Criminal Justice Program

​​​​​​​​For almost 50 years, DMACC has been a leader in providing criminal justice education programs. The Criminal Justice Program is designed to provide a general criminal justice education with academic emphasis in law enforcement, corrections, electronic crime, homeland security, crime scene investigation, and digital forensics.

Degree Programs

DMACC Criminal Justice offers four degree programs in Law Enforcement, Corrections, Electronic Crime, and Homeland Security. Select a program below for more information.

Law Enforcement Degree Program 
Corrections Degree Program 
Electronic Crime Degree Program 
Homeland Security Degree Program 

Certificate Programs

DMACC Criminal Justice offers three certificate programs in Crime Scene Investigation (CSI), Digital Forensics, and Homeland Security. Select a program below for more information.

CSI Certificate Program 
Digital Forensics Certificate Program 
Homeland Security Certificate Program 

Meet Your Professor(s)

Jessica Cole

Jessica Cole

Program & District Chair
Ankeny Campus
515-964-6615

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.

Education:

B.S. in Psychology from Iowa State University; M.A. 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
515-964-6525

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.

Education:

Associates of Arts Degree from Des Moines Area Community College and Bachelors Degree 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.

Cathy Ockenfels

Cathy Ockenfels

Ankeny Campus
515-964-6519

Cathy began her DMACC teaching career as an adjunct criminal justice instructor in 2002, and assumed full-time teaching duties in 2003. She served as the chair of the Criminal Justice Program from 2003-2006. Cathy was a police officer with the Iowa City Police Department for 16 years. She also served as a capitol police officer with the Iowa Department of Public Safety. In addition, Cathy worked as a juvenile court intake counselor in the state of Oregon for three years.

Education:

Masters Degree in Social Work, University of Iowa. She also holds a Bachelor of General Studies degree and an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice.

Primary teaching interests:

Police-community relations.

Student Testimonial

Noemi Villasenor

​Noemi Villasenor

Criminal Justice
The teachers are very helpful, attentive and just great people. My favorite thing is coming to class because it's very comfortable. It's a big family here. The Criminal Justice Club is very interesting because the professors share their stories and life experiences.

 

 

 

 

 


 

​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.