Bluefield College is expanding its criminal justice program for adult degree-completion students.
Students interested in the inSPIRE adult degree-completion program may now pursue a public safety degree (formerly named the criminal justice degree) with a study concentration in one of four specific areas: criminal justice; homeland security and emergency management; homeland security and critical infrastructure; or pre-law.
The new bachelor of arts degree in public safety with all four of its concentrations can be obtained through customary adult degree-completion classroom settings or entirely online through the college’s eSPIRE Online Learning Community.
“Bluefield College has offered the criminal justice degree through it’s inSPIRE degree-completion program across the Commonwealth for many years, and many criminal justice professionals have earned bachelor’s degrees from BC,” said Dr. Jeff Fox, chair of the public safety portion of inSPIRE. “We value the special relationship we have with the criminal justice community, and now we hope to grow that relationship by expanding our course offerings to those in and interested in the entire public safety community.”
The new public safety degree is designed for working adults already in or seeking to enter work in fire and emergency medical services, the military, chemical and environmental services, emergency management, juvenile justice, transportation, health services, court systems, corrections, security, municipal management, or some other public safety area.
Because the new degree program is much broader than the original criminal justice degree, graduates might find themselves working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Secret Service, Border Patrol, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), or the Department of Homeland Security.
They might also advance or begin work in the private security industry, as a consultant or investigator, or as an intelligence analyst. And, because the public safety degree still maintains the concentration in criminal justice, students are well equipped for a career in law enforcement or the foundation for graduate study in law.
“Students earning a degree in BC’s new public safety program will gain knowledge and skills in all facets of emergency management, homeland security, public administration, criminal justice, and the law,” said Dr. Fox. “This degree will assist graduates with preparation for graduate or law school. Likewise, the degree will prepare graduates for careers in criminal justice, homeland security and emergency management at the local, state and federal level in both the public and private arena.”
The homeland security and emergency management and the homeland security and critical infrastructure concentrations focus on an all-hazards philosophy and include classes in homeland security, emergency management, intelligence, weapons, infrastructure protection, and behavioral dimensions of disaster. The criminal justice and pre-law tracts feature classes in criminal law, corrections, law enforcement, legal and constitutional issues, psychology, criminal behavior, and terrorism.
All classes can be taken in customary inSPIRE classroom settings or entirely online through the college’s eSPIRE Online Learning Community. BC’s inSPIRE program is a convenient, accelerated degree-completion program designed to allow a working adult with prior college credit the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree in as little as 13 months. The eSPIRE Online Learning Community simply extends the flexibility and convenience by offering students the opportunity to complete their bachelor’s degree completely online without sacrificing professional and personal commitments.
Students entering the public safety degree-completion program must have already earned 54 college credit hours. In many cases, military or service-oriented training, as well as prior public safety work experience counts toward the prerequisite credits.