Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway - Riverland

Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway

Transfer Pathway

The Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway AS offers students a powerful option: the opportunity to complete an Associate of Science degree with course credits that directly transfer to designated Criminal Justice bachelor’s degree programs at Minnesota State universities. The curriculum has been specifically designed so that students completing this pathway degree and transferring to one of the seven Minnesota State universities enter the university with junior-year status. All courses in the Transfer Pathway associate degree will directly transfer and apply to the designated bachelor’s degree programs in a related field.

This Riverland comprehensive program incorporates traditional liberal arts classes with a specialized curriculum of Corrections classes. Our Criminal Justice Corrections graduates are well prepared for various careers in the Corrections field at local, state and federal institutions or in Corrections treatment programs. This program also provides a solid foundation for going on to earn a Bachelor's degree or higher.

Our required Corrections Internship phase is an ideal way to find out which areas of the Correction field are best suited for your strengths and interests through hands-on experience. Students are encouraged to work closely with their Program Advisor to customize their degree to achieve desired personal goals.

Learn more about Riverland's Criminal Justice Program

    What will I study?

Program Expectations from Instructor Rich Watkins

  • Criminal Justice Field Experience
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Victimology


    Program Scholarships

The college offers several scholarships for students to help with the cost of their education.


    Student Highlight
My name is Sydney Brekke and I was a student in the Criminal Justice program at Riverland Community College. I was a dual major in the criminal justice program, I was very involved in CJS, which is a Criminal Justice society and a student ran organization. I was also part of Phi Theta Kappa, which is an honors society. I graduated in 2018 and earned my Associates degree. The instructors at Riverland have definitely been an impact on my future and where I am today in my career. When I started the Criminal justice program I was set on becoming a police officer and wanted to be involved in the Law Enforcement. Down the road I later learned about being able to become a dual major and picking up the Corrections side of the program. At this point I was open to learning all areas and seeing what the Corrections side of the program entailed. I became a dual major and going through the courses I learned about how I was more interested in the corrections side of the program then the Law Enforcement side. Through our Field Experience courses we were able to get out of the classroom and tour different prisons. This is where I found out what I wanted my career to be around. At this point in time my instructors who were Rich Watkins, Al Shuda, and Steve Wald helped me get to where I wanted to be and prepared me for my future in Corrections. They were very helpful with the hiring process. They also helped out with working with me to make time and figure out how to balance out my classes with starting my career in Corrections and staying on top of my school work. When I graduated from Riverland I graduated as a dual major who already had 1 year of experience working in the Department of Corrections at the Faribault prison. I now have been at the prison for three years and  I continue to work and apply myself as more opportunities arise.


Faculty Highlight
Rich Watkins

Rich Watkins
Program Coordinator, Law Enforcement and Corrections
I have twenty-nine years experience in law enforcement and I teach from a perspective of having done this job. From teaching officers to being involved in the hiring process affords me valuable knowledge that will assist the student not only in the classroom but to the hiring process as well. Connecting with students and instilling values and morals so they can learn the job in a viable and professional manner is crucial. Student engagement from lecture to hands on exercises is a critical component in learning this field. My goal, and the goal of this program, is not only to teach but to assist in every manner of helping the student become employed in their chosen field.

Al Shuda

Al Shuda
Law Enforcement Instructor
I have 27 years of law enforcement experience, as a police officer and correctional officer in Minnesota. I really enjoy teaching Riverland criminal justice students by using my law enforcement experience to provide additional information and experiences to supplement the course materials which gives the student a great overall perspective of what criminal justice is all about. I use the classroom environment along with hands-on training and real life experiences to be the best instructor that I can be.


Last Updated: May 1, 2020

    Quick Facts
  • Associate of Science
  • 60 Credits | Four Semesters
  • Location: Austin
  • Offering: Fall, Spring

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