In a study of 40 college criminal justice programs in Virginia, criminology and corrections experts with CorrectionalOfficer.org 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, CorrectionalOfficer.org 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 CorrectionalOfficer.org 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, CorrectionalOfficer.org 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, CorrectionalOfficer.org 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, CorrectionalOfficer.org said its goal is to help students find those that provide the greatest return on investment.
“We are excited to learn that CorrectionalOfficer.org 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 CorrectionalOfficer.org/state/virginia.