Criminal Justice

The Associate in Applied Science, Major in Criminal Justice curriculum does not set admission requirements beyond the college’s general requirements. Prospective students are advised that the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and the South Carolina Division of Training and Continuing Education do set minimum standards for employment. These minimum standards are for law enforcement officers, corrections officers, youth services officers, probation and parole officers, and others. All criminal justice agencies are free to set their entry-level standards higher than the minimums established by the academy. Existing minimum standards may include age, citizenship, health and physical faculties, education, background screening, and freedom from felony and/or serious misdemeanor convictions. Additionally, aptitude, civil service, polygraph, drug testing, and psychological testing may be required.

Students seeking admission to the Associate in Public Service, Major in Criminal Justice curriculum should review their background to determine if they are likely to qualify for employment in the criminal justice field. Students who have concerns are encouraged to contact the Criminal Justice Program Coordinator at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College for assistance. Upon entry into the Associate in Public Service, Major in Criminal Justice, students must sign a statement indicating that they understand that standards for employment are based on strict professional standards and that a review of their background is their responsibility and not that of the college.

Associate Degree in Applied Science
66 semester hours

The Police Pre-Academy Training (PPAT) certification is for individuals who seek to become employed as a law enforcement officer in South Carolina and become Class-1 Certified Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) through the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy (SCCJA) and the Law Enforcement Training Council (LETC) pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws Chapter 23. This program will be an option to begin the certification process as a law enforcement officer in South Carolina. Students entering the program are required to must be a U.S. citizen; must be a high school graduate (or have an equivalency); must successfully pass a criminal background check; and must be at least 20 years of age.

12 semester hours

Physical evidence plays an important role in both the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases. Advances in science have revolutionized the way criminal justice agencies investigate incidents, analyze evidence and identify possible suspects. This process begins with the efficient location and collection of physical evidence at the crime scene. This initial step in the investigative process may be carried out by a number of criminal justice professionals.

Many departments employ crime scene technicians who are specifically trained in the proper collection and preservation of various forms of physical evidence. These specialized officers are called to crime scenes as needed. However, it is often the patrolman who is the first person to come into contact with vital evidence once a crime has been committed. As a result, it has become increasingly important that even entry level personnel have some familiarity with the basic principles of evidence preservation.

OCtech’s Forensic Certificate Program is designed to educate students in the basic scientific and legal principles which affect physical evidence as well as familiarize them with evidence collection techniques currently used by criminal justice agencies. A certificate in Forensics would be useful for those already working in law enforcement or those students who are interested in forensics or evidence collection as a career.

27 semester hours

Security officers patrol and inspect property to protect against fire, theft, vandalism, and illegal entry of the facility for which they work. The growing rate of internal theft in business and industry also has created an increasing need for security officers. Security officers’ duties vary with the size, type and location of the employer. In office buildings, banks, hospitals, and department stores, they protect people, records, merchandise, money, and equipment. In department stores, they also often work as undercover detectives to watch for theft by customers or store employees. At air, sea and rail terminals, and other transportation facilities, in addition to the above responsibilities, security officers screen passengers and visitors for weapons, explosives, and other contraband, and insure nothing is stolen while being loaded and unloaded. OCtech’s Security Certificate program is designed to educate students in the diverse areas of security while increasing professionalism in the security field.

The program allows interested students to advance into the Criminal Justice Associate Degree program without losing credits.

30 semester hours

The Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice USC Upstate program provides students with a well-rounded study of the criminal justice system, focusing on the legal issues and fundamental concepts and principles associated with law enforcement, the courts, corrections, and juvenile justice. The program is designed to transfer, specifically to the Bachelor’s degree program at USC Upstate.

Associate Degree in Applied Science
72 semester hours

Associate Degree in Applied Science – General Technology
63 semester hours

The Associate in Arts in Criminal Justice program is designed for students who wish to transfer to the bachelors in Criminal Justice Program at The Citadel.

Associate in Arts
66 semester hours