2019-2020 Catalog

Criminal Justice (A.S.)

Associate in Science

Program Advisor: Reena Bucknell

413-236-4551 • rbucknell@berkshirecc.edu

Approved through the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education

Why Criminal Justice?

 The Criminal Justice program at Berkshire Community College offers students opportunities for career preparation in criminal justice agencies as well as for transfer to various bachelor’s degree programs. The program provides an interdisciplinary approach that examines all facets of the criminal justice discipline: law enforcement and community relations, the court system, delinquency, substance abuse/use, investigations, and corrections. The curriculum blends a strong liberal arts academic base balanced with discipline specific courses focused on the framework of the administration of justice. The Associate Degree program lays the foundation for a 4-year degree in a related field. For those already employed in the criminal justice discipline, our goal is to enhance knowledge and skills necessary for career advancement, strengthen oral and written communication skills, and provide opportunities to engage in the understanding of multicultural issues necessary for working in the service oriented professions.

Why BCC?

The CRJ faculty bring many years of professional job-related experience to the classroom and are experienced in the areas of law enforcement, crisis intervention, criminal investigations, and criminal law.

  • Students receive real world experience by participating in jail and courtroom tours, meet guest presenters from criminal justice agencies, field work/internship experiences when applicable
  • Seminars provide students ways to build their understanding of criminal justice as a system
  • An associate degree teaches the fundamental Criminal Justice skills while grounding students in the liberal arts and sciences. Some criminal justice agencies require individuals to have completed some college courses. An associate degree from BCC can often transfer to a 4-year college for a future Bachelor’s degree, which can make you a valuable asset to your agency.
  • The BCC mission statement emphasizes that “BCC strives to place higher education within reach of all residents of Berkshire County and beyond. BCC is committed to access, academic excellence, student success and leadership in the community.”

Expected Outcomes

Graduates of this program should be able to:

  • Use effective verbal, nonverbal and written communication;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of and the commitment to ethical standards in the criminal justice discipline
  • Describe the functions and interrelationships of the major components of the criminal justice system
  • Explain and illustrate the diversity of viewpoints and experiences within society
  • Identify various social problems, develop a problem-solving approach, and evaluate effective and appropriate responses
  • Apply the constitutional principles that embody the rights of citizens and that regulate criminal justice entities

Graduation Requirements

To earn a degree in this program, a student must complete the 60 program and general education credits, plus the additional requirements shown below.

Program Courses

CRJ-105Introduction to Criminal Justice

3

CRJ-108Substance Abuse Education

3

CRJ-109Police and Community Relations

3

CRJ-121Criminal Law

3

CRJ-123Criminal Procedures

3

CRJ-125Juvenile Justice Process

3

CRJ-126Criminal Investigation

3

CRJ-127Correctional Process

3

CRJ-200Introduction to Criminology

3

-Or

SOC-219Women and the Law

3

SOC-105Introductory Sociology

3

PSY-107Introductory Psychology

3

-Professional Elective

3

Total Credit Hours:36

Professional Elective: See footnote 3

General Education Courses

COM-Communication

3

ENG-101Composition I

3

- 

ENG-102Composition II

3

-Or

ENG-116Technical Writing

3

- 

MAT-Mathematics

3

-Humanities & Fine Arts

6

-History

3

-Natural or Physical Science

3

Total Credit Hours:24

MAT Mathematics: See footnote 1
History: See footnote 2
Professional Elective: See footnote 3
COM Communication: See footnote 5
Humanities: See footnote 6
Natural of Physical Science: See footnote 7

Additional Requirements

Core Competencies Portfolio 4 items
FORUM 4 units
Health/Fitness 4 30 hours

Minimum Cumulative Average

Overall 2.000
Program requirements 2.000
Area of Specialization (All Program Requirements 2.000 

Health/Fitness: See footnote 4

grade of C or better is required in CRJ-105

Suggested Pathway to Graduation

The following is a suggestion for completing this program in two years. The actual time needed to complete the program will vary according to each student’s individual needs.

First Semester

ENG-101Composition I

3

MAT-Mathematics

3

CRJ-105Introduction to Criminal Justice

3

SOC-105Introductory Sociology

3

CRJ-108Substance Abuse Education

3

Total Credit Hours:15

MAT Mathematics: See footnote 1

Second Semester

CRJ-109Police and Community Relations

3

PSY-107Introductory Psychology

3

CRJ-121Criminal Law

3

- 

ENG-102Composition II

3

-Or

ENG-116Technical Writing

3

- 

COM-Communication

3

Total Credit Hours:15
COM Communications: See footnote 5

Third Semester

CRJ-123Criminal Procedures

3

CRJ-127Correctional Process

3

-Humanities & Fine Arts

3

-Natural or Physical Science

3

SOC-219Women and the Law

3

Total Credit Hours:15

Humanities: See footnote 6
Natural or Physical Science: See footnote 7

Fourth Semester

CRJ-125Juvenile Justice Process

3

CRJ-126Criminal Investigation

3

-Humanities & Fine Arts

3

CRJ-200Introduction to Criminology

3

-History

3

Total Credit Hours:15
History: See footnote 2
Humanities: See footnote 6

Footnotes

  1. MAT-101 through MAT-113, 101-113 or any course with the “MA” General Education designation. Students wishing to transfer must follow the Mass Transfer option. Consult with a CRJ academic advisor prior to selecting a math course.
  2. History chosen from HIS-117, HIS-118, HIS-137.
  3. Professional Elective: Can be chosen from AHS-155, CIS-102 or SOC-219. SOC-219 is recommended (especially if transferring).
  4. Health/Fitness requirement is fulfilled by successful completion of CRJ-108.
  5. Communications: chosen from COM-104, COM-105 or COM-107.
  6. Humanities any course with the HU designation.  It is recommended that students consult with a CRJ academic advisor prior to selecting humanities courses.  
  7. Natural or Physical Science: Natural Science selected from BIO-101, BIO-102, BIO-111, BIO-112 or BIO-180; or ENV-101, ENV-102 or BIO-121. Physical Science selected from BIO-109 or BIO-110; CHM-101, ENV-148, GEY-121, PHY-101 or ATM-126. The requirement must be fulfilled by taking one four credit laboratory science and one three credit non-laboratory science or by two four credit laboratory sciences. Completion of an environmentally focused laboratory science, such as BIO-109 or BIO-110, or ENV-101 or ENV-102 also fulfills the environmental studies requirement. Other science courses may fit the requirements, but you must first consult your advisor.
  8. The five (5) foundational courses per Mass Pathways: CRJ-105, CRJ-109, CRJ-121, CRJ-127, CRJ-200

    BCC students planning to continue their education at a Massachusetts state supported college or university are eligible for the Mass Transfer program. The Criminal Justice Transfer track program option has been developed and designed in conjunction with the state Board of Higher Education’s initiatives to align transferability of all credits earned at Berkshire Community College. Interested students can check the MDHE website for A2B degrees for an updated list of which baccalaureate institutions partner with the BCC Criminal Justice program and all the requirements associated with transferring. Upon successful completion of the requirements for this program, the degree of Associate in Science in Criminal Justice is awarded.

  9. It is highly recommended that those students wishing to pursue the Mass Transfer Option meet with their Academic Advisor to fulfill Math, Science, and Humanities requirements.

  10. Program Prerequisite: All matriculated students in the Criminal Justice Program are required to achieve placement in ENG-020.

Note

In order for a student to participate in a community or clinical program that involves potential unsupervised contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly, a student may be required to undergo a CORI check (Criminal Offender Record Information) and/or a SORI check (Sex Offender Registry Information).