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If you possess strong communication and interpersonal problem-solving skills, good decision-making skills and want to make a difference in people’s lives then a career in Corrections may be for you. Professionals working within the Corrections field may find themselves working in a jail, federal penitentiary, half-way house or community corrections agency etc. Correctional professionals assist and supervise individuals involved with the justice system to ensure public safety. Our Correctional Studies program provides a solid foundation for you to launch your career. Our exceptional instructors have a wide range of academic credentials, with many also having relevant experience within the Corrections field.

Students develop knowledge of theories that inform the field of corrections such as risk assessment & management, principles of behaviour change, conflict resolution skills, criminology and psychology. Our courses have an applied focus with many opportunities for you to practice and develop essential skills needed. Students may elect to enroll in a practicum elective that will provide an opportunity to learn first-hand about a correctional agency or facility.

As an added bonus, all our courses are available through online learning on a full- or part-time basis to suit your lifestyle. And, should you choose to expand your knowledge of this challenging field, completion of the Correctional Studies diploma qualifies you for entry into the third year of our Bachelor of Applied Arts – Justice Studies program.

Start your career in corrections – apply today!

Career opportunities

At the end of the program, you’ll be prepared for work throughout the criminal justice system in positions such as:

  • Federal Correctional Officer
  • Halfway house Counsellor
  • Provincial Correctional Officer
  • Youth Worker
  • Victim Services Worker

2019 Convocate Profile - Kristi Austin

A mother, wife, student and advocate, Kristi Austin managed it all while completing the Correctional Studies program at Lethbridge College. Her end goal is to open a house for the LGBTQ+ youth who are coming out of the criminal justice system, and the first step was earning her Correctional Studies diploma.

Starts In: September (on campus and online), January and May (online only)
Application Deadlines:

For current application status, terms being processed and application deadlines visit the Program Application Status page.

Duration: 2 years
Credential: Diploma

Athabasca University

Graduates of the Correctional Studies - diploma are eligible to receive up to 60 credits towards the Athabasca University Bachelor of Professional Arts (BPA) in Human Services , Bachelor of Professional Arts (BPA) in Criminal Justice or a Bachelor of Professional Arts in Governance, Law and Management.

Griffith University (Australia)

Correctional Studies diploma graduates may enter into the third semester of the Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice degree at Griffith University, Mt. Gravatt campus. Please visit for more information.

Lethbridge College

Graduates of the two-year Correctional Studies diploma who choose to enter the Bachelor of Applied Arts - Justice Studies degree program at Lethbridge College will get two full years of credit towards the degree. Courses are provided on campus or through distributed/online learning. Details regarding this program can be found in this calendar and on the Lethbridge College website.

Royal Roads University

Graduates of the Correctional Studies diploma are eligible for block transfer into the third year of the Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies degree at Royal Roads University.

Delivery Format

Online program


Online courses are instructor led. Communications, teaching and assessment components are delivered solely online, and do not have any on-campus elements. They are taught through a learning management system and may be either synchronous (in real-time on a set schedule) or asynchronous (learning that does not occur at the same time or same place). Students complete all their work online and are not required to come to campus.


Learning does not occur at the same time or same place. Instructor provides materials including online readings, recorded lectures or presentations, posted lecture notes, video content, assignments and exams for online completion. Students access the course materials within a flexible timeframe prescribed by the instructor.

On campus program


A blended course is intentionally designed to include continuum of both face to face/on-campus and online delivery. This includes both synchronous (in real-time on a set schedule) and asynchronous learning strategies (learning that does not occur at the same time or same place). Communication, instruction and assessment components of a blended course provide consistent information but go further by enhancing and supplementing each other. Students may complete some of their lessons online and may also be required to come to campus.


Online courses are instructor led. Communications, teaching and assessment components are delivered solely online, and do not have any on-campus elements. They are taught through a learning management system and may be either synchronous (in real-time on a set schedule) or asynchronous (learning that does not occur at the same time or same place). Students complete all their work online and are not required to come to campus.


Learning does not occur at the same time or same place. Instructor provides materials including online readings, recorded lectures or presentations, posted lecture notes, video content, assignments and exams for online completion. Students access the course materials within a flexible timeframe prescribed by the instructor.


Learning happens in real time. Student and instructors interact and engage with each other in a specific virtual space, through a specific online medium, at a specific time. This can include video conferencing, live chatting, and live-streaming lectures.

Experiential learning elements

This is the application of theory and academic content to real-world experiences – the what and how to do things. This can be done in a classroom, within the community, within a workplace environment or the virtual classroom. Examples could include group work, participation in class debates, mock trials, role-plays, lab experiments and creating prototypes. Experiential learning happens when students engage in an activity related to the roles they will fill as graduates and also through reflection.

All Main campus students Online Students
You can expect your courses to be conducted virtually with synchronous (in real time with other students and your instructor), asynchronous (work is completed in a flexible timeframe as prescribed by your instructor) and experiential learning elements that tie academic content to real-world experiences. Students registered in Year 2 Term 2 will have the opportunity to participate in some on-campus learning activities in ways that meet health and safety requirements. If you’re not able to attend campus, alternative arrangements with your instructor will be made. We know you selected this program because it best fit with your circumstances and other responsibilities. Nothing about our COVID-19 plan to keep students and staff safe affects your program and your ability to complete it in a way that works for you. Your program is offered online in an asynchronous way, so you can work through the course at a pace and at a time that works for you, within whatever time limits your instructor may establish. Even though you always intended to learn at a distance with Lethbridge College, please know our wide range of student support services will be available to you whether you need help with academic skills from our Learning Café, support to accommodate a disability or mental health concern from Accessibility Services or you have a health issue to be addressed by our Wellness Services team. This winter will be a bit different for us. For the health and safety of all of us, it must be. But our goal is to ensure we provide you the experiential learning that Lethbridge College is known for.


Learning Environment

All courses in the Correctional Studies diploma program are available through online learning.

For the upcoming Fall 2020 students in the Online program will continue to participate in online asynchronous courses. For on-campus students your courses will be conducted virtually with synchronous, asynchronous and experiential learning elements. Students registered in Year 2 Term II will have the opportunity to participate in a blended course with some on-campus learning opportunities.. If you are not able to attend campus alternative arrangements with your Instructor will be made.

Year 1 Term I
Course Code Title Credits
Year 1 Term II
Course Code Title Credits
Year 2 Term I
Course Code Title Credits

Please note: Students are also required to complete a total of 3.00 credits in Approved Electives (Please see Electives list).

Year 2 Term II
Course Code Title Credits

Please note: Students are also required to complete a total of 3.00 credits in Approved Electives (Please see Electives list).

Course Code Title Credits

Choose electives from the above list.

Note: If it is your intention to pursue a career in a public safety organization that requires fitness testing for employment purposes, it is highly recommended you take the PED-2255 (Physical Readiness Training for Public Safety) elective.


New students are accepted into the Correctional Studies program in the Fall (September) and Winter (January) terms for on-campus and online study. Online learners can also apply for the Spring (May) term.

General admission requirements

All applicants must meet the general admission requirements for Lethbridge College programs as indicated in the Admissions section of this calendar.

Medical requirements

Although no physical requirements are placed on applicants for entry to the program, applicants should ensure through a medical examination that their cardiovascular system is suitable to undertake fitness-related exercise.

Practice-based experience (PBE) requirements

This program has an elective practice-based experience (PBE) coordinated by the Placement Office. The college dictates the legal terms and conditions governing the practicum experience.

Applicants are advised they will be required to undergo a Criminal Record Check prior to enrolling in the practicum. The existence of a criminal record may affect practicum placement and future employment prospects. The agencies reserve the right to determine who is considered a suitable candidate.

Find out more about pre-placement requirements for your program.

Prior learning assessment (PLA)

If you have experience working in this field of study, you may be eligible for prior learning assessment.

Applicants who lack the required academic admission requirements can apply to the Academic Upgrading program to upgrade their academic skills.


Upon successful completion of all program requirements, students are awarded a diploma in Correctional Studies.

Note: Employing agencies may have additional requirements such as a valid driver’s license, Standard First Aid and CPR. Learners are encouraged to maintain their credentials in these areas so that they are current at time of graduation.

Academic Year Tuition Fees Books & Supplies
Year 1 $3,778.00 $1,054.00 $1,200.00
Year 2 $3,735.00 $1,020.00 $1,050.00

Our Budget Wizard is a free self-service tool that can help you make sense of your finances and the cost of your education. Give it a try!

Budget Wizard

  • Costs for supplies may vary considerably depending on what students already have or where they purchased their supplies; cost provided is on the moderately high end.
  • Students will be charged a medical/dental benefit fee unless they opt out by demonstrating alternative coverage prior to the end of the first week of class.
  • Tuition for international students is $14,128 for Year 1 and $14,009 for Year 2. The cost of additional fees, books and supplies is the same for all students.

A long history of success

We work closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure our grads are always able to meet the needs of the industry.

In one way or another, versions of the programs in the School of Justice Studies have been around for 50 years. During that time, we’ve worked closely with industry, adjusting and refining our programs to ensure our grads are always able to meet the needs of the industry. And we continue to adapt and respond to new developments today, providing an education that delivers success. Our grads can be found across Canada and the United States, finding their slice of success as parole officers, federal corrections officers and so much more.

Hands-on, immersive learning

Video games in college?
Video games in college?

That's right! You’ll learn to make scenario-based decisions with video game-like technology.


Video games in college?

Using video game-like technology, judgment simulators improve your judgment, decision making, communication and observation skills using real-world, real-time scenarios. We’re one of the only post-secondary institutions in western Canada with this type of simulator technology.

The two simulators allow you to experience and respond to nearly 700 different scenarios that range from verbal compliance situations to lethal action outcomes, depending on your program. You could be dealing with an emotionally disturbed individual, a routine traffic stop that reveals a potential poacher, or a highly agitated youth threatening self-harm. The technology is dynamic enough that our instructors can build their own scenarios to meet the individual needs of their courses.

These real-life training scenarios emphasize the importance of improving your knowledge and skills for your chosen career path, giving you immediate feedback that allows you to acknowledge which skills may need a little extra attention. And spending time practicing real-world simulations gives you the tools and knowledge you’ll need to respond to everyday situations that arise once you’re on the job.

Order in the classroom
Order in the classroom

Simulated spaces on campus prepare you for the tough moments on the job.


Order in the classroom

Despite what movies and TV shows might lead you to believe, a career in justice isn’t all about action. You need to understand the challenging moments of the job: what it’s like to handle evidence, how best to recount your interviews and investigation for a judge, and what it’s like to notify next of kin. Our program teaches all that and more with simulated settings on campus that prepare you for the environments and the scenarios you’ll encounter on the job.

The courtroom

At the end of a winding walk through the Andrews’ wing, there’s a room on campus that most are surprised to find. On one side, it’s a traditional classroom with desks and whiteboards. On the other side? A realistic courtroom complete with wood-paneled walls, a well-worn Bible, leather-lined tables and podiums for the prosecutor and defense. All these furnishings were donated by a Calgary courthouse, providing students with an authentic courtroom.

Here, you’ll be able to experience the roles of lawyer, accused, witness and police officer while an instructor sits as judge. You’ll feel the stress and tension of the courtroom and you’ll get a sense of what real-world justice is really like.

The crisis lab

On the west end of campus, tucked away among the classrooms of the Andrews building and the Technologies and Trades buildings, you’ll find another simulated space. A small apartment furnished with couches, chairs and a TV might be the scene of a drug bust or domestic violence call.

Here, you’ll face professional actors who set the stage for scenarios you’ll deal with on the job. It’s as close to a real-life experience as you can get. And it will feel real, but it’s all part of the training experience.

From here to there: alumni updates

Lethbridge College isn’t just a place to go to school – we’re a community that is here to support you from your initial interest in our program through to the moment you cross the stage at Convocation and beyond. Just take a look at where an LC education has taken some of our grads.

Matthew Kennedy

“Between 2003 and 2006, I worked as a provincial Correctional Officer at Lethbridge Correctional Centre and Red Deer Remand Centre. In February 2007, I began my career in federal corrections at Bowden Institution. In October 2007, I was promoted to parole officer. Between 2010 and 2015, I specialized in Aboriginal offenders and contributed toward the creation of a nationally-recognized reintegration program for Aboriginals. In December 2013, I received the Exceptional Service Award for my efforts with Aboriginal offenders; I was nominated for this award by the Deputy Commissioner for the Prairie Region. In 2015, I returned to working with general population offenders of all ethnicities and I remain there today. Corrections Canada has offered frequent opportunities to act in management capacities and these opportunities were available after just two years in the service. However, after several stints in a manager position, it is clear to me that my heart is in parole and I expect to remain a parole officer until the end of my career.”

– From Winter 2017 Wider Horizons

Nathalie Porter

“After graduating with my Correctional Studies degree in 2012, I worked in various fields before getting hired on with the B.C. government in Community Corrections. It took three years of auxiliary work before I managed to score a permanent position, but it was well worth the wait! For anyone who may be looking at work in B.C. in a related position for the government, the hiring process can be highly competitive, but if you keep at it, it will all work out! I felt highly prepared for my career because of the Correctional Studies program at Lethbridge College and the amazing instructors and mentors I had during my time there. If you are looking at a career in the corrections field, this four-year degree program will give you the best chance of success, and put you ahead of the game. Thank you Lethbridge College!”

– From Fall 2017 Wider Horizons

Kimberly Big Swan Dashper

“I completed my applied degree with Correctional Studies while working as an intern with Alberta Government – Alberta Works Fraud Department in 2005, which then turned into one-year project as Aboriginal Employment Counsellor in 2006. From there, I became the fulltime support and financial services coordinator and now am a career employment consultant. I have been with the Alberta government for 11 years now – almost 12. I do still remember my time at Lethbridge College with all the instructors who supported me while I was completing my program such as Ian Hepher, Barb Mantello, Earl Nilsson and Hugh Richards. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. I still remember fondly how passionate they were about Criminal Justice and how open and easy they were to speak with and help with my assignments. I do commend the instructors at Lethbridge College as they help many students go on to their career goals as I continue to aid and carry on what I have learned.”

– From Spring 2016 Wider Horizons

Nadine Dalheim

“I am currently just over half done with my Masters in Psychology at Kaplan University … When I complete it next year I am debating my Masters in Corrections as well, as I miss the criminology side of schooling. Although I am not working directly in corrections, as I live in rural Alberta and this is hard, I am working as a coordinator for an FASD diagnostic clinic part time, and I have contracts with FSCD to work with special needs and mental health kids for behavioural support… The fact that I did my corrections degree through distance learning has been a huge pro as it demonstrates that I can organize myself fairly well! …Again thanks for all your help over the years of school and let students know that this degree is a HUGE step up in life and will make having a career in human services very possible.”

– From Winter 2016 Wider Horizons

Shawn Auger

Shawn currently works as a team lead for the Youth Assessment Centre in High Prairie. He wrote to a former instructor the following update: “Work is awesome. I am a part of an awesome team who are doing our best to help troubled youth in our region. Most days are fun and rewarding, but that 10 per cent of rough times comes up as well – like all jobs it can’t all be smiles” but it has been a great experience to work there.

– From Spring 2015 Wider Horizons

Success stories from Wider Horizons

Experience the courtroom lab for yourself

Use our virtual tour to get a first-hand look at our classroom-turned-courtroom.