Criminal Justice

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Preparing you for a career in law enforcement and corrections
There is no better time to pursue a career in criminal justice. The nation is moving towards a two-year degree requirement for all criminal justice professionals and Cowley College’s associate degree in criminal justice fulfills that requirement. Crime rates and drug abuse are rising, and the public wants a strong response to this crisis, which has led to an increase in job opportunities for law enforcement and corrections. Employment opportunities exist in local police departments and organizations, state and county police, corrections and juvenile facilities, environmental protection, crime labs, courts and judicial offices, and community-based probation and parole services.


Cowley College is a great place to seek a career in criminal justice. In the classroom, we combine traditional education with hands-on learning. We give our students all the tools they need to become law enforcement officers and criminal justice leaders.

Our faculty is dedicated to teaching and mentoring students for careers in criminal justice, law enforcement, and corrections. We provide an online program and the Kansas Promise Act allows eligible Kansas residents to receive scholarship money to pay for an associate’s degree or certificate.

Also, students who declare a major in criminal justice and meet the requirements are eligible to be a Student Patrol Officer. Our Student Patrol Officer program is based on the values of community service and criminal justice education for our students. The main purpose of the Student Patrol is to educate through experience.

We hope you will become a Tiger and apply to Criminal Justice at Cowley College!

Digital Badges

We want our students to shine, so we created Digital Badges. These badges show the skills and accomplishments our graduates earned at Cowley College. After completing the program, you can use them to create an online resume for job applications. Employers can click on the badges to see what you have achieved. This helps them see your effort and sets you apart from other applicants.

Available ALL online

This program can be completed ALL online through Cowley Online.

For face-to-face classes, visit our locations for more information.

Kansas Promise Act logoLearn For Free
Kansas residents can earn scholarship dollars to cover expenses and learn for free by completing an eligible associate degree or certificate under the Kansas Promise Act Scholarship. Contact the Scholarships Department to find out more about the Kansas Promise Act Scholarship.

Meet Our Lead Instructor

Frank Owens has a passion for teaching the future officers of our criminal justice system and brings his knowledge of the criminal justice system into the classroom and blends it with traditional college learning to create a hands-on and fun learning atmosphere.
Faculty - Director of Criminal Justice

Program Videos

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My Story

Dakota Richardson

Criminal Justice
Dakota Richardson
While at Cowley College I found it exciting to get to class and get involved in a subject I had a growing passion about.

My name is Dakota Richardson and I wish to share my experience with the Cowley College Criminal Justice program. When I graduated high school in Belle Plaine, Kansas I wanted to become a chiropractor or history teacher. But I had a friend whose father served with the Kansas Highway Patrol and seeing how a police officer was held to a higher standard I quickly changed my mind. After asking about his experiences in law enforcement I thought that would be a great career.

While at Cowley College I found it exciting to get to class and get involved in a subject I had a growing passion about. I found myself doing a lot better than I did in high school because the course work made me feel like I wanted to be in the classroom learning. The criminal justice program provided me and my classmates several tools to become a successful police officer. I learned the court procedures and what could be expected in the judicial process. I learned local “10 codes” along with the phonetic alphabet which most law enforcement agency’s use.

After completing and graduating from Cowley College, I quickly became employed with the Winfield Police Department and have used my skills I learned in the criminal justice program in my tour of duty each day. I would not change my career choice for anything else. I am proud to be a Cowley College Criminal Justice graduate and proud to be a police officer!