Bluefield University in the News


by | Feb 3, 2016

Bluefield College’s criminal justice program has been ranked the number one overall school in Virginia for supporting corrections by

In a study of 40 college criminal justice programs in Virginia, criminology and corrections experts with determined that Bluefield College scored best in graduating students for careers in corrections and criminal justice.


“We have worked long and hard to make our degree programs the very best they can be,” said Dr. Kelly Walls, professor of criminal justice. “We believe our primary goal as educators is to ensure that our students graduate with contemporary theoretical knowledge of the ever-changing criminal justice system as well as a real-world experiential understanding and expertise within that system. This award underscores our success. We couldn’t be happier, and we feel very blessed to receive this award.”


Bluefield College’s criminal justice major, offered both in the traditional classroom setting on campus and online for added convenience and flexibility, is designed for students interested in law, law enforcement, probation and parole, corrections, social services, and other positions within the criminal justice system. Courses are devised to allow students to complete general education classes pertinent to a liberal arts education concurrently with required major courses exposing them to the varied interconnected components of the American criminal justice system.


“As a department, we are just overjoyed about this ranking and extremely proud to have the opportunity to make an impact in the field of corrections,” said Dr. Kim Farmer, professor and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice. “We are fortunate to have a number of connections with correctional professionals in our area, many of whom are former students of ours, who are always willing to help us provide our students with career information, internships, and opportunities. We are grateful for their contributions to our program at Bluefield College.”


In determining the top ranked college criminal justice programs in Virginia, used student statistics, published surveys, government sourced data, and other school and career figures from a variety of sources, including records from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).


“We are advocates for correctional officer education and employment for future correctional officers,” said Tiffany O’Malley, press relations coordinator for about the purpose of the ratings.


Among the criteria used to determine the top schools was the percentage of students graduating with a criminal justice degree. Bluefield College ranked first in this category with 9.2 percent of its graduates earning a criminal justice degree, compared to the next best school with 5.9 percent CRJ grads.


In its ranking, noted that finding a high quality degree program, like Bluefield’s, “has become an essential first step in every officer’s career.” More and more, said, correctional departments and law enforcement agencies are emphasizing education and training.


The programs that scored high in the ranking were those that cater to aspiring correctional officers and those that combine principles of the criminal justice system, sociology, psychology and the legal system with practical training in techniques for crime detection and the handling of inmates. With potentially hundreds of programs available nationwide, said its goal is to help students find those that provide the greatest return on investment.


“We are excited to learn that has ranked Bluefield College at the top of all Virginia colleges and universities for supporting careers in criminal justice and corrections,” said Dr. David Olive, president of Bluefield College. “We have extremely gifted and experienced criminal justice faculty who are excelling in the delivery of impactful and relevant courses that prepare our students for law enforcement and corrections careers.”


For more information about Bluefield College’s criminal justice program, visit the CRJ major page on the BC web site. For helpful information about a career in corrections and to view the rankings for the top rated criminal justice programs in Virginia, visit

Bluefield University

[email protected]276.326.4212

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


Meet our core Counseling faculty

Dr. Challen Mabry

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Dr. Kristen Moran

Associate Professor of Counseling

Brandy Smith

Assistant Professor of Education & Counseling,
Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling Program,
Title IX Confidential Counselor

Our team is here for you! How can we help?

This form requires credentials in order to request information.