College News

Barton Criminal Justice program now available fully online

picture of siren lights

June 21, 2022
Story by Joe Vinduska

A career in criminal justice offers an opportunity to make a difference every day in one’s community. Barton Community College recently announced a more efficient path to this rewarding vocation, as the college’s reputable criminal justice program is now available fully online.

Criminal Justice Instructor Melissa Stevens said there are a variety of career paths available and many benefits to careers in this field.

“An associate degree in criminal justice can really put you on the fast track to a career in law enforcement, corrections, court services, or other related areas,” she said. “Wages are on the rise for these professions and they really are critical professions. We need to make sure we have staffing available for the safety and security of our society at large.”

According to, these are some criminal justice wage and growth statistics in the United States:

Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 

  • 2021 – Median Wage, $64,610 annual
  • Projected job openings (2020-2030) – 57,600

Correctional Officers and Jailers

  •  2021 Median Wage, $47,920
  •  Projected annual job openings (2018-2028) – 34,000

Probation Officers

  • Median Wage - $60,250
  • Projected annual job openings – 8,100

Stevens said the Criminal Justice Program is still available in-person, but they wanted to add the online option in an effort to help educate as many people as possible nationwide.

“What makes our program so reputable is that we work very closely with industry partners statewide,” she said. “We have a very productive relationship with the Kansas Highway Patrol, multiple sheriff’s offices and the Kansas Department of Corrections.”

One thing that Stevens also stressed is the opportunity to have a job that is full of purpose.

“This is a chance for people to be a part of something bigger than themselves,” she said.

Visit for more information on the Criminal Justice program.