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Online Colleges for Corrections

While corrections officers often work eight-hour days, that is the end of the career's resemblance to an office job. Their setting is a jail or prison, and the population they work with -- or "oversee" -- is of incarcerated individuals serving time for a crime. It is a career that is both serious and highly important, and it rewards hard work and responsibility.

While many of the duties in this field are taught through police academy training or hands-on experience, it would be dangerous to go into those experiences uninformed. A degree in corrections provides a critical foundation in the skills and knowledge you'll need to succeed at this career.

Best Online Colleges for Corrections

Looking for a list of the best online colleges for corrections, but don't know where to start? We evaluated 24 online schools for their corrections programs and listed the 10 best here. We looked at metrics such as graduation rate, tuition cost and the percentage of degrees that the schools awarded in the corrections field, using data from the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). For details on this ranking system, see the bottom of the page. Otherwise, take a look at our list of the 10 best schools with online corrections degrees in the country.

1

Eastern Wyoming College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$1,992
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
8
Accredited
School Type
2-year

Eastern Wyoming College, the home of the "Lancers," offers an Associate of Science in criminal justice with an emphasis in corrections program that can be completed entirely online. Students can use this program for a terminal degree or transfer to another college. Criminal law, forensic science and juvenile justice courses are included in the degree. A one-credit capstone project lets students synthesize their knowledge and skills.

Eastern Wyoming College takes the number one spot on our list of schools offering online corrections degrees for several reasons. For affordable tuition, it ranked third best out of the 24 schools we analyzed. It took the eighth spot in the metric for percentage of degrees awarded in the field in 2015, and it has an open admissions policy, which means it accepts anybody who applies for entry as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Finally, the school placed 11th for graduation rate, putting it just about in the middle range of all 24 online colleges for corrections considered.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

3200 West C Street,
Torrington, Wyoming 82240-1699
Go to School Website 
GO
2

Cameron University

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,960
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
8
Accredited
School Type
4-year

Our number two school, Cameron University, offers an Associate of Applied Science in criminal justice degree with a specialization in corrections, 100 percent online. The degree comprises general education classes, university requirements, major requirements and requirements in the area of specialization. The school has many other programs fully online, including a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice program.

Cameron University, which offers nearly 50 different degrees overall, ranked second out of 24 schools for the percentage of degrees awarded in the corrections field. It also ranked ninth on the tuition metric and 16th for graduation rate. An open-admission policy is among its numerous assets.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

2800 West Gore Boulevard,
Lawton, Oklahoma 73505-6377
Go to School Website 
GO
3

Cayuga County Community College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
N/A
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
N/A
Accredited
School Type
N/A

Part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, Cayuga County Community College awards an Associate of Applied Science in criminal justice degree with an emphasis in corrections that can be completed entirely online. A police emphasis is offered online, too. Students that prefer both online coursework and campus classes can opt for a hybrid alternative. The program articulates with several four-year criminal justice programs at SUNY schools.

Cayuga County Community College made it onto our list as a result of its third-place spot for the percentage of degrees awarded in the criminal justice corrections field. It also ranked tenth for graduation rate, out of 24 schools considered for best online colleges for corrections, and offers an open admissions policy.

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Location:

197 Franklin Street,
Auburn, New York 13021-3099
Go to School Website 
GO
4

Community College of Allegheny College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$6,286
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
15
Accredited
School Type
2-year

An Associate of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology degree is available online through the Community College of Allegheny College. An emphasis in Corrections gives students the chance to learn about evidence and procedures, criminal justice law and ethics in criminal justice. Online emphases in computer forensics and law enforcement also can be pursued. The degree is just one of a dozen offered online.

The Community College of Allegheny College made the fourth spot on our list of best online colleges for corrections, largely for ranking sixth in the metric for the percentage of degrees awarded in corrections, but also for hitting the 13th spot on the tuition metric. It also scored high on the admission metric as a result of its open-admission policy.

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Location:

800 Allegheny Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15233-1895
Go to School Website 
GO
5

Community College of Philadelphia

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$8,880
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
4
Accredited
School Type
2-year

An Associate of Applied Science in Justice degree is available fully online from the Community College of Philadelphia. Students who are graduates of the Philadelphia Police or Prison Academy can receive credits toward the online degree, too. The degree requires students to complete a 'cluster' of career courses in one of the following areas:

  • Corrections
  • Corporate/Homeland Security
  • Parole/probation
  • Police

Students who obtain their degree here can transfer to one of nearly a dozen schools thanks to the Community College of Philadelphia's articulation agreements, and the college accepts all interested students through its open admissions policy. However, the school's real claim to fame is having awarded the highest percentage of corrections degrees in 2015 of all 24 schools we reviewed.

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Location:

1700 Spring Garden Street,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130-3991
Go to School Website 
GO
6

Baker College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$8,640
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
31
Accredited
School Type
4-year

Baker College, an independent Michigan college, offers more than 100 programs to students, including an Associate of Applied Science in criminal justice and a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice. The degree programs at Baker follow standards set by the Michigan Corrections Officers Training Council, and several of the school's classes are offered in online format. To help students learn about campus services, policies and procedures, a College Success Online class is required for all students.

With a history of more than 100 years, this time-honored school made our list of best online colleges for corrections for its number four ranking in terms of percentage of degrees granted in the field. It also boasts an open-admission policy, a small but crucial detail that helped it secure the sixth spot on our list.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

1050 West Bristol Road,
Flint, Michigan 48507-5508
Go to School Website 
GO
7

Montana State University-Northern

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$3,953
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
6
Accredited
School Type
4-year

A fully online Bachelor of Science in criminal justice degree can be completed at Montana State University-Northern. Earning such a degree can lead to a career in homeland security, juvenile corrections or police services. In this criminal justice degree program, the following topics are covered:

  • American Criminal Law
  • Introduction to Corrections
  • Police Organization and Behavior

Additionally, an online minor in criminal justice can be completed at the school.

Montana State University ranked on our list for its number eight rating on the tuition metric, the third best score of all the schools included in this list. It also took the tenth spot on the metric for percentage of degrees awarded in the field -- not as impressive as its affordable tuition, but certainly still worth mentioning.

Accreditation:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Location:

300 West 11th Street,
Havre, Montana 59501
Go to School Website 
GO
8

Northeast Community College

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
N/A
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
N/A
Accredited
School Type
N/A

At Northeast Community College, a fully online Associate of Arts in criminal justice degree with an emphasis in corrections is offered. A minimum of 60 credits is necessary to complete the degree, which includes eight courses specifically in corrections. Two elective courses round out the program.

This school made our list of top online colleges for corrections for its fifth place spot, out of 24, for lowest tuition. Only one other school on this list had more affordable tuition than Northeast Community College. The college also performed well on the graduation metric, garnering a sixth-place spot out of the 24 schools considered, and aced the admissions rate metric due to its open admissions policy.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

801 East Benjamin,
Norfolk, Nebraska 68702-0469
Go to School Website 
GO
9

Southern New Hampshire University

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$30,006
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
109
Accredited
School Type
4-year

A fully online Bachelor of Science in criminal justice degree with a concentration in corrections is offered through Southern New Hampshire University, or SNHU. Criminal law, policies, procedures and regulations form the foundation of this degree, but students also learn about evidence-based practices and programs used within corrections facilities. Other concentrations available in the online criminal justice degree at SNHU include:

  • Criminology
  • Homeland Security & Counterterrorism
  • Human Services
  • Legal Studies & Advocacy
  • Police Administration & Operations

SNHU scored an impressive second-place ranking for graduation rate, the best score of any of the online schools for corrections included on this list. For percentage of degrees awarded in the field, it garnered the number five spot. Although the school does not have an open admissions policy, it still admitted more than 90 percent of all applicants to its programs in 2015.

Accreditation:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.

Location:

2500 North River Road,
Manchester, New Hampshire 03106-1045
Go to School Website 
GO
10

Eastern Kentucky University

Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$8,150
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
41
Accredited
School Type
4-year

The online Bachelor of Science in corrections & juvenile justice studies degree available from Eastern Kentucky University, or EKU, is one of the few in the country to focus strictly on juvenile justice and adult services, according to the school. Other online corrections programs available at EKU include the:

  • Undergraduate Professional Certificate in Correctional Intervention Studies
  • Undergraduate Professional Certificate in Youth Services
  • Master's Degree in Justice, Policy & Leadership

EKU makes our list in part thanks to its multiple online corrections programs listed above, but it had other positive qualities as well. The university ranked seventh for graduation rate and ninth for the percentage of degrees it awarded in the field in 2015-16, both high scores out of the pool of 24 schools we analyzed.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Location:

521 Lancaster Avenue,
Richmond, Kentucky 40475-3102
Go to School Website 
GO
Sources and Methodologies

Methodology

To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:

  1. Offer an undergraduate degree (either associate or bachelor's) in that subject online
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2014-15

Once we had our list of schools for each subject, we ranked them on five criteria:

  1. In-state tuition, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
  3. Accessibility, based on the admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
  4. Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  5. Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015

Sources:

  1. Academics, Baker College, Accessed April 2017, https://www.baker.edu/student-services/academics/ - fullprogramlist
  2. Corrections Emphasis, Eastern Wyoming College, Accessed April 2017, https://ewc.wy.edu/academic-services/majors/criminal-justice/corrections-emphasis/
  3. Criminal Justice A.A.S., Cayuga County Community College, Accessed April 2017, http://www.cayuga-cc.edu/academics/schools/social-sciences-and-education/criminal-justice/
  4. Criminal Justice and Criminology, Community College of Allegheny College, Accessed April 2017, http://staging.ccac.edu/Criminal_Justice_and_Criminology_Page.aspx
  5. Criminal Justice Degree, Montana State University Northern, Accessed April 2017, http://www.msun.edu/academics/coeasn/program-CriminalJustice.aspx
  6. Degrees and Programs, Criminal Justice Corrections, Accessed April 2017, http://northeast.edu/Degrees-and-Programs/2015/Criminal-Justice-Corrections/
  7. Distance Learning, Cameron University, Accessed April 2017, http://www.cameron.edu/online/undergraduate-online-programs
  8. Justice, Community College of Philadelphia, Accessed April 2017, http://www.ccp.edu/college-catalog/degree-and-certificate-programs/associate-applied-science-aas/justice
  9. Online Bachelors Degree, BS in Criminal Justice Corrections, Southern New Hampshire University, Accessed April 2017, http://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/bachelors/bs-in-criminal-justice/corrections
  10. Online Degrees and Programs, Northeast Community College, Accessed April 2017, http://northeast.edu/Northeast-Online/Online-Degrees-and-Programs.aspx
  11. Undergraduate Options in Correction & Juvenile Justice, Eastern Kentucky University, Accessed April 2017, http://corrections.eku.edu/eku-online-undergraduate-options-corrections-juvenile-justice
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Sources and Methodologies