Criminal Justice

Two-Year Associate in Specialized Business (ASB) Degree Program
Available in State College, Altoona, and Lewistown

The Criminal Justice program at South Hills will launch you on a career in the field of justice—from law enforcement to corrections to advocacy. The program is designed to be very hands-on, combining theory with practice and application. The CJ program provides students with an understanding of the criminal justice system and the socio-economic factors that impact the field. As a South Hills Criminal Justice student, you will learn investigative techniques, basic security skills, and the criminal legal process/procedures for the Pennsylvania court system, as well as the basics of criminal and family law. Students even receive training to earn Oleoresin Capsicum Aerosol Training (OCAT - pepper spray) and Practical and Tactical Handcuffing (PATH) certifications.

Our Criminal Justice graduates are working in careers as local and state Law Enforcement Officers and Deputies, Juvenile Justice Center Professionals, Corrections Officers, Private Security Guards, Loss Prevention Managers, and Victim Advocates.

Successful students in this program will be ethical, hard working, willing and eager to learn, and believe in the criminal justice system and the law.

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CJ Graduates Can Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Only Two Years with St. Francis University!

South Hills students graduating with the Associate in Specialized Business in Criminal Justice are eligible for a bachelor degree completion program in Behavioral Science through St. Francis University Office of Adult Degree & Continuing Studies.

Finish your Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Science in only two years or less through online, weekend, and evening classes in State College or Altoona. South Hills students will be guaranteed acceptance with a 2.0 GPA and up to 64 credits from our CJ program will automatically transfer into the program. Students and alumni may transfer in additional credits through military or other colleges as applicable, accepting up to 98 credits. The customizable curriculum allows you to take as few or as many classes as you want so you can balance work, family, and life. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. This program can also be completed fully online.

For more information about Bachelor's degree completion, visit the St. Francis website or call the Office of Adult Degree & Continuing Studies at 814-472-3012.

Complete Course List

Criminal Justice Course List for 2016-17

This program information appears in the 2016-17 school catalog. Click here to download all course descriptions.

CodeCourseCreditsClock Hours
 
FIRST TERM
EN104Business English 1460
LE119Family Law for CJ2.536
GE213Oral Business Communications224
PD110Professional Development224
CJ128Sociology for CJ448
CJ123Introduction to Criminal Justice560
CJ125Introduction to Law Enforcement4.548
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS24300
 
SECOND TERM
EN105Business English II460
GE180Applied Psychology336
CP283Microsoft Office460
CJ122Introduction to Corrections560
LE118American Constitutional Law4.548
LE120Intro to the Law of Torts336
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS23.5300
 
THIRD TERM
CJ227Criminology560
CJ124Introduction to Criminal Law560
GE181Introduction to Statistics for CJ336
CJ126Introduction to Victimology4.560
CJ225Criminal Investigations336
CJ232Terrorism & Homeland Security336
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS23.5288
 
FOURTH TERM
CJ226Criminal Procedures560
CJ127Rehabilitation of the Offender336
CJ120Forensic Science336
CJ224Criminal Evidence336
GE182Writing for CJ4.560
CJ119An Introduction to the PA Criminal Justice Handbook336
CD104Career Development I224
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS23.5288
 
FIFTH TERM
 Elective*336
CJ121Human Rights Issues in Criminal Justice336
CJ305Criminal Procedures II336
CJ304Criminal Justice Capstone Project460
CJ230Juvenile Delinquency4.560
CJ229Emergency Procedures224
CD105Career Development II224
GE178Human Relations in the Workplace2.536
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS24312
 
*Fifth Term Elective Choices
CJ228Drugs, Crime and Criminal Justice336
CJ231Media and Criminal Justice336
 
SIXTH TERM
CD308Career Preparation0.510
CJ306Specialized Certifications for CJ2.536
CJ603Criminal Justice Internship11330
TOTAL CREDITS / CLOCK HOURS14376

Graduate Spotlight

"My South Hills education in CJ has helped me in so many ways…the great faculty, the small class sizes. The teachers really take time to get to know you as a person and pass along their years of experience. We had such a broad range of intensive training—very hands-on, practical training that I use every day on the job. I work every day with people with four-year degrees who just didn’t get the same level of education in the field we covered in two years at South Hills."

Cassandra McCormack
Class of 2013
Deputy Sheriff
Centre County

Careers in Criminal Justice


With two years of hands-on training and strong skillsets, our Criminal Justice graduates are prepared for a variety of career options, including:

  • Local Law Enforcement Officer
  • Corrections Officer
  • Juvenile Justice Center Official
  • Loss Prevention Specialist
  • Private Security Guard
  • Sheriff’s Deputy
  • State Law Enforcement Officer
  • Victim Advocate

Each student completes a summer-long internship before graduation, providing real world experience. We have placed interns at locations including:

  • Centre County Correctional Facility
  • Centre County Sherrif’s Office
  • Clearfield County District Attorney’s Office
  • Clinton County Correctional Facility
  • Huntingdon County Emergency Management Agency
  • Lewistown Borough Police Department
  • State Correctional Institution at Houtzdale
  • State Correctional Institution at Rockview
  • State College Police Department
  • Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police
  • Trough Creek Forestry Camp

South Hills Criminal Justice graduates are well-trained and in demand for their knowledge and work ethics. Some of the many locations employing our graduates include:

  • Abuse Network
  • Centre County Sheriff’s Office
  • Centre County Correctional Facility
  • Central Counties Youth Center
  • Centre County Youth Service Bureau/Stormbreak
  • Clearfield County Prison
  • Clinton County Correctional Facility
  • Elk County Prison
  • Payton and Associates
  • Pennsylvania State Police
  • State Correctional Institution at Rockview
  • St. Moritz Security Services

Jennifer Stover

CJ Program Coordinator / Full-time Instructor
State College Main Campus


Jennifer Stover has been a Criminal Justice instructor since 2008 and currently serves as the Coordinator of the Criminal Justice program. She is an advisor to the second-year Criminal Justice students and is the advisor for the Community Outreach & Public Service (C.O.P.S.) Club at South Hills. Jennifer is certified as an instructor in Practical and Tactical Handcuffing (PATH) and Oleo Capsicum Aerosol Training (OCAT).

Jennifer is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. She began her employment in the criminal justice field working with the Lycoming County District Attorney’s Office and the Lycoming County Drug Task Force before becoming an Investigator for the Inspector General’s Office. During her years of employment, Jennifer loved the criminal justice field which led her to decide to share her passion through teaching. She then earned her Master’s Degree in Education before joining the South Hills team.

Sarah Stoltz

Full-time Instructor
State College Main Campus


Sarah Stoltz has been an instructor at the South Hills State College campus since 2011. She teaches legal courses in the Criminal Justice and Business Administration programs, as well as English courses in various programs.

Sarah graduated magna cum laude from Mount Aloysius College in 2005. She then earned her Juris Doctor in 2009 from Penn State, The Dickinson School of Law.

Before joining South Hills, Sarah served as a law clerk to the Honorable Pamela A. Ruest at the Centre County Court of Common Pleas. In addition to teaching, Sarah continues to practice law as a part-time Student Legal Services attorney at Penn State.

John Aston

Adjunct Instructor
State College Main Campus


John McCullough

Adjunct Instructor
State College Main Campus
Lewistown Location


John McCullough has been an instructor in the Criminal Justice program since 2008. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Ursinus College and a Master’s degree in Social Service from Bryn Mawr College School of Social Work.

He has worked in two federal and four state prisons in the following positions: Social Worker, Director of a drug program, Director of Treatment, Deputy Superintendent (Camp Hill and Rockview), Superintendent (Houtzdale), Supervising Superintendent (Houtzdale, Huntingdon, Smithfield, and Cresson), and Deputy Secretary for the Western Region of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. He also taught part-time at Penn State in the Administration of Justice program.

Keith Robb

Adjunct Instructor
State College Main Campus


Keith Robb has been a Forensic Science instructor at South Hills in the Criminal Justice program since 2007.

Keith is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Administration of Justice. Keith also earned a M.S. in Administration of Justice with an emphasis in Juvenile Justice from the Shippensburg University.

Keith worked five years as a Juvenile Probation Officer in Allegheny County before moving to Centre County to become a police officer for the Borough of State College in 1994. Keith is currently serving as a Lieutenant in the Detective Unit of State College Police. Keith has been involved in a wide range of investigations and brings real life experience of over 26 years in criminal justice into the classroom.

Louis Lombardi

Full-time Instructor
Altoona Campus


Lou Lombardi has been an instructor teaching at South Hills since 2010.

Prior to teaching at South Hills, Mr. Lombardi taught criminal justice courses at Penn Highlands Community College. Mr. Lombardi is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University graduating with a B.S. degree in the Administration of Justice. Upon graduating from Penn State, Mr. Lombardi joined the New York City Police Department where he spent twenty years in the agency and rose to the rank of Police Captain. While in the NYPD, Mr. Lombardi attended law school and graduated cum laude from Brooklyn Law School. He currently is licensed to practice law in three states – New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Venus Shade

Full-time Instructor
Lewistown Location


Venus Shade is an instructor in the Criminal Justice program. Venus has a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice from Penn State and a Master's degree in Administration of Justice from Shippensburg University.

Venus has worked as a Probation Officer with Mifflin County Probation and Parole at the Mifflin County Correctional Facility, and she has served as Assistant Director of the Loysville Secure Treatment Unit and Director of Seven Mountains Academy Partial Hospitalization Program. Venus is married to Mifflin County Sheriff Chris Shade and has one son.

David W. Molek, Esquire

Adjunct Instructor
Lewistown Location


Dave Molek graduated from Chief Logan High School, has a B.A. in Political Science from Saint Vincent College, and a J.D. from Dickinson School of Law. He is a U.S. Army veteran in Military Intelligence.

Dave has been a practicing attorney for 41 years. He was previously an Assistant Attorney General of the Commonwealth and was formerly the Mifflin County District Attorney.

Program Advisory Board Members

State College Main Campus
NameTitleCompany
Steve GodfreyDrug and Alcohol Treatment Service Supervisor, Department of CorrectionsQuehanna Boot Camp
John W. AstonAdjunct Instructor/DetectiveSouth Hills School of Business & Technology/State College Police Department
Richard PaytonPrivate InvestigatorPayton & Associates
Altoona Campus
NameTitleCompany
Kathy DickinsonJuvenile Probations OfficerBlair County Juvenile Probation Office
Mitch CooperSheriffBlair County Sheriff's Office
Adam MillerDirector of Emergency ManagementHuntingdon County Emergency Management Agency
Cheryl GonsmanExecutive DirectorFamily Services Incorporated
David MetzgerDirector of ServicesRampart Protective Services
John SistoAttorneyLaw Offices of John D. Sisto
Robert DonaldsonAttorneyLaw Offices of Robert Donaldson
Sue GriepVictim Witness CoordinatorBlair County District Attorney's Office
Lewistown Location
NameTitleCompany
David BarronJudgeMifflin County Court House
William HerkertChief of PoliceLewistown Police Department
Phil LucasDirector-Office Public SafetyMifflin County Court House
David MolekDistrict AttorneyMifflin County Court House
Chris ShadeSheriffMifflin County Sheriff's Office
Bernie ZookWardenMifflin County Correctional Facility

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please view the Criminal Justice Disclosures page on our website.