Criminal Justice Overview

NPC Criminal Justice graduates work in all types of agencies, including the Arkansas Department of Corrections, Hot Springs Police Department, Arkansas State Police, Garland County Sheriff’s Department, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and other local, state and federal agencies.

Specifically, you can find our students as police officers, police supervisors, and police managers within local agencies. Our graduates are working as corrections officers, as investigators and as crime scene technicians. Some graduates are working as 911 telecommunications operators for the local 911 system. Current students are also working with rehabilitation outreach programs within the local court system, and as District Court clerks.

Course Structure

Criminal Justice coursework is designed for flexible scheduling. Courses offered in the traditional classroom setting are also offered online in alternate semesters, so that you can always find the course you need, or schedule the course in the format you prefer.

The recommended degree plan is designed to be completed in two years, but can be accelerated to fit your needs. Some courses are offered as blended courses, but also offered either online or in the traditional classroom setting. One lab course, Criminalistics, is only offered in a blended environment with online assignments and class meetings for hands-on lab sessions.

Some credit is also possible for real-world experience and training, such as attending police academy classes, prior certification or training within the field, or current employment within a criminal justice agency. Contact program instructors to have your real-world experience evaluated for potential credit towards the A.A.S. in Criminal Justice.

Learning Outcomes

The Criminal Justice Program aims to provide quality and comprehensive academics in all areas of the criminal justice field so you can achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Become academically prepared for entry level positions in various criminal justice agencies and other related occupations.
  • Become academically qualified to pursue baccalaureate level courses and degrees.
  • Become well-informed citizens who have a realistic perception of the organization and functions of the criminal justice system as an integral component of our democratic government.

Job Opportunities

Some of the entry level jobs available locally for our graduates are: Police officer, Deputy Sheriff, State Police trooper, court clerk, detention officer, juvenile detention officer, corrections officer, rehabilitation specialist and 911 operator.

Locally, working police officers are paid more (education pay) for having completed the A.A.S. degree in Criminal Justice. The State of Arkansas also rewards officers with this degree by shortened time limits for attaining advanced police officer certification levels from the state. Advancement within the field, both laterally and through promotion is also possible due to having a formal degree within the discipline, notably in selection for detective, crime scene unit or supervisory positions.

Certificates and Degrees

Technical Certificate (TC) and Certificate of Proficiency (CP) in Criminal Justice

NPC offers Technical Certificates (TC) and Certificate of Proficiency (CP) in Criminal Justice and Criminal Justice for Active Law Enforcement, including two lab courses required for the A.A.S. in Criminal Justice and the B.A. in Criminal Justice at UAFS.

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree in Criminal Justice

NPC offers the A.A.S. degree in Criminal Justice as either a terminal degree for practitioners, or for transfer to continuing education with a university. Our current articulation agreement with UAFS guarantees that the credits will transfer into their program, but students have also successfully used the A.A.S. to continue at other universities, depending upon their specific requirements.

Consult your advisor or program instructors to determine which specific offering best fit your goals and future plans.

Transfer Opportunities

Graduates with an A.A.S. in Criminal Justice have transferred to other institutions to pursue higher degrees. UAFS has an articulation agreement with NPC allowing 75 hours to transfer for the B.A. in Criminal Justice, including the two lab courses required for the degree. This means that NPC students can earn a B.A. in Criminal Justice without leaving Hot Springs, by transferring the lab courses and 75 hours, then completing the required additional courses online through UAFS.

We currently have students actively pursuing the B.A. in Criminal Justice at both UALR and UAFS who began with an A.A.S. in Criminal Justice from NPC.

View the AAS Criminal Justice for transfer to UAFS for transfer to UAFS for a complete course listing.