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University of Phoenix Central Valley Campus Launches Correctional Program Support Services Degree

New bachelor’s degree designed to address the growing needs in corrections in California

PHOENIX, Dec. 15, 2015 — California has one of the largest state-run prison systems in the United States, consisting of 33 adult correctional institutions, 13 adult community correctional facilities and eight juvenile facilities[1]. The state also employs more than 30,000 correctional officers who work inside California’s juvenile facilities and prisons[2]. To address the needs faced by correctional facilities, and to better serve the professionals who seek sustainable solutions to the effective reintegration of offenders into society, University of Phoenix® College of Social Sciences today announced the Bachelor of Science in Correctional Program Support Services at its Central Valley Campus in Fresno, Calif., as the Central Valley is home to several correctional facilities.

The undergraduate program provides correctional and criminal justice industry professionals an advanced understanding of where criminal justice and community services intersect, allowing them to expand their skillsets to help address mental health, rehabilitation and recidivism issues that affect U.S. communities. 

Driven by a rising national concern over public safety, and with the rate of mental illness among people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails significantly higher than that of the non-incarcerated population[3], there is a heightened need for professionals who understand the systematic realities for offenders, both during incarceration and after their release.     

“There are critical roles in today’s society for correctional program support services,” said Dr. Constance St. Germain, executive dean for University of Phoenix College of Social Sciences. “As home to one of the largest state-run prison systems in the nation, there’s a great opportunity and need to ensure well-trained professionals in California are equipped with the skills needed to help break the cycle for offenders who struggle with reintegrating into their communities and relapse into criminal behavior.”

The Bachelor of Science in Correctional Program Support Services was designed in collaboration with University of Phoenix College of Security and Criminal Justice and corrections industry subject matter experts, all of whom reflected the real-world needs of professionals in the field. The degree provides individuals who work in a myriad positions in the correctional and criminal justice systems the education necessary to fulfill functions in a broad range of institutional and community correctional domains by using a multidisciplinary approach of psychology, human services, behavioral and criminal justice theories.

Students will be trained to serve in positions such as case managers, program directors and program managers, which are designed to assist with the societal reintegration of offenders. The program will equip students with foundational skills to address correctional field trends such as prison overcrowding, gangs, and mental health and substance abuse issues that impact correctional facilities and court-mandated programs.

“The corrections industry is vital to the health and well-being of our society. Research shows that two-thirds of prisoners released are back in prison within three years[4]. We want to further educate professionals on how to reduce that number,” said Dr. St. Germain. “University of Phoenix’s Central Valley Campus is located in an area with several correctional facilities and we have instructors with years of experience as correctional counselors and other roles in the security industry profession, who bring their knowledge and expertise to the classroom.”

The Bachelor of Science in Correctional Program Support Services is an educational degree program that provides a foundation of knowledge in the field of correctional program support services and is also available online. This program does not prepare students for any type of professional certification or licensure as a correctional officer, social worker or counselor. 

For more information about this program, including on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed the program and other important information, please visit phoenix.edu/programs/gainful-employment.

About University of Phoenix® College of Social Sciences

University of Phoenix College of Social Sciences offers programs in human services, psychology and counseling. The college’s curriculum seeks to empower individuals who wish to enhance their skills for career entry or advancement in the helping professions. Curriculum is regularly updated to meet accreditation and/or national and state professional standards. University of Phoenix College of Social Sciences faculty members are experienced professionals, holding advanced degrees. Many sit on state licensure and accreditation boards as well as professional committees. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu/socialsciences.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.

[1] California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation: CDCR Facility Locator Map: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/map/

[2] California Correctional Peace Officers Association: About Us: https://www.ccpoa.org/about-us/

[3] The Council of State Governments Justice Center: http://csgjusticecenter.org/reentry/issue-areas/mental-health/

[4] Bureau of Justice Statistics: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4986