TIFTON—Current students as well as professionals working in the law enforcement field can now enroll in the new Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
Classes in the new four-year degree program will begin during the spring semester, and school officials believe it will be an asset to current students as well as those already employed in law enforcement.
The degree is offered online as part of the eMajor initiative from the University System of Georgia (USG). ABAC students will have the opportunity to complete the online degree and select from one of three tracks – General, Law Enforcement, or Social Justice.
“We are very excited about ABAC’s new Criminal Justice B.S. degree, which will help optimally position graduates for employment within the criminal justice system and related areas,” said Dr. Matthew Anderson, Dean of ABAC’s School of Arts and Sciences. “The online format of this program makes it highly accessible to all, and the multiple tracks within the degree allow students some choices to further specialize their education to help meet their personal and career goals.”
The new degree program builds on some strengths already in place at ABAC. The college previously offered a Criminal Justice pathway through its Core Curriculum A.S. program, and it has an active Criminal Justice student club. Previously, students in that pathway program would pursue a bachelor’s degree at another college or university. Now, they can remain at ABAC all four years, completing the coursework online.
“We believe our students already working with a criminal justice concentration will transition to the new degree program,” said Dr. Israel Martinez-Franco, Department Head of ABAC’s Rural Studies program. “Also, the program will be attractive to those already working in this profession who would like to pursue additional education.”
As part of the program, students will take courses in a variety of criminal justice-related topics. Graduates will have the opportunity to work in law enforcement or corrections, or they can use the degree as a foundation to attend law school.
For those already employed in the field, a bachelor’s degree can assist in career advancement and open up promotion opportunities.
The Criminal Justice B.S. degree program was approved by the USG Board of Regents in August. ABAC now offers 14 bachelor’s degree programs throughout its four schools of study. The spring term begins at ABAC on Jan. 9, 2023.