age.
Crossover from Correctional Officer to Law Enforcement Officer Workforce Certificate
This crossover certificate program prepares corrections officers for transitioning to law enforcement positions through an intensive and limited-access program. Vehicle operations, patrol procedures and criminal investigations are some of the main areas of training that the program uses to help students make the transition. The program requires a total of 518 contact hours. Students take courses covering traffic stops, crime scene investigation, patrolling basics and handgun training. All of the same application process requirements for the correctional officer certificate apply to this program with the exception of the COBAT; prospective students must take the Florida Basic Abilities Test (FBAT) instead.
Law Enforcement Officer Workforce Certificate
This program is designed to prepare students for work as police officers. Students are trained in constitutional and criminal law, court procedures, criminal investigations, civil disorders and firearms use. The certification includes 770 contact hours. Some of the credits earned in the program may also be used to articulate into the associate's degree in criminal justice technology at Florida State College. Students can expect to take courses in human issues, traffic control, patrolling, investigations and weapons training. Students can participate in two recruitment fairs each year, which are sponsored by the college and its local law enforcement partners.
Incoming students must be 19 years of age, possess a valid Florida driver's license, pass drug screening, medical and physical tests, complete an interview and pass the FBAT to get admitted to the program. Students can also expect to go through background investigations and a polygraph test.
Saint Johns River State College
Founded in 1958, SJR State offers vocational certificates in corrections and law enforcement. SJR State encourages students to take the basic correctional officer and law enforcement officer certificates as part of the associate's degree program in criminal justice technology.
Corrections Officer Vocational Certificate
This program provides training that leads to entry-level corrections officer positions. Coursework for the program covers first aid, firearm and defensive training, inmate supervision and officer safety. A total of 420 contact hours is required to complete the program, which can prepare students to take the Florida state corrections officer exam. Regular attendance and physical exercises are only some of the special requirements incoming students must fulfill in addition to the general requirements of the college. Prospective students should also begin the special application process three months prior to the program's start date. All applicants are required to take the Basic Abilities Test (BAT) and have a passing score to qualify for admittance.
Vocational Certificate in Law Enforcement Officer Crossover Training to Traditional Correctional Basic Recruit Training Program
This program is designed to prepare police officers for transitioning to corrections officer careers. Only those courses not taken as a law enforcement officer are required to complete the program. Upon completion, students should be eligible to take the state corrections officer exam. The program consists of 420 contact hours and four courses that cover interpersonal skills, corrections operations and emergency preparedness. Incoming students have to pass the BAT with a passing score. The program has additional special admission requirements, so prospective students can contact the program directly if they wish to learn more.
Law Enforcement Officer Vocational Certificate
This program trains students for entry-level positions as police officers. The program requires 770 contact hours, which includes courses in communications, traffic stop procedures, patrolling and investigations. The same special admission requirements and applications procedures of the crossover to a correctional program also apply to this certification program, but applicants to this program must pass the BAT. All interested students should apply for the program as soon as possible and are encouraged to take the program as part of associate's degree in criminal justice technology.
Law Enforcement Officer-Crossover from Correctional Officer Vocational Certificate
This program prepares corrections officers to laterally transition to police officers. As with the previous crossover program at this college, students are only required to take courses that have not been previously completed. This program consists of 518 contact hours and covers patrolling and investigation procedures, traffic stops and communications. All incoming students must pass the BAT and meet all of the special requirements to get accepted into the program. SJR State advises potential students to contact the program director to learn more.