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Legal & Law Programs ►Juvenile Justice Specialist Certificate Program with Externship

Program includes National Certification & an Externship Opportunity

The Juvenile Justice Specialist

Should teenagers who commit serious crimes be tried as juveniles or adults in our criminal system? What constitutes a “serious” enough crime in order to justify such a decision and what age of the defendant is critical to this determination? These are questions that face our criminal justice system every day, and face our society as we develop prosecution procedures for certain defendants. Juvenile justice professionals have a firm understanding of criminal laws and procedures and make sure that the proper standards are applied to juvenile offenders both for purposes of criminal proceedings, incarceration and protection.

The Juvenile Justice Specialist Program

The Juvenile Justice program is designed to prepare students to address exactly these questions by introducing the concepts, principles and practices of the juvenile justice system to students. Students will take an in-depth look at juvenile law and the unique role of the courts in these circumstances as well as the corrections systems that will apply to them. Students will analyze the different socioeconomic considerations that must be weighed in addressing juvenile justice issues, as well as the manner in which social service agencies (treatment, child protective services, etc.) interact, aid or impede the formal juvenile justice system. This program gives students an overview of American juvenile justice in terms of both system and practice. It examines the juvenile offender, causes of juvenile crime, the juvenile court system, and juveniles in the adult court system. The program also looks at the institutionalization, rehabilitation, and treatment of juveniles, and the future of juvenile justice in America.

Program Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Define terms related to juvenile justice
  • Analyze the impact history has had in juvenile justice
  • Describe the various theories related to juvenile justice
  • Examine the Juvenile Justice System
  • Describe the measurement of juvenile crime
  • Describe juvenile victims
  • Analyze juveniles in the adult court system
  • Analyze the effectiveness of juvenile probation and community based programs
  • Appraise the treatment of juvenile offenders
  • Analyze the juvenile offender
  • Investigate international juvenile justice
  • Use Microsoft Office


  • Define terms related to juvenile justice
  • Identify historical themes of juvenile justice
  • Explain theories of criminology
  • Explain Rational Choice Theory
  • Describe the influence Determinism has had on the development of Positivism
  • Discuss the Integrated Theory in relation to juvenile crime
  • Identify juvenile justice agencies
  • Describe how juveniles are processed in the juvenile justice system
  • Discuss challenges to the Juvenile Justice System


  • Define terms related to the measurement of juvenile crime
  • Identify official measurements of juvenile crime
  • Identify unofficial measurements of juvenile crime
  • Describe dimensions of law-violating behavior
  • Describe juvenile victims


  • Define terms related to juvenile justice
  • Describe the history of police and juvenile relations
  • Analyze how juveniles' attitudes towards police have changed
  • Describe how police respond to juvenile offenders
  • Identify the legal rights of juveniles
  • Outline the function of the police in relation to juvenile crime
  • Summarize challenges facing the police in the community


  • Define terms related to robbery
  • Define terms related to murders and assaults
  • Describe victimization as it relates to robbery
  • Explain victimization as it relates to murder and assaults by strangers
  • Differentiate between the types of violence from strangers
  • Examine offender-victim relationships


  • Define terms related to the Juvenile Justice System
  • Outline the history of the juvenile courts
  • Describe how status offenders are handled
  • Identify the juvenile courtroom players
  • Summarize pretrial procedures in the juvenile court
  • Paraphrase the adjudicatory hearing
  • Describe the disposition hearing
  • Discuss the juvenile sentencing structure
  • Examine ways to improve the Juvenile Justice System


  • Define terms related to juvenile justice
  • Describe how juveniles are identified as children or adults
  • Explain how juveniles are transferred to adult courts
  • Summarize the youthful offender system
  • Discuss prison life for juveniles
  • Discuss how the death penalty is applied to juveniles
  • Describe Barry C. Feld's adult court for juveniles


  • Define terms related to juvenile probation
  • Outline the development of juvenile probation
  • Describe the three basic functions of juvenile probation
  • Identify types of risk control and crime reduction
  • Describe the role of probation officers as treatment agents
  • Examine the effectiveness of probation


  • Define terms related to community based programs and aftercare
  • Outline the development of community based programs
  • Outline the history of aftercare
  • Outline the development of juvenile probation
  • Discuss how community based programs are administered
  • Describe delinquency prevention programs
  • Differentiate between diversion programs, day treatment programs, group homes, and wilderness programs
  • Identify the objectives of aftercare
  • Describe how aftercare operates
  • Recognize the responsibilities of aftercare officers
  • Examine the effectiveness of community based programs and aftercare


  • Define terms related to juvenile institutionalization
  • Trace the development of juvenile institutionalization
  • Appraise the treatment of juvenile offenders
  • Explain short term confinements of juveniles
  • Describe long term confinements of juveniles
  • Examine the challenges of juvenile institutionalization
  • Identify rights of institutionalized juveniles


  • Define terms related to treatment of juvenile offenders
  • Describe the classification of juvenile offenders
  • Identify treatment modalities used in the treatment of juvenile offenders
  • Assess the effectiveness of treatment for juvenile offenders


  • Define terms related to juvenile offenders
  • Trace how gangs have evolved in the United States
  • Identify features of urban gangs
  • Outline the stages of gang development
  • Describe community prevention of youth gangs
  • Identify problem behaviors among juveniles
  • Analyze the types of juvenile offenders


  • Define terms related to international juvenile justice
  • Outline the Beijing Rules
  • Examine how industrialized nations handle juvenile crime
  • Examine how emerging nations handle juvenile crime


  • Define terms related to juvenile justice
  • Examine how problems in modern society affect juveniles at risk
  • Analyze juveniles' ability to straighten out their lives
  • Examine the future of juvenile crime and offenders
  • Identify problems in the Juvenile Justice System
  • Examine the future of the Juvenile Justice System

Note: This program can be completed in 6 months. However, students will have online access to this program for a 24-month period.

Education and National Certifications

  • Students should have or be pursuing a high school diploma or GED.
  • There are no state approval and/or state requirements associated with this program.
  • There is a National Certification exam available to students who successfully complete this program:
    • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification Exam

National Certification

Upon successful completion of this program, students would be eligible to sit for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam. Although there are no state approval, state registration or other state requirements for this program, students who complete this program  will be prepared and are eligible to sit for this national certification exam. Students who complete this program are encouraged to complete the externship option with their program. Students who complete this program can and do sit for the MOS national certification exams and are qualified, eligible and prepared to do so. works with each student to complete the exam application and register the student to take their national certification exam.

Externship / Hands on Training / Practicum

Although not a requirement, once students complete the program, they have the ability to participate in an externship and/or hands on practicum so as to practice the skills necessary to perform the job requirements of a professional in this field. Students will be assisted with completing a resume and/or other requirements necessary to work in this field. All students who complete this program are eligible to participate in an externship and will be placed with a participating organization near their location. works with national organizations and has the ability to place students in externship opportunities nationwide.

Note: No refunds can be issued after the start date published in your Financial Award document.