Criminal Justice Schools in Wisconsin

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Academic and Professional Opportunities for Wisconsin’s Criminal Justice Students

Criminal justice students in Wisconsin have a diverse range of choices for a degree program or certificate. The state has programs from varying institutions; large and small, public and private, bachelor’s degrees and certificates, there are many options from which to choose. Before entering a degree or certificate program, criminal justice students should research the career fields in which they’re interested to see what education level is recommended. This site can be used as a launch pad for students to begin their research. Below, one can: read about the leading criminal justice schools, search according to criteria that are important to them, and get information on and compare potential career outcomes.

Top 10 Criminal Justice Schools in Wisconsin 4-Year Colleges

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RANKING THE BEST CRIMINAL JUSTICE SCHOOLS IN WISCONSIN FOR 2017


  • OUR METHODOLOGY +


    To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria:
    Accredited at the institutional level
    Private nonprofit or public school
    Minimum of 1 bachelor’s or master’s degree in subject area for 4-year schools
    Minimum of 1 associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools
    Schools were then scored on factors such as:
    Cost & Financial Aid
    Number and variety of program offerings
    Student-teacher ratios
    Graduation rates (4-year schools only)
    Placement and support services offered
    Academic/Career counseling services
    Employment services
    Loan default rates
    These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or “bang for your buck” of a college or degree program.

Students should consider potential criminal justice schools carefully. While some attributes mean more to some people than to others, there are certain traits in these programs that all potential applicants should consider. Below, we’ve ranked criminal justice in Wisconsin according to the following important characteristics: costs, total enrollment, class size, and acceptance rate. Read on for the rankings and descriptions of each.

  1. Oklahoma City University
    Location

    Oklahoma City, OK

    The criminal justice major at Oklahoma City University prides itself on its hands-on internship program. Students have worked in juvenile facilities, police departments, rehabilitation programs, state bureaus and victim resource centers. Further, professionals in the area speak to students, and students learn through classroom discussions and current events. There are also opportunities to visit correctional facilities and work on research projects. Students who are interested in a career in forensic science are encouraged to major in chemistry and minor in investigative/analysis criminal justice.

  2. Northeastern State University
    Location

    Tahlequah, OK

    At Northeastern State University, students can choose from multiple criminal justice bachelor's degrees: criminal justice, legal studies or homeland security. A minor may be earned with one of the three programs, as well. Students will be prepared to work in courts, corrections, police and juvenile sectors of law enforcement. Further examples of where graduates work include courthouses, the Department of Corrections and local, state, tribal and federal enforcement and administration agencies. Graduates will have soft skills in leadership, ethics and communication. Students learn about law enforcement procedures, theory, research, analysis and diversity.

  3. University of Oklahoma-Norman
    Location

    Norman, OK

    The Bachelor of Science Program in Criminal Justice at the University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus provides a well-rounded ethical and theoretical understanding of issues in criminal justice. The program is completed 100 percent online. However, there are also onsite options for students who want in-person course options. Students learn about drugs and society, comparative justice systems, forensic science and statistics in criminal justice, as some examples. Courses come in an accelerated format. Students must complete courses in both liberal studies and criminal justice for a well-rounded education, including elective courses.

  4. Southwestern Oklahoma State University
    Location

    Weatherford, OK

    A criminal justice bachelor's degree through Southwestern Oklahoma State University includes a bachelor of arts degree and a minor. Students can choose to major and minor in criminal justice or choose another area to minor in. Graduates go on to work in law enforcement, probation and parole, juvenile treatment and correctional institutions. The program covers topics like law enforcement, juvenile justice, criminal law, victimology and the criminal mind. The program also has an internship course so students can get real-world experience, as well as a fundamentals of research component. Students must also take elementary Spanish. Students also have access to the Criminal Justice Student Association, which helps foster speaker events and fellowship within the program.

  5. University of Central Oklahoma
    Location

    Edmond, OK

    The bachelor's program at the University of Central Oklahoma allows students to focus on general criminal justice, police or corrections. Students are assigned a student success advisor and an undergraduate career advisor. Goals of the program include fostering communication skills, knowledge of processes and issues within the criminal justice field and research opportunities. Students also learn specific skills like writing for criminal justice professionals. Other issues explored include victimology, cyber crime and terrorism. Students are required to take general education courses, as well as two semesters of a second language requirement.

  6. Rogers State University
    Location

    Claremore, OK

  7. Southeastern Oklahoma State University
    Location

    Durant, OK

  8. Oklahoma Christian University
    Location

    Edmond, OK

  9. Cameron University
    Location

    Lawton, OK

  10. Northwestern Oklahoma State University
    Location

    Alva, OK

Top 10 Criminal Justice Schools in Wisconsin 2-Year Colleges

Rank School Location
1 Western Oklahoma State College Altus, OK
2 Tulsa Community College Tulsa, OK
3 Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa, OK
4 Rose State College Midwest City, OK
5 Murray State College Tishomingo, OK
6 Redlands Community College El Reno, OK
7 Eastern Oklahoma State College Wilburton, OK
8 Seminole State College Seminole, OK
9 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Miami, OK
10 College of the Muscogee Nation Okmulgee, OK
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  1. Western Oklahoma State College
    Location

    Altus, OK

    Within the criminal justice division at Western Oklahoma State College there is an opportunity to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Corrections or an Associate of Applied Science in Corrections. Both programs are built to give adults the knowledge and the skills to step into entry level criminal justice careers. Adults who work with academic advisors when selected electives that help them meet the degrees' required credits could improve their chances of having all credits earned in the two-year program transferred into an accredited four-year degree. Admissions requirements into the school are overseen by the Oklahoma State Regents Education.

  2. Tulsa Community College
    Location

    Tulsa, OK

    Courses in Tulsa Community College's Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice program provide a robust general and field specific education. General education courses make up 37 credits of the associate's degree. Specialized course requirements make up the other 23 to 24 credits. Classes are taught at the college's Northeast campus. Although students may start entry level criminal justice careers after they graduate with the associate's degree, the curriculum is designed to serve as a bridge to a Bachelor in Criminal Justice program. It is encouraged that students contact administrators at four-year schools they want to earn an advanced criminal justice degree in early in their first year at Tulsa.

  3. Northern Oklahoma College
    Location

    Tonkawa, OK

    Adults can declare a criminal justice major at Northern Oklahoma College through the school's Social Science Division. The education aligns with deliverables required in fields like social work, policing, criminal investigation and probation. Program outcomes are to train students to conduct evidence based investigations, understand the link between addictions and criminal behavior and gain the skills to curb juvenile delinquency. Prospective students are reviewed by the college's criminal justice advisory board. Traits that board members seek in students include existing knowledge of the criminal justice system, involvement in the community and critical thinking and communication skills.

  4. Rose State College
    Location

    Midwest City, OK

    Rose State College is a Midwest City, Oklahoma based postsecondary school. Core courses make up 18 credits of the college's Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice Police Science 62 credit degree curriculum. Among the core courses are introduction to corrections, cultural diversity, juvenile justice system and criminal process. Credits required to serve as an Oklahoma certified peace officer can be applied toward the criminal justice degree. Types of careers that adults could enter after they meet the two-year degree requirements are police officer, border patrol officer, airport TSA security officer and correctional officer.

  5. Murray State College
    Location

    Tishomingo, OK

    Prospective criminal justice students who are interested in studying a career in the field can get their academic start at Murray State College. The program's curriculum allows for students to easily transfer credits to a four-year school or, in some cases, meet continuing education requirements. Potential careers students can enter upon successful program completion include roles as police, corrections, or parole officers. Academic advisors are available to help students determine the best courses and academic plan based on a student's individual needs.

  6. Redlands Community College
    Location

    El Reno, OK

  7. Eastern Oklahoma State College
    Location

    Wilburton, OK

  8. Seminole State College
    Location

    Seminole, OK

  9. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College
    Location

    Miami, OK

  10. College of the Muscogee Nation
    Location

    Okmulgee, OK

WISCONSIN’S MOST POPULAR CRIMINAL JUSTICE CAREERS

Once a student has discovered an interest in the criminal justice field, they should research potential careers to which their education can lead them. The table below gives potential students an illustration of specific careers in the criminal justice field, as well as how many people hold those jobs, how much they make, and the education level required to apply.


  • Police, Sheriff & Highway Patrol Officers

    • Total Employed in Wisconsin12,040
    • Median Salary in Wisconsin$54,750
    • Degree Level Required in WisconsinAcademy Program


  • Correctional Officer

    • Total Employed in Wisconsin7,130
    • Median Salary in Wisconsin$41,770
    • Degree Level Required in WisconsinCertification


  • Paralegal and Legal Assistant

    • Total Employed in Wisconsin4,470
    • Median Salary in Wisconsin$44,980
    • Degree Level Required in WisconsinVaries; up to Bachelor’s


  • Compliance Officer

    • Total Employed in Wisconsin3,720
    • Median Salary in Wisconsin$58,100
    • Degree Level Required in WisconsinBachelor’s


  • Court, Municipal and License Clerks

    • Total Employed in Wisconsin2,800
    • Median Salary in Wisconsin$24,510
    • Degree Level Required in WisconsinVaries; up to Bachelor’s


  • Probation Officer

    • Total Employed in Wisconsin1,450
    • Median Salary in Wisconsin$49,620
    • Degree Level Required in WisconsinBachelor’s


  • Detectives and Criminal Investigators

    • Total Employed in Wisconsin1,280
    • Median Salary in Wisconsin$70,150
    • Degree Level Required in WisconsinVaries; up to Bachelor’s


HOW WISCONSIN COMPARES FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE CAREERS

As Wisconsin’s criminal justice students make their way toward their career goals, they will likely want to see the earning potential of that career, as well as how it stacks up in Wisconsin compared to the national average. In the tables below, researchers can get a visual of the careers in which they’re interested. They’ll get an idea of the salary they can earn, how its growth compares to the national average, and again, will see what the degree requirement is.

[chart block]

Salary

JobNationalWisconsin
Transportation Security Screeners40,05040,210
Detectives, Criminal Investigators73,28081,490
Police, Sheriff’s Patrol Officers58,05062,760
Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers93,140108,290
Court Reporter56,94060,280
Animal Control Workers34,42036,600
Paralegals and Legal Assistants48,12053,180
Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers45,85051,490
Bailiffs29,74045,740

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015

Job Growth

JobNationalWisconsin
Compliance Officer0.0330.073
Detectives and Investigator-0.0120.001
Fish and Game Warden0.0190.051
Probation Officers0.0110.052
Lawyers0.0330.056
Police, Sheriff’s Patrol Officers0.0060.05
Bailiffs0.0040.047
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary0.160.214

Source: Projections Central, 2015

EMPLOYMENT OPTIONS AND STATISTICS IN WISCONSIN

By this point in the research, prospective students and professionals will likely have a career in mind. But what are some careers for graduates of criminal justice programs that are specific to Wisconsin? See the table below for positions across the state, in both the protective service and legal occupation categories, as well as the total number of people that hold those jobs, the largest cities for employment, along with the annual wage employees may earn.

  • Protective Services

    Potential Employers

    Bailiff at Milwaukee County Courthouse; Correctional Officers at Green Bay Correctional Institution; Detectives for Madison Police; Fish and Game Warden for Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Parking Enforcement Worker for City of Milwaukee; Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officer for Racine; Transit and Railroad Police at Columbus Station; Animal Control Worker for City of Green Bay; Gaming Surveillance Officers and Gaming Investigator for Department of Administration; Security Guard for Monroe County Courthouse; Lifeguards, Ski Patrol and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers at Lake Lawn Resort; Transportation Security Screeners at Mitchell Airport

    Total Number of Employees in Wisconsin: 53,940

  • Legal Occupations

    Potential Employers

    Lawyer for Milwaukee County District Attorney; Judicial Law Clerk for Brown County; Administrative Law Judge for the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review; Judges for Wisconsin State Supreme Court, Paralegals and Legal Assistants for Milwaukee County Courthouse; Court Reporter for the Court of Appeals ; Title Examiner for Wisconsin Land Title Association; Legal Secretary for a private firm in Madison

    Total Number of Employees in Wisconsin: 13,930

LARGEST AREAS OF EMPLOYMENT IN DESCENDING ORDER

Protective service

Bloomington

Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis

Madison

South Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area

Northeastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area

Legal service

Bloomington

Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis

Madison

Northeastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area

South Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN WISCONSIN

Prospective criminal justice students and professionals can use the resources below as additional sources for information. We’ve broken them down into categories and careers to help make searching easy.

BUSINESS COMPLIANCE RESOURCES

State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

A resource hub for workplace compliance, the DWD has information specific to state and federal regulations for workplace safety. It outlines policies regarding labor laws and minimum wage rates, as well as healthcare benefits and employee rights.  

Wisconsin Department of Administration-Gaming   

The regulatory body for gaming in the state, for both charitable and Native American gaming organizations.

Wisconsin Chapter, Association of Corporate Counsel

The ACC connects corporate law professionals with membership-based events, job listings and continuing education opportunities.

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce

The WMC is a hub for business-related information in the state of Wisconsin. Business owners can find out more about government issues, economic resources and networking opportunities.  

Wisconsin Economic Development Association

WEDA advocates for economic development by providing membership-based resources and events for business owners.

Office of the Secretary of State, State of Wisconsin

The Secretary of State provides documentation for the licensing of businesses in Wisconsin.

CORRECTIONAL RESOURCES

Corrections One-Wisconsin

Updated news specifically for corrections officers in the state, this site has job info, recent news, and support for its members.

Wisconsin Department of Corrections

The primary source of information related to the state’s prisons, jails, and criminals. The web site has employment opportunities and policy information for current or prospective correctional officers.

Wisconsin Job Network

Direct links to open employment opportunities for corrections professionals through the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

Wisconsin VOICE

Through the state’s departments of Corrections and Health Services, VOICE advocates for victims’ rights and facilitates communication between offenders, victims, and their families.

Juvenile Services, Wisconsin Department of Corrections

This page for the Division of Juvenile Corrections (DJC) provides information specifically for juvenile offenders and their families.

Restore Our Communities Wisconsin

ROC Wisconsin seeks to combat mass incarceration by advocating for a fairer criminal justice system and by seeking treatment alternatives to jail or prison, decreased use of solitary confinement and better support for ex-offenders who are reintegrating after incarceration.

COURT & JUDICIAL RESOURCES

National Center for State Courts

Search jobs for law, trial law, and judiciary law clerks in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Courts

Updated news on rulings, laws, and judges for all different courts in the state. This site also has an employment link.

Wisconsin Fathers

A non-profit group that advocates for fathers’ rights in the state, this member-based organization is a good resource for potential criminal justice students to understand real issues facing the courts.

Wisconsin CASA Association

Court Appointed Special Advocates is a national organization the provides court advocacy for children who have been abused and neglected.

Wisconsin Court Reporters Association

The WCRA is a membership-based organization that helps Wisconsin court reporters network and participate in events and continuing education.

Alternative Dispute Resolution, State Bar of Wisconsin

This page provides information, resources and frequently asked questions about dispute resolution outside of the court system.

LEGAL RESOURCES

American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin

The ALCU of Wisconsin is a local branch of the national group. The web site has policy information, current issues facing the state, and volunteer opportunities listed.  

State Bar of Wisconsin

A must-visit for any aspiring lawyer in the state. The Bar has continuing education, member benefits, and a lawyer directory.

Wisconsin Department of Justice

Employment opportunities, news, and policy updates are kept up to date on the DOJ’s web site, which also provides information about the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office.

Paralegal Association of Wisconsin

This membership-based organization helps paralegals across the state of Wisconsin network and share professional advice and information.

Legal Action of Wisconsin

Legal Action of Wisconsin is a non-profit law firm that provides legal counsel and representation to low-income individuals for civil cases.

Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers

The WAAL is a membership-based group that connects African-American legal professionals with events and resources that help their professional growth.

LAW ENFORCEMENT RESOURCES

AFSCME-Council 32

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees is a member based, national organization made up of everyone from correctional officers and policemen to highway workers and nurses. Council 32 is local to Wisconsin, with relevant information for people who work there.

WILEnet

Administered through the state’s Department of Justice, WILEnet give information regarding law enforcement training and standards to the general public. It includes a directory and career posting bulletins.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

WisDot has an employees’ section and an education learning center for traffic police or compliance officers. One can also learn about the state’s transportation regulations.

Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association

An alternative to AFSCME, the WLEA is a certified bargaining agent for the Public Safety Bargaining Unit of the State of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Troopers Association

This membership-based association connects and supports the state’s patrol officers by providing events, resources and information.

Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association

A membership-based group for the state’s sheriffs, the WSDSA provides a network and support system for current and retired officers.

Professional Association of Wisconsin Licensed Investigators

PAWLI is a membership-based association that helps licensed private investigators connect with each other and provide educational opportunities to professionals in Wisconsin.

WILDLIFE & ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES

GameWarden.org

Information for potential professionals in the field, specific to Wisconsin, about how to prepare for this career.

North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association

This 8,000-member organization was founded in 1980, and has officers from all over North America. The group is committed protecting wildlife and the public, and holds conferences for local organizations to attend to better educate themselves on policy.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

The DNR offers job postings, education, and licenses for outdoor activities in the state. Fish and game wardens and forestry professionals will find great information here.

Emergency and Enforcement, Wisconsin DNR

This page provides specific information about regulations, public service announcements, warden recruitment and more for law enforcement in Wisconsin’s state parks and other national resource areas.

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.


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