• Criminal Justice

    Careers in criminal justice are highly competitive and rigorous. Some days are long and get your heart pumping; most days you’re working hard gathering evidence or nailing down accurate information for a critical report. Learn the ins and outs of keeping others safe!

    The Criminal Justice program lays the foundation for students interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement, criminal law, corrections, homeland security, investigative services, forensics, and related public safety career pathways. Cover the basics of traffic law / traffic enforcement; criminal and juvenile law; crime prevention; the court and correction systems; crime scene investigation; and more. Develop your observational, communication, documentation, and "people" skills critical for success in this field. You will also learn which career paths require further training or education.

    What will my classes be like?
    The program includes simulations, demonstrations, report preparation, lecture,and work-based learning experiences. Viewing the criminal justice system from the ground up will help you understand how a law enforcement career plays out at the local, private, state, and federal levels of service.

    Course Goals/Objectives

    Students will gain a solid academic foundation in criminal justice that will serve them well in any career they pursue within the field of criminal justice.  Students will acquire a wide variety of practical professional skills and enhance their professional writing.

    Course Outline 

    • September - Program orientation, career exploration, criminal law, traffic law, radio communication
    • October - Constitutional law, search and seizure, Community Emergency Response Team training/certification
    • November - Introduction to court structure, Community Emergency Response Team training/certification
    • December - Introduction to court procedures,  pretrial procedures
    • January - Introduction to criminal trials
    • February - Introduction to basic crime scene processing, fingerprinting, mock trials
    • March - Punishment and Sentencing
    • April - Probation and Community Corrections, Introduction to juvenile justice system
    • May - Homeland Security

    *The following skills are developed and practiced throughout the year:

          -  Radio Communications

          -  Traffic Stops

          -  Arrest Procedures

          -  Interviewing Victims, Witnesses, and Offenders

          -  Fingerprint Procedures

          -  Basic Crime Scene Processing (photographing, measuring, sketching, collecting evidence)

          -  Verbal Communication

          -  Report Writing

          -  Vehicle Searches

    Industry professionals are scheduled as available to share their experiences with students.  Previous presentations included members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; and United States Customs and Border Patrol.

    These presentations provide information regarding the educational background, career pathways and skills necessary to pursue these careers. Students have the opportunity to ask questions and speak personally with each professional.

    Assessment Standards/Grading Practices

    Students are both informally and formally assessed on their acquired skills.

    Informal assessments may include class participation in discussions, group activities/projects, and performance of practical skills. 

    Formal assessments include performance assessments, written assignments, quizzes and tests.

    Field Experiences/Competitive Opportunities

    Second-year students may have the opportunity in the spring to participate in internships or job-shadow experiences. Partnerships with various law enforcement organizations provide our students with this valuable opportunity to gain practical experience and to network with industry professionals. Students have the opportunity to compete in Skills USA competitions at the regional, state and national levels.

    College and Career Pathways

    (Most require additional post-secondary education/training)


    Students will have the opportunity to be certified in CPR and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.


    Parole and Probation Officer

    Loss Prevention

    Correctional Officer

    Intelligence Analyst

    Crime Scene Technician

    Forensic Scientist

    Criminal Psychologist

    Police Officer

    State Trooper

    Corporate Security

    Private Investigation

    Federal Law Enforcement Officer/Agent

    Correction Services

    Security & Protective Services

    Law Enforcement Services

    Legal Services


    For sample occupations and post secondary educational requirements,visit:


    www.careertech.org and click on “Career Clusters & Pathways”


    Program Selection Guidelines/Recommendations

    We are confident that the Criminal Justice Program at Technology Center of DuPage is a positive and productive learning opportunity for DuPage County students. With this in mind, the following academic guidelines are recommendations intended to assist in scheduling students for success.

    If a student considering Criminal Justice has questions about one or more of these guidelines, contact a guidance representative from the home high school to clarify individual situations.

    Academic Readiness:

    Mathematics:  Students currently enrolled in or who have completed Geometry are likely to be effectively prepared to manage mathematics concepts required of students in this program.

    Reading/Writing:  Students currently enrolled in or who have successfully completed English 10 are likely to have the literacy skills required of students in this program.

    Attendance:Students are expected to attend and effectively participate in program experiences to be successful in the Technology Center of DuPage experience. 95% attendance is expected of successful students in this program.


    Professional Skills:

    Criminal Justice students are also expected to effectively display the following attributes:

    Time management skills                       Personal motivation                  

    Problem-solving ability                          Ability to work with others

    Reliability/Dependability                        Ability to work independently

    Strong organizational skills