Education

Best Online Corrections Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Corrections programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Corrections is the process of supervising and rehabilitating offenders who have been convicted of crimes. Corrections degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in the corrections field, including probation officer, parole officer, and correctional counselor.

Corrections degrees offer a variety of specializations, including criminal justice, sociology, and psychology. Students in corrections degree programs learn about the different theories of crime and punishment, and the different approaches to corrections. They also learn about the legal and regulatory aspects of the corrections system, and the principles of offender rehabilitation.

How to Choose the Right Corrections Program

When choosing a corrections degree program, there are many things to consider. The type of program, the length of the program, the cost of the program, and the location of the program are all important factors.

The type of program is important because it will determine the focus of your studies. There are two types of corrections programs: academic and vocational. Academic programs prepare you for a career in research or teaching, while vocational programs prepare you for a career in the corrections field. If you are unsure of what you want to do after graduation, an academic program may be a good choice.

The length of the program is also an important consideration. Most corrections programs take four years to complete, but there are some programs that can be completed in as little as two years. The length of the program will depend on the type of program you choose.

The cost of the program is another important consideration. Corrections programs can be expensive, so you will need to consider your financial situation before you apply. There are many ways to finance your education, including scholarships, grants, and loans. You should also consider the cost of living in the area where the program is located.

The location of the program is also an important consideration. Some programs are offered online, while others are offered in traditional classroom settings. If you have a busy lifestyle, an online program may be a better choice. If you want the traditional college experience, a classroom program may be a better choice.

Choosing the right corrections degree program is an important decision. You should consider all of the factors listed above before you make your final decision.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Corrections Programs

The best online programs for Corrections ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree from Western Carolina University is designed to prepare students for a career in criminal justice or further graduate study. All courses are accessed through the Canvas course management system, and students have the opportunity to get involved in the Student Association of Criminal Justice Affairs (SACJA).

Rank 2
SUNY College at Oswego
Oswego, NY

The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from SUNY College at Oswego is a completion degree intended for students who have already earned an associate degree in criminal justice or the equivalent number of credits. The program takes a liberal arts approach to studying the criminal justice system, with a focus on the social and behavioral sciences. The program combines classroom learning with fieldwork in order to give students a well-rounded education.

Rank 3
Norwich University
Northfield, VT

Norwich University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice online degree program examines the processes that enable police, courts and the corrections system to function efficiently and ethically. Through a rigorous curriculum, students conduct data analyses and research in social science, and develop skills in writing, leadership and ethical problem solving. Students may tailor their degree with specialization in intelligence and security management, or elective courses that best support their career objectives. Coursework culminates in a capstone project that explores a distinct set of legal and ethical issues in criminal justice.

Rank 4
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO

The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from University of Colorado is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of the criminal justice system. The program is flexible, allowing students to specialize in areas of criminal justice that interest them most.

Rank 5
Ashland University
Ashland, OH

Ashland University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program that is 100% online and offers flexible course scheduling to accommodate students’ busy schedules. The curriculum is based on current criminal justice topics and includes coursework in ethics, victimology, terrorism, emergency management, and criminal justice policy. Students also have the opportunity to choose from five different tracks: criminal justice generalist, law enforcement administration, correctional administration, criminology and research, or legal studies.

Rank 6
Saint Leo University
Saint Leo, FL

The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University is based on the input of a diverse criminal justice advisory board and provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in this field. The program includes courses on substantive criminal law, law of criminal procedure, theories of criminal behavior, and police organization and administration. Additionally, students can choose to specialize in either criminalistics or homeland security. Field placements are available to all students who do not have prior criminal justice-related professional experience.

Rank 7
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

The Bachelor of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice from Arizona State University is an online degree program designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to explore the impact of crime and implement effective strategies to reduce it. Throughout the program, students will gain the research, analytical, and communications skills required for working in complex criminal justice occupations.

Rank 8
University of La Verne
La Verne, CA

The University of La Verne’s online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology program examines the sociological aspects of criminal behavior while offering students insight into the workings of the American criminal justice system. The program is delivered completely online and prepares interested students for a career in criminal justice, law enforcement, or rehabilitation. The curriculum is rooted in human behavioral topics and intertwines practical, real-world applications throughout.

Rank 9
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, KY

The Bachelor of Science in Corrections & Juvenile Justice Studies degree from Eastern Kentucky University is a 120-credit program that prepares students for careers in corrections and juvenile justice. The program focuses on offender rehabilitation and community-based programs, and students take courses in topics such as the juvenile justice system, criminal justice ethics, and offenders in the community. The program also offers minors and certificates in areas such as dispute resolution, youth services, and correctional intervention strategies.

Rank 10
Liberty University
Lynchburg, VA

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree from Liberty University is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in the principles of the criminal justice system. The program is 100% online and can be completed in 3.5 years. The curriculum is designed to give students a practical understanding of the criminal justice system and prepare them for careers in corrections and human services. The program includes courses on topics such as community-based corrections, criminal justice reform, evidence-based community corrections, and crisis intervention.

What to Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Corrections Program

Students in a bachelor’s in corrections program learn about the American criminal justice system and the various methods of rehabilitation available to offenders. The degree typically takes four years to complete and requires around 120 credits.

Most programs include core coursework in topics such as criminology, psychology, sociology, and law. Students also usually complete an internship or practicum in a corrections facility. This hands-on experience allows them to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real-world situations.

Those interested in working in corrections can choose from several different degree options, including a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. A BA in corrections typically emphasizes liberal arts coursework, while a BS focuses more on the scientific and technical aspects of the field.

Prospective students should make sure that their chosen program is accredited by the American Correctional Association. This accreditation ensures that the program meets the high standards set by the profession.

Common Corrections Courses

A degree in corrections typically leads to a career as a corrections officer, working in a jail or prison. The following list looks at five courses that are common in a corrections degree program.

Counseling in Corrections

This course covers professional counseling in the corrections setting with an emphasis on the impact of the criminal justice system on offenders and their families. Topics include the role of the counselor, the counseling process, crisis intervention, multicultural counseling, substance abuse counseling, and rehabilitation counseling. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the counseling process with offenders and their families, demonstrate an understanding of the impact of the criminal justice system on offenders and their families, and apply crisis intervention techniques.

Introduction to Forensic Science

This course covers the basic concepts of forensic science and its application to the legal system. Topics include the history and organization of forensic science, scientific methodologies used in the identification and analysis of physical evidence, and the role of the forensic scientist in the criminal justice system. Upon completion, students should be able to identify and describe the basic concepts of forensic science and its applications to the legal system, and explain the scientific methodologies used in the identification and analysis of physical evidence.

Theories of Crime and Delinquency

This course examines the major theories of crime and delinquency, with an emphasis on how these theories can be used to explain criminal and deviant behavior. Theories covered include biological, psychological, sociological, and labeling theories. The course also looks at how these theories can be used to inform criminal justice policies and practices. Upon completion, students should be able to explain the major theories of crime and delinquency and how they can be used to explain criminal and deviant behavior.

Correctional Systems and Practices

This course examines the philosophy, organization, and operation of local, state, and federal correctional systems in the United States. Topics include the history of corrections, types of correctional facilities, sentencing, probation and parole, community-based corrections, and special issues in corrections. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze the impact of the American correctional system on the individual, the family, and society.

Leadership and Management in Criminal Justice

This course covers the principles and practices of leadership and management as they apply to the criminal justice system. Topics include the nature of leadership, leadership theories, leadership styles, effective communication, managing change, managing conflict, and managing human resources. Upon completion, students should be able to apply leadership and management theories and practices to the criminal justice system and demonstrate an understanding of the impact of leadership on organizational effectiveness.

Career Options for Corrections Graduates

Graduates of corrections programs work in a variety of fields and industries, including law enforcement, corrections, and social work. They may also work in fields such as probation and parole, juvenile justice, and victim advocacy.

Probation Officer

Probation officers work with people who have been convicted of crimes and are on probation—a court-ordered period of supervision instead of incarceration. Probation officers typically work for state or local governments, though some may work for the federal government or in the private sector. Their responsibilities include conducting background checks and investigations, monitoring offenders’ compliance with the terms of their probation, and preparing reports for the court. They also provide support and resources to probationers, such as connecting them with social services or job training programs.

Parole Officer

A parole officer is a corrections professional who works with offenders who have been released from prison on parole. The goal of parole is to help offenders reintegrate into society and avoid returning to prison. Parole officers work with parolees to ensure they are following the terms of their parole and meeting any conditions that have been set, such as meeting with a parole officer on a regular basis, maintaining employment, and attending counseling. Parole officers also provide resources and referrals to help parolees meet their conditions and successfully reintegrate into society.

Case Manager

Case managers work with individual clients or patients to ensure they receive the care and services they need. In order to do this, case managers assess the client’s or patient’s needs, develop a plan of care, and coordinate with the various providers who will be delivering care and services. Case managers also monitor the client’s or patient’s progress, make changes to the plan of care as needed, and provide support and education to the client or patient and their family. Case managers typically work in healthcare settings, but they can also be found in social service agencies, government agencies, and other organizations.

Police Officer

Police officers are responsible for maintaining law and order, protecting property and lives, and promoting good community relations. They patrol their assigned areas, respond to calls for service, make arrests, and write reports. Police officers also testify in court and may work with detectives on investigations. In larger departments, police officers may specialize in a particular area, such as traffic enforcement, community relations, or crime scene investigation.

Warden

A warden is responsible for the day-to-day operations of a prison, jail, or other correctional facility. This can include managing staff, budgeting, inmate classification, and security. Wardens also develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure the safety of inmates, staff, and visitors. In some cases, wardens may also be responsible for managing community corrections programs, such as halfway houses or work-release programs.

Insights From a Corrections Graduate

Jameson Crosby is a Correctional Officer at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He has a bachelor’s degree in corrections from the University of Arizona. Jameson has over 10 years of experience in law enforcement.

ClimbtheLadder: What were the biggest takeaway(s) you got from your Corrections program that you may not have gotten otherwise?

Jameson Crosby: The biggest takeaway I got from my Corrections program was the importance of empathy. In my experience, the most successful correctional officers are the ones who can see things from the perspective of the inmates.

It’s not an easy job, and it’s certainly not for everyone. But if you can empathize with the inmates and see things from their perspective, it makes the job a lot easier.

ClimbtheLadder: What should students interested in Corrections be good at?

Jameson Crosby: Students interested in Corrections should be good at problem solving, be able to think on their feet, and have good communication skills.

ClimbtheLadder: What was the most challenging course you took? What advice would you give to students who are about to start this course?

Jameson Crosby: The most challenging course I took was actually my very first course in the corrections program, Intro to Corrections. It was challenging because it was such a broad overview of the field of corrections and there was a lot of information to learn. My advice to students who are about to start this course is to take good notes and to participate in class. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

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