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Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice

Bachelor of Science
Associate in Applied Science

Program Overview

The Criminal Justice program at Southwestern Michigan College is a unique partnership with Ferris State University.

The program combines SMC and Ferris coursework to create a seamless Bachelor of Science program all on SMC’s Dowagiac campus. Students also have the option of earning an Associate in Applied Science from SMC which can be applied toward Ferris’ Bachelor of Science.

Program Offerings

Bachelor of Science

Associate in Applied Science

About the Program

Our program is designed to prepare students for a job in one of the many fields in Criminal Justice, including law enforcement, corrections, or private security. In addition, with the flexibility of both 2- and 4- year options, our program can also be used as a launching point for advanced graduate study or entry into law school. In all cases, our students learn about the exciting world of Criminal Justice from a dedicated team of instructors that has one goal in mind: help our students reach their ultimate career goals. And, we never forget that college is not just about the classroom, so we get our students out in the real world, interacting with real criminal justice professionals. Recent examples include SWAT team demonstrations and K9 drills, right here on our campus with current Criminal Justice students.

Credits easily transfer into the Ferris State University Criminal Justice program on the SMC Dowagiac campus. The 3+1 partnership through Ferris State allows students to take three years of classes at SMC’s tuition and only one year at Ferris’ tuition.

Job Outlook

Police and detective jobs are expected to grow 7% between 2010 and 2020, correctional officer jobs 5%, private detective and investigator jobs 21%, and security and gaming surveillance officer jobs 18%. The annual salary for these fields ranges from $32,000 to $61,000.

Press Releases

Career Pathways

  • Police - Federal, State, and Local Agencies
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Conservation Officer
  • Corrections Officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Corrections-based Social Worker
  • Private Security Officer
  • Private Security Consultant
  • Law School
  • Graduate School

Why Criminal Justice at Southwestern Michigan College and Ferris State University?

  • 3 years at SMC's low tuition rate
  • SMC credits transfer easily to Ferris State University
  • Out-of-state students get charged Ferris' in-state tuition
  • On-campus housing available through SMC
  • Convenience of starting classes on the SMC Dowagiac campus and staying all 4 years

Contact Information

Christi Young
Chair-Social Science
(269) 783-2106
cyoung@swmich.edu

Program Faculty

Tom Atkinson
Chief of Staff, Southwestern Michigan College,
former Director of Public Safety, City of Dowagiac

Carol Bealor, J.D.
Director, Cass County Friend of the Court

Val Johnson
Parole Agent, Michigan Dept. of Corrections

Krista Smith
Director, Cass County Community Corrections

Clarence James
Drug Court Case Manager, State of Michigan


Criminal Justice

Sgt. David Davis, above, doing a demonstration with K9 companion Cessy from the Dowagiac Police Department