CC’s Criminal Justice program named one of nation’s best

Centralia College’s online associate degree program in Criminal Justice was named the 10th best in the nation, according to the 2018 rankings by Centralia College is the only associate degree program in Criminal Justice in Washington included in the top 50.

This is the first Centralia College program to make the top 10.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized for the work we do and the programs we offer,” said Greg Gilbertson, professor and program director. “All of our Criminal Justice programs are designed with two goals in mind – to serve students and to produce highly qualified, professional graduates.”

Centralia College offers several degree and certificate options in Criminal Justice. There are two associate degree options, an Associate in Technical Arts for students who intend to go directly into the workforce without earning a four-year degree, and an Associate in Arts with an emphasis in Criminal Justice for students who intend to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher. Centralia College also offers a one-year certificate in Crime Scene Investigation.

For adults already working as police officers, deputy sheriffs, or state troopers, Centralia College is the only college or university in Washington to award 45 credits for that work experience in the Criminal Justice Crosswalk Degree program.  The Crosswalk program allows law enforcement officers to fast-track their way to an associate degree by aligning the Centralia College curriculum with the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission Basic Law Enforcement Academy and the Washington State Patrol Academy training programs.

“Officers who have already completed their academy training and at least a year of field work can receive college credits for that prior work,” explained criminal justice online Professor Tadd Belden. “The other required courses can be completed online throughout the year. Most officers who have used the Crosswalk option at Centralia College have been able to earn their associate degree in four academic quarters.”

The rankings are based on a college or program’s academic quality (a combination of retention, graduation, and transfer rates), affordability, and the amount of online programming offered. Statistics are from the National Center for Education Statistics.

For more information, contact Professor Greg Gilbertson at 360-623-8587 or or Professor Tadd Belden at 360-623-8176 or


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