The recent increase in crime and gang activity has all levels of government calling for more funding to hire additional criminal justice professionals. Police Services, the Sheriff’s department, Animal and Bylaw Services, Corrections, Canada Border Services Agency, etc., are all trying to find qualified applicants to fill vacant positions. Columbia College’s Criminal Justice Diploma Program prepares individuals for a career as a Police Officer, Corrections Officer, Probation Officer, Customs Officer, Animal and Bylaw Services Officer, to name but a few.
Columbia College is the only post secondary institution in Calgary still offering a two-year diploma in Criminal Justice. And, the two-year diploma is offered as an accelerated program that can be completed in just one year of full time study. This means graduates can be making a difference and working in their chosen field faster.
Columbia College provides students with a hands-on learning experience. Students learn and practice skills and competencies criminal justice employers are looking for such as conflict resolution, interviewing, investigative techniques, Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, criminal law, etc. In addition, practicum opportunities are available for students to “test drive” their chosen career. Columbia’s team of facilitators has a wealth of real life experience and help students focus on developing their critical thinking and problem solving skills; the skills employers value most. Facilitator Bill Sturgeon has over 30 years of experience as a police officer and has worked in the Identification Unit of the Calgary Police Service for over 16 years and investigated over 150 homicides. “The facilitators at Columbia College pass on decades of experience to the program” says Sturgeon, “they have walked the walk for years and know what they are talking about.” Criminal Justice agencies look for people with a variety of backgrounds in education and life experience. Sturgeon however suggests that it would be natural to presume that candidates with a criminal justice diploma would have a leg up over other candidates in addition to making recruit training a little easier.