Mount Wachusett Community College has revamped its Criminal Justice program for the fall of 2018 to provide two clear paths for students and allow for easy transfer to a four-year school.
The college’s Criminal Justice program now offers two paths with one leading to transfer and one to a career in the field. These two paths, which both result in an Associate’s Degree, were created in response to the needs of students, said Chair of Mount Wachusett Community College’s Criminal Justice Program Reed Hillman.
The transfer track serves students looking to continue studying at a four-year institution. This degree prepares students to move into the kind of extended schooling required for forensics or cyber-security work, said Hillman. Four-year degrees can also provide additional pay to police officers, are requirements for some departments such as Boston and are needed if the student wants to work at the federal level. However, by starting at a community college, you are not only saving money but can explore your degree before leaping into the more specialized degrees at four-year schools, said Hillman.
“The transfer option is totally and seamlessly transferable to a whole bunch of four-year options,” he said. “You don’t have to go negotiate. You don’t have to worry about taking credits here that won’t transfer. It’s all right there in black and white.”
The new transfer track program aligns with the Commonwealth Commitment program and Mass Transfer pathways. With the MassTransfer Criminal Justice pathway students can transfer to any four-year school within the state and all credits transfer as long as the student has earned a passing grade.
The Criminal Justice Degree with a Law Enforcement Concentration, continues to allow students to earn an Associate’s Degree and get real-world experience in the process. This career program is designed for those that want to immediately enter the field and work as a police officer. It is perfect for local law enforcement, said Hillman, with many departments preferring to hire people with an Associate’s Degree and some now requiring it.
“For some departments, the Associate’s Degree is an entry level requirement,” said Hillman who explained that the concentration is much more career oriented. “It wouldn’t make sense for a lot of those folks to be on the transfer track, because they want to work.”
Those interested in either criminal justice paths can learn more by visiting mwcc.edu/academics/degree/criminal-justice or call admissions at 978-630-9110.