Main Navigation

Law Enforcement Cert

Certificate Programs of Studylaw enforcement certificate

Law Enforcement

Program code: 463-01 

Gainful Employment Information

Length: One-year Program – Two semesters

Purpose: The certificate curriculum in law enforcement has been developed in accordance with the need of local law enforcement agencies and personnel. The program is designed to meet the needs of the large number of local inservice law enforcement personnel and pre-service students who at present do not possess the necessary qualifications for entrance into the associate degree program in administration of justice or for other reasons do not wish to continue their education or in the interim obtain the necessary qualifications for the associate degree program. All credits obtained in the certificate program will be transferable.

Occupational Objective:

  • Commercial and Industrial Security Officer
  • Local, State, and Federal Enforcement Officers
  • Policeman
  • Private or Government Investigator

Admission Requirements:

Special Note to prospective Students: The Department of Criminal Justice Services has the authority to deny certification to any applicant who does not meet the provisions of sections 15.2-1705 and 15.2-1706 of the Code of Virginia. Criminal Justice organizations to include law enforcement, corrections, and the State Bar Association are prohibited from hiring persons who have been convicted of certain criminal acts. Any person wishing to enter the Administration of Justice program who has committed any legal offenses including minor traffic violations should discuss these matters with the Administration of Justice Program Director prior to application. This is especially pertinent for anyone with a drug use history.

Criminal Background Check/Drug Screening: Background checks for criminal history of barrier crimes (i.e. any felony, misdemeanors which restrict the ability to carry a firearm, multiple misdemeanors, drug convictions), driving history for excessive moving violations (i.e. reckless driving and DUI/DWI could be immediate disqualifiers for employment), and drug testing are required for employment with law enforcement and correctional agencies. Students with convictions and/or positive drug tests will not be eligible to sit for the state board examination which is required as a part of training academy graduation. The cost of criminal background check, driving history, and drug testing will be the responsibility of the student.

Physical Demands: As a part of the duties incumbent on law enforcement, correctional and private security officers are potentially strenuous. Physical altercations with suspects are a possibility each and every day. Students interested in this program should prepare themselves for duties that frequently require squatting, bending, kneeling, reaching, and stair climbing; lifting and carrying while wearing up to 25 pounds of equipment; frequent pushing and pulling up to 200 pounds without assistance; occasional lifting up to 200 pounds with assistance and occasional carrying up to 150 pounds. Duties also require constant use of acute sense of sight, hearing, touch, and speech. The nature of working in the criminal justice system particularly law enforcement and corrections could involve exposure to blood and body fluids using universal precautions.

Selection Process: To be eligible for selection to the program, interested persons should complete the following process by at least 2 weeks prior to the first day of classes:

1. Submit a college admission application
2. Submit an application to the program (separate document) with required form from Certified Background Incorporated which includes permissions and fee for the following:

  1. Criminal History
  2. Driving History
  3. Urine Drug Screen

3. Take the Virginia Placement Test (or submit SAT or ACT scores less than 2 years old).
4. Have transcripts of previous college courses or diplomas from high school criminal justice programs sent to the Southwest Virginia Community College Admissions department.
5. Schedule an interview with the Program Director.

At this time the students for the ensuing academic year will be selected. Selection will be based on the college application, Administration of Justice Department application, interview, and college placement reading scores.

Academic Requirements: Students must make a “C” or better in all program core courses. Any student receiving a grade less than “C” will be placed on programmatic academic probation. That course shall be remediated once, with a written contract drafted containing the requirements of the remediation. Remediated courses must be completed with a final grade of “C” or better. Dismissal from the program may result if the student does not meet the requirements of the contract.

Learn more about the Certificate in Law Enforcement at SWCC

Course NumberCourse TitleLecture HoursLab HoursCourse Credits
First Semester
ENG 101/111*Practical Writing or College Composition I303
ADJ 133Criminal Justice Ethics303
ADJ 100Survey of Criminal Justice303
SDV 108College Survival Skills101
CST 100Principles of Public Speaking303
ADJ 228Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs303
Second Semester
ENG 102/112*Practical Writing II or College Composition II303
ADJ 131Legal Evidence303
ADJ 168Computer Applications in Administration of Justice OR303
ITE 115Introduction to Computer Applications & Concepts
PLS/HISPolitical Science or History Elective303
ADJ 105Juvenile Justice303
PED 107*Exercise and Nutrition I OR202
PED 116*Lifetime Wellness and Fitness0-2

Total Minimum Credits for the Law Enforcement Certificate 33

• All transfer students should take English 111/112. English 101/102 will not transfer to a senior college or university.
• All transfer students should consult the transfer guide for the senior college or university they wish to attend prior to completing the Political Science/History requirement.
• Students wishing to transfer to senior colleges or universities should consult the ADJ Program Director for articulation agreements and further requirements particularly in the general core classes.
• Students completing the Administration of Justice degree online must complete the online version of this course which includes an original research project on Police/Correctional Use of Force.
*Students completing the Administration of Justice degree online may opt for PED-116 Lifetime Wellness and Fitness. Those in residence must take PED-107 Exercise and Nutrition I.

Back to Top

Have Questions? . Contact Us