Northland College»Academic Programs»Career & Technical Programs»Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement Program

Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement

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The Criminal Justice program prepares students for careers with city, state, federal, private, and other criminal justice agencies. While the NCTC program is designed primarily for entry-level law enforcement, many students choose courses that lead to careers in other areas of the Criminal Justice system, such as public safety communications, corrections, and probation work.

While the program provides pre-employment education for students who want to enter the field of criminal justice at the end of two years with an Associate of Science degree, Northland also provides an Associate of Arts degree that transfers to a four-year institution.

The Criminal Justice program is certified by the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). After completing the skills training (also offered on the Northland campus) and completing a degree, students are eligible to take the state POST exam.

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Are you ready to begin the Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement A.S. at Northland? Take your first step toward becoming a student at Northland.

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Program Accreditation

The Criminal Justice program is certified by the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST).

Program Accreditation

College Accreditation

Northland Community & Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

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Program Specific Requirements

Students achieving assessment scores below the established minimums must register and successfully complete (with a grade of C or better) the required developmental courses in order to meet graduation requirements.

The college minimum scores for the Accuplacer Assessment test are as follows:
Reading Comprehension: 78
Arithmetic: 50

Note: Students completing the Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Criminal Justice have an option to choose between a Natural Science (Minnesota Transfer Curriculum Goal Area III) or Math (Minnesota Transfer Curriculum Goal Area IV). Students who choose to take a Natural Science course instead of Math must either earn a score of 50 on their Accuplacer Arithmetic test or complete MATH 0080, Math Foundations with a grade of "C" or better to satisfy their college minimum requirement.

The following links provide selection criteria information to prospective students who are interested in becoming a peace officer in the state of Minnesota.
Licensure Standards Diagram in color
Minnesota Peace Officer Licensing
Questions and Answers for Advising

Program Course Listings

Required Courses

Course # Course Name Credits
CRJU 1104 Juvenile Justice & Delinq 3 credits
CRJU 1109 Behavioral Sciences 3 credits
CRJU 2201 Criminal Law 3 credits
CRJU 2202 Criminal Procedures 3 credits
CRJU 2208 Criminal Investigations 3 credits
CRJU 2215 Traffic Law 2 credits
CRJU 2221 Law Enforcement Skills I 6 credits
CRJU 2223 Law Enforcement Skills II 6 credits
HPER 2244 First Responder 3 credits
SOCI 1106 Intro Criminal Justice 3 credits
ENGL 1111 Composition I 3 credits
  G1: Communications Elec 3 credits
  G6: Human/Fine Arts Elec 3 credits
  MNTC Goal 7, 8, 9, 10 3 credits
  G3:Natural Sci or G4:Math 3 credits
  G2: Critical Think Elec ( *See Elective Options Listed Below ) 3 credits
  MN Transfer Curriculum Electives 9 credits
  Program Specific Electives ( *See Elective Course Options Listed Below ) 6 credits
TOTAL CREDITS: 68 credits

Program Specific Elective Course Options


Electives for this program may be selected from the following list of courses below. Need help? Schedule an appointment with a Northland Academic Advisor for assistance in selecting courses.

Course # Course Name Credits
CRJU 1106Corrections/Probation 3 credits
CRJU 1117Special Topics 3 credits
CRJU 2235Internship (4-8 cr) 4 credits
HPER 1125Fitness & Conditioning 1 credits
Critical Thinking Electives
ENGL 1112Composition II 3 credits
ENGL 2207Technical Writing 3 credits

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Program Learner Outcomes

1. Student will describe the various municipal, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and the modern principles of police organization and administration that govern them.
2. Student will demonstrate an understanding of theory, law, policy, and practice as it relates to juvenile delinquency and deviant behavior.
3. Student will conduct criminal investigations from the preliminary stage through disposition utilizing proper interview and interrogation techniques according to industry standards.
4. Student will demonstrate technical skills in communication, observation, investigation, evaluation, and basic safety assistance in various law enforcement situations.
5. Student will demonstrate tactical skills, weapon safety, defensive and arrest tactics, vehicle operation, crisis management and force options in various law enforcement scenarios.
6. Student will write accurate and complete police reports using appropriate grammar, punctuation, and spelling according to industry standards.
7. Student will demonstrate an understanding of the principles, authority and Constitutional limitations and laws of the federal and state governments which apply to arrest, search and seizure.

Employment Outlook & Opportunities

Northland Career Center

Job Openings

Counselors are available in the Career Center to assist with career advising, job search resources, employer connections, occupational descriptions, employment outlook, earnings, education/training requirements and sources.

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Graduates are finding employment with Federal Law Enforcement agencies, State Patrol, State Conservation, County Sheriffs' departments, City Police departments, Dispatchers, Correctional Officers, and Security Guards.

The employment outlook for corrections and police officers in the state of Minnesota from 2010 to 2020 is 3.2%, a low growth career.

Program Faculty

Thief River Falls Campus

  • James Jesme
  • Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Coordinator
  • (218) 683-8690
  • Teresa Mattison
  • Criminal Justice Instructor
  • (218) 683-8722