Criminal Justice Program

​​​​​​​​For 50+ years, DMACC has been a leader in providing criminal justice education programs. The DMACC Criminal Justice Degree Program is designed to provide a general criminal justice education that allows you to enter the workforce, move on to advanced training, or gain additional skills to enhance your career.

Choose your path:


Go to Work Pathway - NEW FOR FALL

Many Criminal Justice careers require a two-year degree.

» Loading...Criminal Justice Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree


Transfer Pathway - NEW FOR FALL

Earn a degree and move on to a four year college or university for advanced training.

» Loading...Criminal Justice Transfer Major Associate In Arts (AA) Degree


Specialized Training Certificates

Enhance your Criminal Justice skills with these short-term training oppportunities.

» Certificate Details

Meet Your Professor(s)

Jessica Cole

Jessica Cole

Program & District Chair
Ankeny Campus

Jessica began her teaching career at DMACC in January 2014. She served as the project manager for the collaboration with Transportation Security Administration and the Homeland Security Certificate program prior to becoming District Chair for the Criminal Justice Program in August 2016. Jessica is a Criminal Justice Club Advisor, coordinates the internship program for criminal justice students, and is involved in a number of DMACC committees. Before coming to DMACC, Jessica served as a police officer and detective with the Fairfax County Police Department in Northern Virginia, and was a member of the U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force. She taught women's self-defense throughout her law enforcement career. She currently teaches a variety of face-to-face and online classes, to include criminal & constitutional law, theories of interviewing, criminal investigation, and police & society.


BS in Psychology from Iowa State University; MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice from University of Maryland.

Primary teaching interests:

Criminal Investigations

Steve Barger

Steve Barger

DMACC/TSA Homeland Security Certificate Program Chair
Ankeny Campus

Steve began his teaching career at DMACC as an adjunct criminal justice instructor in 2010, and assumed full-time teaching duties in the fall of 2016. Steve serves as a Criminal Justice Club Advisor, was a long time member of the DMACC Criminal Justice Advisory Board, and the Indian Hills Community College Digital Forensics Advisory Committee. Steve recently retired from a 20 plus year career with the Iowa Department of Public Safety where he served as an Iowa State Patrol Trooper, Trooper/Vehicle Theft Investigator, Special Agent with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Special Agent with the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and Special Agent with the Iowa Division of Intelligence. Steve has served as a Tactical Unit member and spent much of his career working undercover, task forces, and special operations. Steve has served as an instructor and trainer for multiple disciplines at the Iowa Department of Public Safety Academy and the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy as well as instructing and training other local, and state, law enforcement officers throughout the Midwest.  Steve teaches a variety of Homeland Security and Criminal Justice credit courses both face-to-face and online.


Associate in Arts Degree from Des Moines Area Community College and Bachelor in Public Administration with an Emphasis in Law Enforcement from Upper Iowa University.

Primary teaching interests:

Homeland Security, Intelligence, Criminal Investigation, Narcotics Investigation, Tactical Operations, Special Operations, and Undercover Operations.

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​Employment in the criminal justice field is highly dependent upon one's character and background. Students who have a criminal history may complete the program of study, but it is NOT likely that they will find employment in the criminal justice field, and students with a criminal history may NOT be eligible for an internship, which is required for the AAS degree.