Unlock your child’s full potential. Enroll today!

  • Back
  • Online Public School
  • Career Prep
  • Private School & Other Education Solutions

Criminal Justice & Community Services

K12 1629988569929 image

Legal, law enforcement, security.

From crime scene investigators and FBI special agents to judges and 911 dispatchers, give your students the tools they need to advance in a career serving and protecting their community. Developed as part of Stride’s We Stand Together initiative and with an advisory board of criminal justice and community experts, authentic, project-based learning in a variety of career pathways incorporates important concepts that promote building a more diverse, socially-conscious, supportive workforce. Students in our career and college prep program can choose from many options in legal, law enforcement, and security work—learning how to serve and protect others while gaining skills to launch their careers.

Career pathways include:**

Law Enforcement Services Pathway

Is your child calm in stressful situations? Are they able to notice things that are out of the ordinary? Do they enjoy working with other people in your community? If so, a police patrol officer or detective career may be a good fit. Or, if your child is a good listener, they could be a police, fire, or emergency dispatcher. These careers and more can start in the law enforcement pathway.

Students will:

  • Learn the fundamentals of criminal justice
  • Gain experience in criminology and forensics
  • Develop law enforcement skills to serve their community

Legal Services Pathway

Is your child a debate champion or curious about different views on ethical topics? Do they have a passion for justice and fairness? If so, the legal services pathway could be the one for them. This pathway can lead to a career as a paralegal, lawyer, judge, and more.

Students will:

  • Learn the fundamentals of criminal justice
  • Gain experience in criminology and communication
  • Get an introduction to law and the justice system and related careers

Security & Protective Services Pathway

Is your child someone who listens and observes well? Can they tell when something seems wrong or out of place? Do they enjoy puzzles and logic? If so, the security and protective services pathway could be a great choice. This pathway can lead to a career in intelligence, cybersecurity, or private protection.

Students will:

  • Learn the fundamentals of criminal justice
  • Gain experience in criminology and forensics
  • Get an introduction to cybersecurity, intelligence, and other security-related careers

What could my future look like in this career field?*

*Data is from Lightcast and is updated frequently.


Police officers typically do not need college degrees. However, significant training is required. The typical path is high school graduation, followed by training at a police academy. Candidates usually must be 21 years old, pass physical fitness tests, and have no criminal convictions.

Forensic science technicians typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in forensic science or a natural science such as chemistry or biology. Technicians may also pursue a master’s degree in forensic science. However, many crime scene investigators who work for police departments are sworn police officers and have only met the education requirements to enroll in a police academy.

Many paralegals have bachelor’s degrees, but this is often not necessary. An associate’s degree or certificate is usually sufficient.

Learn more about course offerings in the other Stride Career Prep career fields.

K12 1649797036565 image

Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

Learn more >

K12 1652173431896 image

Business Management & Administration

Learn more >

K12 1652168747468 image

Criminal Justice & Community Services

Learn more >

K12 1652334521527 image

Education & Training

Learn more >

K12 1652168841289 image

Engineering & Manufacturing

Learn more >

K12 1649797031250 image

Health Sciences

Learn more >

K12 1652334551389 image

Hospitality & Tourism

Learn more >

K12 1649797035525 image

Information Technology (IT)

Learn more >

K12 1652334537174 image


Learn more >

K12 1652169502471 image

Visual Arts & Communications

Learn more >

*The career and college prep program is offered to eligible high school students. Some schools also offer career exploration in middle school.
**Many Microsoft®️ Office certificates can be earned after completing one course. Other certificates require more classes to be better prepared, and students who participate in the program for at least two years will have further preparation for certification testing.
***Opportunities vary by school; please visit your school page or check with your school counselor.