You grew up wanting to be an astronaut, a firefighter, a police officer, a hero. Even as the years went by, and childhood dreams faded, you still wanted to make your mark on the world. You still needed to make a difference. You still can. Whatever direction your path takes in the field of criminal justice, from law to political science to psychology to police patrols, take your first steps into an exciting new career right here. See our areas of study below, and see how you can still be the hero of your story today.

  • Correctional Systems and Practices
  • Courts and Criminal Procedure
  • Crime in America
  • Criminal Investigation
  • Drug Abuse
  • Fingerprinting
  • Fundamentals of Criminal Law
  • History and Development of Criminal Justice
  • Interviews and Confessions
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Legal Aspects of Law Enforcement
  • Open Discussion On Current U.S. Supreme Court / Other Criminal Justice Related Rulings
  • Police Systems and Practices
  • Probation and Parole

stephen-gassCriminal justice administration students will work closely with retired Lieutenant Stephen Gass, who has 25 years of experience as a law-enforcement professional with the Texarkana Texas Police Department. Gass’s public services includes supervision and training of law enforcement personnel, classroom instruction of youth and adults, and experience in coordinating and facilitating community-focused problem-solving initiatives, including:

  • Bi-State Narcotics Task Force Commander
  • Department of Justice Weed & Seed Initiative Coordinator
  • Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Instructor

Scholarship Opportunities

The Texarkana College Foundation offers an endowed scholarship just for criminal justice students. Visit our scholarships page to learn more about the Officer William Jason Sprague Memorial Scholarship.

To learn more, please contact us.

Stephen Gass
Program Coordinator & Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice
(903) 823-3235
Dixon Boyles, Ed.D.
Dean of Business and Social Sciences

Associate of Arts – Concentration in Criminal Justice Administration

The Criminal Justice program is approved by the Coordinating Board and the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. Areas of study include History and Development of Criminal Justice, Crime in America, Fundamentals of Criminal Law, The Courts and Criminal Procedure, Police Systems and Practices, Criminal Investigation, Legal Aspects of Law Enforcement, Correctional Systems and Practices, Juvenile Delinquency, Probation and Parole, Fingerprinting, Drug Abuse, Interviews and Confessions, and Firearms and Ammunition Identification. In addition, there are open discussions on current U.S. Supreme Court and other court rulings which relate to all criminal justice activities.


Freshman Year

First Semester Hours
BIOL/CHEM/PHYS (any core course / no lab required) 3
ENGL 1301 (core)
Composition I
BCIS 1305 or EDUC/PSYC 1300 (core)
Business Computer Applications or
Learning Framework
CRIJ 1301
Introduction to Criminal Studies
CRIJ 1310
Fundamentals of Criminal Law
Total 15
Second Semester Hours
ENGL 1302 or ENGL 2311 (core)
Composition II or Technical & Business Writing
HIST 1301 (core)
United States History I
GOVT 2305 (core)
Federal Government
CRIJ 1306
Court Systems & Practices
CRIJ 2313
Correctional Systems & Practices
Total 15

Sophomore Year

First Semester Hours
CRIJ 2314
Criminal Investigation
Math (any core course) * 3
HIST 1302 (core)
United States History II
Social & Behavioral Science (any core course) 3
Language, Philosophy, & Culture (any core course) 3
Total 15
Second Semester Hours
Creative Arts (any core course) 3
BIOL/CHEM/PHYS (any core course/no lab required) 3
CRIJ 2328
Police Systems & Practices
SPCH (any core course) 3
GOVT 2306 (core)
Texas Government
Criminal Justice Administration AA Total

*  MATH 1332 Math for Liberal Arts is recommended

Criminal Justice Administration Course Descriptions

Core Courses

Several courses for this degree can be found in the Academic Core. View the Academic Core

CRIJ 1301 Introduction to Criminal Justice

History, philosophy, and development of the criminal justice system; crime defined. Its nature and impact; overview of criminal justice system; law enforcement; prosecution and defense; court system; trial process; corrections.

CRIJ 1306 Court Systems and Practices

The judiciary in the criminal justice system; structure of the American court system; prosecution; right to counsel; pretrial release; grand juries; adjudication process; types and rules of evidence; sentencing.

CRIJ 1307 Crime in America

Historical study of American crime problems; social and public policy factors affecting crime; impact of crime and its trends; social characteristics of specific crimes; crime prevention.

CRIJ 1310 Fundamentals of Criminal Law

A study of the nature of criminal law; philosophical and historical development; major definitions and concepts; classification of crimes; elements of crime and penalties using Texas statutes as illustrations; criminal responsibility.

CRIJ 1313 Juvenile Justice System

Study of deviant behavior with emphasis on youthful offenders; current theories of crime causation and treatment of juvenile offenders; crime prevention and the involvement of juveniles in various areas of crime in the United States.

CRIJ 2313 Correctional Systems and Practices

Corrections in the criminal justice system; organization of correctional systems; correctional role; institutional operations; alternatives to institutionalization; treatment and rehabilitation; current and future issues.

CRIJ 2314 Criminal Investigation

Investigative theory; collection and preservation of evidence; sources of information; interview and interrogation; use of the forensic sciences; case and trial preparation.

CRIJ 2323 Legal Aspects of Law Enforcement

Authority and responsibilities of law enforcement officers; constitutional restraints on police behavior; laws of arrest, search and seizure; criminal and civil liability of police officers.

CRIJ 2328 Police Systems and Practices

The Law Enforcement profession; organization of law enforcement systems; the police role; police discretion; ethics; police-community interaction; current and future issues.