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Criminal Justice

Serving the public is our mission.

Associate Degree, Certificates

More than a badge
It's more than a

It's a commitment.

There will always be a need for those who serve and protect the community. Our instructors teach from experience.

You'll learn about the judicial process, ethics, and criminal and constitutional law. You'll get hands-on training in crime scene investigation, police patrol tactics, weapon safety and more. It's not what you see on TV. This is real.

We teach
Radiology students in lab
The Program
Criminal Justice

Meet Program Coordinator Billy Ethridge and hear more about Criminal Justice at OCtech.

The graduate
Criminal Justice

Dylan Lee talks about how OCtech prepared him to become a deputy with the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office.

The employer
Criminal Justice

Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Kenny Kinsey tells how OCtech has prepared many of their deputies for the field.

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Program Models
Hands up for choices.
We have options for you.

OCtech gives you a choice in the level of law enforcement you'd like to enter. We have certificates that get you working quickly and paths that you can use toward advanced degrees.

Student being assisted on exercise ball
Associate Degree
Associate Degree

OCtech's associate degree in Criminal Justice will prepare you to enter any law enforcement agency in the state. You can also opt to go on to a four-year institution for a bachelor's degree or higher.

Even though you can transfer to any four-year college in South Carolina, we have specific transfer agreements with The Citadel and USC Upstate.

Student being assisted on exercise ball
Pre-Police Academy
Pre-Police Academy

Pre-Police Academy is designed to fast track you into law enforcement. This program consists of only four courses, but it is packed with backing from the State of South Carolina.

Pre-Police Academy Certification eliminates 4 blocks of training that are required prior to starting the full 8 weeks of training at the SC Criminal Justice Academy. This certification removes the need for extra training on the part of law enforcement agencies and makes you a stronger job candidate.

Graduate who is now a SC Highway Patrolman
Forensics and Security

Our Forensics Certificate is great for officers already working in the field or as an add on to our associate degree program. You'll learn about the different evidence collecting techniques used in crime scene investigation, and the basic scientific and legal principles governing them. Our Security Certificate will prepare you to work as a security officer for businesses or industries, with the option to continue your education in our associate degree program.

Photo of instructor with black male and white female student looking at forensic tools on a table
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Program Cost*

Paying for college is not as hard as you may think. Many of our students attend for little to no tuition cost.

Criminal Justice Degree

$2,574 per semester

Criminal Justice - Citadel Transfer

$3,217 per semester

Criminal Justice - USC Upstate Transfer

$2,808 per semester

Pre-Police Academy Certificate

$1,170 per semester

Forensics Certificate

$2,632 per semester

Security Certificate

$2,925 per semester

Applicable fees and approximately $750 for books and supplies. Your actual cost may vary.

*Based on 2021-22 full-time / in-county tuition

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Financial Aid

Paying for college is easier than you think.

Billy Ethrigde

James "Billy" Ethridge

Criminal Justice Coordinator

"Before joining OCtech, I worked in law enforcement as a sheriff's deputy in Orangeburg County. I love the profession and enjoy watching students who want to make a difference in their communities."