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Criminal Justice

Program Description

Criminal Justice Mock Crime SceneACC offers four Criminal Justice program options:

The Criminal Justice Transfer Program—Associate in Arts (AA) Degree is a suggested program of study for transfer students interested in majoring in Criminal Justice at a four-year institution. This program choice is for the student whose career goal is to become a police officer, federal agent, and/or supervisor of criminal justice personnel. Students seeking careers in fields such as Forensics, Probation, Private Security, and Criminal Justice Education would also follow this program of study.

The Criminal Justice Pre-Service Progam—Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree is designed for the career-focused student whose intent is to pursue employment as a police officer (local, county, or state, including DNR, or motor carrier). This program will prepare students both academically and physically for the police academy experience.

The Criminal Justice Corrections Program—Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree prepares students for careers in local, state, and federal correctional facilities. It includes the 10-credit hour Corrections Officer Academy for employment in Michigan jails, plus the 15-credit hours needed for employment in Michigan prisons, along with degree requirements and other career-related courses. An additional option for students would be to solely complete the 10-credit hour Corrections Officer Academy offered as a 4-week intensive course during the summer. Certification granted by the Michigan Sheriffs’ Coordinating and Training Council upon successful completion of the academy would enable the student to seek employment as a Corrections Officer with any Michigan Sheriffs’ Office.

The Criminal Justice Corrections Officer Academic Program—Certificate is certified by the Michigan Correctional Officers Training Council. It gives the students the required 15-credit hours of coursework necessary for consideration for employment by the Michigan Department of Corrections in the Michigan prison system.

Each program blends coursework with hands-on training, including “ride alongs” with local law enforcement agencies. Tailoring your degree for specific career goals is also possible. 

Special Opportunities

Through an articulation agreement with Kirtland Community College, a student who has completed the first three semesters at ACC can opt to substitute the fourth semester’s classes by graduating from the Kirtland Regional Police Academy. Credits earned can be transferred back to Alpena Community College to fulfill the requirements of the Pre-Service Associate in Applied Science Degree.

The Criminal Justice Programs are available to high school students who dual-enroll or participate in Early College Programs that are offered in conjunction with Alpena Community College.

Career Options

There are a wide variety of criminal justice opportunities available today. You may choose to become a uniformed police officer, a deputy sheriff, a detective, a state trooper, a U.S. marshal, or a customs inspector, to name a few. You may prefer general law enforcement duties to more specialized responsibilities. Duties a police officer may expect to be assigned include traffic enforcement, preliminary investigation, homeland security, domestic disputes, and community interaction. Job promotions can result in being assigned to more specific duties such as officer supervision, homicide investigation, accident reconstruction, drug enforcement, K-9 assignment, and crime scene analysis.

There are also a variety of job options available in the corrections field. Corrections officers supervise people who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or those sentenced to serve time in a jail or prison.


Employment of police officers is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2028 while employment of corrections officers is expected to grow slower than the average for this same time period. Your average salary depends on the size, type, status (private vs. public), and location of your employer, as well as your skill and experience level. The median annual earnings of police officers were $65,170 in 2019 and the median annual earning of corrections officers were $45,300*.

Contact the Criminal Justice ProgramRobert Mills
Program Director