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 

​New this Fall!

Crime Scene Investigation Certificate
» Program details

Meet Your Professors

Jessica Cole

Jessica Cole

Program & District Chair
Ankeny Campus

Jessica began her teaching career at DMACC in January 2014, and currently serves as the Criminal Justice Club Advisor. She serves as the project manager for a collaboration with Transportation Security Administration and the Homeland Security Certificate program. She teaches a variety of criminal justice credit classes, both face-to-face and online including homeland security online courses. 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. Marshal's Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force. She taught women's self-defense throughout her law enforcement career.


B.S. in Psychology from Iowa State University; M.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from University of Maryland.

Primary teaching interests:

Criminal Investigations

Robert "Buzz" Hoffman

Robert "Buzz" Hoffman

Ankeny Campus

Buzz became a full-time criminal justice instructor at DMACC in the fall of 2006, and became Department Chair in the summer of 2009. He had previously served as an adjunct criminal justice instructor at DMACC since 1981. Additionally he has served as an adjunct instructor at Central College in Pella, Iowa. Buzz recently retired from the 5th Judicial District, Iowa Department of Correctional Services. Buzz served the judicial district for 35 years as a probation and parole officer, spending the last 31 years as a supervisor.


Bachelors Degree in Sociology, Iowa State University.

Primary teaching interests:

Adult and juvenile corrections.

Cathy Ockenfels

Cathy Ockenfels

Ankeny Campus

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.


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.