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Degree Overview: Associate of Science (A.S.) Degree in Corrections, Probation, and Parole

Majors Overview December 21, 2013

Read information about an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in corrections, probation, and parole and its coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

A.S. Programs in Corrections, Probation, and Parole

Students enrolled in 2-year criminal justice associate’s programs generally complete coursework that covers corrections, probation and parole topics. Coursework is devised to impart knowledge about human behavior; students can also expect to enhance their verbal and written communication skills and understand how to recognize body language and non-verbal cues. They are also imparted knowledge about the legal system and taught self-defense tactics. Some programs allow enrolled students to select an area of interest, including law enforcement, security or corrections. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Students working in groups often participate in case studies and class projects. They may also be imparted practical training via internships, field trips and activities. Coursework may include variations of topic areas such as:

•Juvenile delinquency
•Probation and parole
•Criminal law
•Crime and society
•Criminal courts and procedures

Career Choices

After they graduate from the program, students can choose from several corrections positions in juvenile centers, prisons and other related institutions. Candidates for other positions are expected to be adult US citizens. They may require the passage of psychological, written and oral exams, in addition to submitting criminal background checks. They may choose from several career titles such as:

•Probation officer
•Correctional officer
•Parole officer

Continuing Education Choices

Associate’s degree graduates may seek to join the workforce immediately or continue their education by earning 4-year bachelor’s degrees. Although recruiters of correctional specialists may hire holders of high school diplomas who have completed training, recruiters in some states may insist on candidates who possess bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, psychology, or other related area. Those aspiring to become FBI agents would need to hold a bachelor’s degree at least. Academic training apart, additional training at academies is expected to be completed by those seeking jobs with most law enforcement agencies.

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