Corrections, Probation, and Parole Bachelor's Degree
For individuals considering this career, you'll be working with offenders who have been released from prison or those who received probation as a sentence. Read about what you can learn in a bachelor's degree program. Schools offering Corrections degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Is a Bachelor's Degree in Corrections, Probation and Parole Necessary?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) maintains that while state and local governments can set their own educational requirements, you need to hold a bachelor's degree for employment in the areas of probation, parole or corrections at the federal level (www.bls.gov). The BLS further states that you can locate information about careers in the parole and corrections field through the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) (www.appa-net.org).
|Career Requirements||Bachelor's degree for federal careers, however state requirements vary|
|Degree Levels||Associate's or bachelor's degree, both available online|
|Common Courses||Psychology, criminal behavior, law enforcement, reentry, procedures and regulations|
|Other Requirements||In house training with employer, testing, and probationary period|
|Job Information (2014)||BLS predicted 4% growth from 2014 to 2024 and reported an average wage of $53,360|
What's Involved in a Degree Program?
One way to approach earning a bachelor's degree in corrections, probation and parole is to start with an associate's degree. You can find schools that tailor their associate's degree programs strictly for transfer toward a bachelor's degree at a four-year college.
You can also choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in the traditional manner. Typically consisting of 120-130 credits, this program takes four years to complete and leads to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree, often in criminal justice, with a specialization in corrections, probation and parole.
Online programs leading to a bachelor's degree in corrections, probation and parole are also available. If you hold an associate's degree, you may qualify for an online degree-completion program, which consists entirely of upper-level courses. You may still be required to complete an internship in-person.
What Will I Study in the Program?
Courses in a program cover probation and parole principles, corrections, policing, criminology, victimology, criminal procedures, rehabilitation, sociology and abnormal psychology. You may also have the opportunity to complete an internship with a governmental protective or law enforcement agency.
What Additional Training Is Required?
The BLS reports that once your application has been accepted by an agency, it's usually mandatory for you to undergo special training classes administered by that agency. Following that, you may be required to sit for a certification examination and complete a battery of written, oral, physical and psychological tests. Upon employment, you might have to complete a probationary period, which can last as long as a year, before you're placed on permanent status.
What's the Occupational Outlook?
The BLS projected that employment for individuals in the areas of corrections, probation and parole was expected to increase 4% from 2014 to 2024. The latest salary figures were announced by the BLS in 2014 and at that time, the national mean annual wage for probation officers and correctional specialists was $53,360.
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