Northwest College to Offer B.A.S. in Criminal Justice

Northwest College to Offer B.A.S. in Criminal Justice

Written by on March 6, 2023

The new program – to begin in Fall 2023 – is structured as a practical hybrid approach unique to Northwest College, combining classroom learning with interactive experiences.

Northwest College will begin offering a new Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) in Criminal Justice Studies in the fall of 2023 after the degree plan was officially approved by the Higher Learning Commission (H.L.C.). It becomes the second bachelor’s degree offered by N.W.C. following the B.A.S. in Professional Studies, which debuted in the fall of 2021.

The new B.A.S. in Criminal Justice Studies option provides students who have completed an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree a chance to continue their education to acquire upper-division skills and training. The degree is designed for students interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice at the local, state, or federal level or for those already working in the field seeking advancement.

“The B.A.S. in Criminal Justice Studies is a very exciting addition to the programmatic offerings at N.W.C.,” said College President Lisa Watson. “Being able to serve today’s students with hybrid delivery options, opportunities to engage with excellent faculty and various agencies, not to mention state-of-the-art facilities, really makes this a program of distinction.”

The curriculum at Northwest College will combine traditional academic studies and a more hands-on practical application of the content being learned, unlike many typical universities focused on pre-law.

Goddess of Justice statue

Courtesy Pixabay & AJEL

N.W.C. students will cover communications and technology, interview and interrogation, organized crime and gangs, serial killers, and other contemporary criminal justice issues.

“Part of our unique program is both the formal education of our criminal justice faculty along with our combined 50-plus years of real-world police experience in both rural and metropolitan agencies around the country,” said program director Dave Patterson. “Our students will leave with a balanced approach of academic content as well as the practical application of this knowledge to the field.”

N.W.C.’s criminal justice facilities feature the VirTra 300-degree firearms simulator, the industry leader in a firearms simulation on the proper use of force. The facilities also include a mock jail cell, mock forensic lab, and mock interview and interrogation room to enhance hands-on learning.

Students who pursue the B.A.S. will take 42 or more junior and senior upper-level credit hours, which comprise the program’s core, and will need an additional 18 hours of coursework based on their specific interests in criminal justice. To allow more flexible access, courses may be taken face-to-face, online, or in a hybrid format, depending on a student’s individual needs.

“When we began designing this new program, we wanted to offer a degree that would provide our students with an experience they wouldn’t find at another school,” Patterson said. “There’s been a lot of fine-tuning over the last several months to get the program where we wanted it to be, and we’re very pleased with the way it’s come together.”

Courtesy Northwest College

Requirements for applying and admission into the new B.A.S. in Criminal Justice Studies program will be forthcoming once finalized in the upcoming weeks.

Details will be posted on the college’s main website at more information about the program, please contact Dave Patterson, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, at or 307-754-6328.

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