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  • Criminal Justice AA degree

    Hi, I am currently working on a Criminal Justice Associates degree. The stuff I am learning seems to be very in depth into law enforcement and justice procedures. I find the juvenile justice and the principles and procedures of the justice system the most challenging part of the program, and I also study police/community relations as well as concepts of enforcement services (Patrol operations).

    My question is: In California, is there a benefit to holding an AA degree and being hired on with a law enforcement agency? I know that completing an AA degree entitles me to some kind of advanced P.O.S.T certificate or something like that, but if I understand correctly, I have to wait a couple years before I apply for it? In regards to other benifits, will the attainment of an AA degree enable me to recieve special promotions or pay benefits at the beggining or down the line of my career?

    I guess the reason I am asking this, is I was under the impression (from my parents, mostly my father) that an Associates degree is not look on as an impressive achievement, and that a bachelors degree is the only way to go. However, I know alot of law enforcement officers without any college education. So, will I be recognized for achieving an AA degree or am I just waisting my time?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    A associates is a degree you can always go on and finish your Bachelor degree after your hired.. often the dept will pay for your continued education.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Toobs124
      So, will I be recognized for achieving an AA degree or am I just waisting my time?
      Its another thing to add to your app. A bachelors degree is a good idea, especially if your thinking of a large municipal pd. But dont lock yourself down with cj. Business is good to study and comes in help when trying to advance in a department. Its not a waste of time but it wont "help" your app per se.

      There are many qualifications of an LEO that can't be learned in a classroom.
      ..life is what it is...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Toobs124
        Hi, I am currently working on a Criminal Justice Associates degree. The stuff I am learning seems to be very in depth into law enforcement and justice procedures. I find the juvenile justice and the principles and procedures of the justice system the most challenging part of the program, and I also study police/community relations as well as concepts of enforcement services (Patrol operations).

        My question is: In California, is there a benefit to holding an AA degree and being hired on with a law enforcement agency? I know that completing an AA degree entitles me to some kind of advanced P.O.S.T certificate or something like that, but if I understand correctly, I have to wait a couple years before I apply for it? In regards to other benifits, will the attainment of an AA degree enable me to recieve special promotions or pay benefits at the beggining or down the line of my career?

        I guess the reason I am asking this, is I was under the impression (from my parents, mostly my father) that an Associates degree is not look on as an impressive achievement, and that a bachelors degree is the only way to go. However, I know alot of law enforcement officers without any college education. So, will I be recognized for achieving an AA degree or am I just waisting my time?

        Thanks in advance.
        Where did you hear that having a AA in CJ entitles you to getting a POST certificate? You obvisouly have been misguided as to what POST is. It's more then a piece of paper, and plenty of current officers in here will agree that you don't just get it handed to you. You actually have to attend a Police Academy and pass the academy and pass the POST test, which many states its varies! As far as having a AA degree, congrats, but that will not automatically get you hired somewhere. I would seriously consider asking what ever professor you have, unless its an online degree? And get your facts straight about LE and POST or any other Academy!
        "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

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        • #5
          your..a.a. degree is worth $40 a month in florida for a education
          incentive..

          b.a...or b.s. $80

          or.....$20 for every 80 hrs of police class's
          you can collect up to $120 a month

          or...320 classroom hours of police class's = $120

          www.schackdaddy.com
          " if you talk in your sleep, don't mention my name....
          " if you walk in your sleep, forget where you came....

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          • #6
            Originally posted by irishlad2nv
            Where did you hear that having a AA in CJ entitles you to getting a POST certificate? You obvisouly have been misguided as to what POST is. It's more then a piece of paper, and plenty of current officers in here will agree that you don't just get it handed to you. You actually have to attend a Police Academy and pass the academy and pass the POST test, which many states its varies! As far as having a AA degree, congrats, but that will not automatically get you hired somewhere. I would seriously consider asking what ever professor you have, unless its an online degree? And get your facts straight about LE and POST or any other Academy!
            This is not what I meant. Of course I know I have to attend a police academy. It would be a complete disaster if I just hopped out of bed one day and started patrolling a beat. What I meant was after I complete a police academy, a certain amount of classes you take can up your P.O.S.T certificate to advanced, intermediate, and administrative. Im just not sure how far it will get me. My main worry is just getting hired and I hope this AA degree will show to some degree the dedication I have for LE.

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            • #7
              Interesting....

              I am currently finishing an Associate of arts as well; but we do not have an "AA" in Criminal Justice. I have to finish out the AA program as a Gen. Ed., then continue another two yrs. to make it a B.A. in Criminal Justice (this is because, I am told, that an AA is gen ed. only and does not include a major). But because I planned the degree in advance, all of the specifics for the Crim. are being taken care of now, I will only have electives for the most part later on. But it is a good thing, for sure; I really never thought about it much until I realized my G.I. bill was set to expire i a few years, and I didn't want to waste it. Besides that, many LE jobs up here will start you off in a supervisory slot if you have a BA or masters.
              "It's not how far the shot was; it's how close you were able to get."

              --Jeff Cooper

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              • #8
                I have worked for three different police agencies in Alaska since 1973; none would start anyone in a supervisory position just because they had a bachelor's or master's degree.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by aktrpr
                  I have worked for three different police agencies in Alaska since 1973; none would start anyone in a supervisory position just because they had a bachelor's or master's degree.
                  Sorry- what I meant was that depending on the dept., you can be eligible for an intermediate (or even advanced) APSC certification after probationary time is up instead of the basic if you meet the educational requirements. Also, the last dept. I worked was Federal, and they start you at whatever GS level they think you meet based on the experience and education in your resume; I had enough to start at the "supervisory" level of GS-7, which made me eligible for patrol Sgt. after the probationary period was completed. But no, you would be correct in saying that there are no departments in the state (or municipal systems) that place new hires in supervisory status off the get-go.
                  "It's not how far the shot was; it's how close you were able to get."

                  --Jeff Cooper

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    In my county, my BS degree in ADJ (I have no LE experience) has put me toward the top of the applicant list and will get me a higher starting salary off the bat (all confirmed). What it can do for my future career remains to be seen, obviously. There are many variables to consider. There may be issues regarding accreditation (and/or quality of the institution awarding the degree), for example. Unfortunately, there are thousands of "crap schools" that offer degrees online, or entice people with ads like "get your bachelors in 2 years!", knowing full well it won't do a thing for you except at companies that wouldn't know the difference. Even so, these types of companies probably won't pay you more for it, they'll just choose you over someone else. For some people, this is all they are looking for. "A degree is a degree", etc.

                    You may want to look into this more by talking to someone in person or on the phone in the area you're interested in. Not saying your AA won't mean anything, but if it's not an accredited school - you may want to transfer your credits (if you can) to one that is. Your dad isn't entirely wrong. A junior college is far easier to get in than a university. So the AA is (just a fact) looked at today as slightly higher or even equivalent to high school level work. Most will accept *anybody*, regardless of H.S. achievement, with a math/english test designed only to make sure you are not a complete idiot.

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                    • #11
                      I just recieved an AA in Administraion of Justice last spring. I am currently working on my Bachelors in CJ. All of my credits transferred, even though the guidance couselor in community college told me they probably wouldn't. So I'm just here to say that its a good idea to get an AA. Its better than not having one at all. Plus if you want to get a Bachelors later on you should already have a lot of credits to transfer. Now in terms of being hired, the more education the better is obvious, but as my professor who teaches my policing class just told us, "even though you are going to get a cj degree from one of the best cj colleges in the country, it still doesn't mean anything if you don't have the right stuff to get hired." having work experience is also very helpful, it doesn't have to be in law enforcement just some kind of professional experience. Don't listen to all the people who tell you that a CJ degree is worthless, that you should major in something else incase you get injured or something, having a degree will help you get any kind of a job, plus CJ class are way more fun than business classes.

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                      • #12
                        I received my B.S. Degree in CJ many years ago. I found the classes interesting and have never regretted that I took that route.

                        I was able to work for a county probation department in California and then on to federal law enforcement for the past 29 years. Having the CJ degree showed that I was serious about the field and I felt that it helped in my interviews more than a degree in anthropology or history.

                        Having an AA degree is a good start. You might want to take some accounting and english classes as well. Good luck.

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