Criminal justice is one of the top five fastest-growing career fields in the country. Lamar State College Orange offers well-established, highly respected programs providing both vocational coursework for career preparation and advancement and academic coursework leading to baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate study.
The criminal justice programs at LSCO have the full support and endorsement of local and regional law enforcement officials and other legal professionals. The LSCO Criminal Justice Advisory Board includes members of the FBI, ATF, DPS, Orange County Sheriff's Department, Orange Police Department, Orange County District Attorney's office, and representatives from other local and state law enforcement agencies.
For students on the vocational path, job placement rates for the program are very high, with program graduates currently working for various federal and state criminal justice agencies. For students pursuing more advanced degree work, the programs' academic credits are also transferable under articulation agreements with Lamar University, the University of Texas at Arlington, Texas Wesleyan University, and the United States Navy per its Master-at-Arms option.
The Criminal Justice Program offers 13 courses and four options of completion to accommodate a wide range of educational and vocational needs.
The first option is the Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. This is an academic transfer degree that requires the student to complete the core curriculum plus a minimum of 21 credit hours (seven courses) in the discipline by choosing from 10 different courses in criminal justice and forensic science. This seven-course requirement is an unusually broad background in the discipline's content area for students pursuing associate degrees giving LSCO criminal justice graduates an academic advantage over students completing programs with less stringent requirements.
The second option is the Criminal Justice Certificate, requiring a minimum of eight courses in the discipline, one of which involves field experience under the combined supervision and mentorship of the program director and members of local law enforcement agencies.
The third option is a Corrections Certificate. This is a 15 to16 credit-hour course of study that prepares the graduate for a career as a county jailer and which may also be subsequently applied to the completion of the Criminal Justice Certificate.
The fourth option, a Forensic Science Institutional Award, is one of the few programs of its kind in Texas. It not only allows students currently working in law enforcement to boost their skills, advance their careers or change careers to the dynamic field of forensic science, but the coursework required by this award may also be applied toward the other certificates and the Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice.
Students with felony convictions on record may be unable to complete some of the requirements of the criminal justice programs.