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Criminal Justice

Western Dakota Tech’s Criminal Justice program can give you the skills and experiences you need to be successful for a wide variety of career fields. And since it’s a two-year Associate of Applied Science program, you will be in the workforce quickly, ready to make our communities better.

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


Application Process

Fall 2016

  2. Submit High School transcript or GED scores.
  3. Submit Immunization Records verifying two doses of MMR vaccinations.
  4. Submit official college trasnscripts if you have previously attended a post-secondary institution.
  5. Complete the ACCUPLACER test ($15.00 fee).

(The ACCUPLACER test will be waived if you have an ACT sub score of 18 or better in English, Math, and Reading, or a SAT sub score of at least 440 in Verbal and Math. The scores must be within the last five years.)

The ACCUPLACER test is offered Monday-Friday at 8:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m.

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 (WDT also offers a Law Enforcement program)
  • 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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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 2020, the number of workers in the following fields will grow:

Occupation Percentage Growth
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists 15.7
Correctional Officers and Jailers 1.9
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 6.4
Private Detectives and Investigators 15.6
Gaming Surveillance Officers and gaming Investigators 4.8
Security Guards 7.5
Transportation Security Screeners 21.4
Forensic Science Technicians 20.0

Meet Your Faculty

Western Dakota Tech 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.

Financial Aid

Continuing your education is crucial and Western Dakota Tech wants to make sure that any student who wants to attend school, has the opportunity to do so. For this reason, WDT 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 Tech 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

While Western Dakota Tech does not offer on-campus housing, we understand that finding a place to live within town while you go to school can be difficult. We have a few resources to help prospective students find affordable housing.

Child Care

Finding child care during school is a challenge for many students. Western Dakota Tech 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 Tech 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 Tech 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 Tech 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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