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Criminal Justice

Western Dakota Technical College offers a Criminal Justice program and  Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement Emphasis program. Our program will give you the skills and experiences you need to be successful in a wide variety of career fields. Since both are two-year Associate of Applied Science programs, you will be in the workforce quickly, ready to make our communities better. 

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Degree Description

As the population grows, so does the need for trained workers in a variety of criminal justice fields. This program will graduate skilled workers who are able to bring value to those employers in multiple ways because they will have a broad understanding of the criminal justice system and will be skilled enough to fill a variety of roles.

This program has been designed to be broad in nature and to include coursework in a wide variety of criminal justice fields. Students will complete classes in criminal justice, corrections, juvenile justice, criminal law, criminal investigation, ethics in criminal justice, forensics and crime scene investigation, probation and parole, security, terrorism and counter-terrorism, border security, and more.

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Application Process

1. Complete Western Dakota Technical College Admissions Application
2. Complete the ACCUPLACER test ($15 fee)
3. Schedule your Admissions Advising Session
4. Provide an official copy of a High School transcript or GED scores. If you graduated from an international high school, you must submit your transcript to Educational Credential Evaluators to determine U.S. equivalence. Additionally, an official transcript must be submitted if you have attended other post-secondary institutions or universities.
5. Submit Immunization Records verifying two doses of MMR vaccinations
6. Once you receive your acceptance letter, schedule a time to register for classes

The ACCUPLACER test will be waived if you have an ACT sub-score of 18 or better in English, Math, and Reading.  To waive the ACCUPLACER with SAT scores a student will need a 500 on the MATH subsection of ACT and a composite of 970 to waive Writing and Reading. To place into MATH 114 a student will need a 520 on the MATH subsection.  

Please call 605-718-2565 to make an appointment.

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Career Description

Graduates of the program will be able to accomplish the typical duties of criminal justice professionals in many fields, including:

  • Certified law enforcement officer
  • Corrections officer
  • Border patrol agent
  • Probation officer
  • Parole officer
  • Private investigator
  • Gaming officer or investigator
  • Security guard
  • Child protective services officer
  • Transportation security screener
  • Emergency services dispatcher
  • Other related occupations

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Virtual Tour Forensics Lab Tour

Take the Virtual Tour Now Next, schedule an on-campus tour and receive a FREE WDTC T-Shirt when you arrive.

General Education EMT

After Earning Your Degree

Labor market information for South Dakota indicates that the demand for workers in criminal justice career fields is strong now and will be in the future. Through 2028, the number of workers in the following fields will grow:

Occupation Percentage Growth
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists 3.2
Correctional Officers and Jailers 1.9
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 4.5
Private Detectives and Investigators 8.6
Gaming Surveillance Officers and gaming Investigators 12.4
Security Guards 4.4
Transportation Security Screeners 3.0
Forensic Science Technicians 7.0

Meet Your Faculty

Western Dakota Technical College has a low student-to-faculty ratio, meaning more one-on-one learning. Individual attention from your professor can make your college experience more fulfilling.

  • Peter Ragnone

  • Anthony Verchio

Financial Aid

Continuing your education is crucial and Western Dakota Technical College wants to make sure that any student who wants to attend school, has the opportunity to do so. For this reason, WDTC is dedicated to administering the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IV Financial Assistance Program fair and consistently to anyone who needs it.

Build Dakota Scholarships

The Build Dakota Scholarship at Western Dakota Technical College will pay all your tuition and fees and prepare you for a career that is in-demand and growing in South Dakota. Build Dakota Scholarships will be awarded to students entering high-need workforce programs at South Dakota’s technical institutes to fill the state’s technical careers with skilled professionals.

Student Housing

Finding affordable housing during school can be a challenge for students. Western Dakota Technical College currently does not have on-campus housing, but partners with a Rapid City VRBO to offer a limited number of apartments for full-time students in the fall and spring semesters.

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Child Care

Finding child care during school is a challenge for many students. Western Dakota Technical College currently does not offer on-campus child care, but here are some resources that may help you in your search.

Youth & Family Services is an organization dedicated to helping children in Western South Dakota. They offer a variety of services, including child care at multiple locations.

The Y of Rapid City offers child care and other services.

Disclaimer: Western Dakota Technical College provides these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply affiliation, endorsement or adoption by Western Dakota Technical College of any site or any information contained therein. When you leave, you should be aware that our terms and policies no longer govern. Western Dakota Technical College makes no claim or representation regarding, and accepts no responsibility for, the quality, content, nature or reliability of third-party websites or vendors.

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