Public Administration, Human Services and Education

Get a great start here in a respected public administration field. From early childhood specialists to paralegals and police officers, our graduates contribute to the quality of life in Iowa.

With the experience earned at Kirkwood, you’ll quickly earn a high demand career, because you’ll have the real world skills employers are looking for.

Public Administration, Human Services and Education

Add to that scholarships for everyone, including nearly 25 individual scholarships only for students interested in civic-minded areas.


Liberal Arts: Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice
2-year AA degree  |  2-year AAS degree
Potential Careers: Police officer, corrections

Examine issues relating to crime, law and justice.  You’ll learn to analyze situations and events in a logical way, organize the parts of a problem effectively, appreciate diversity, work with a wide cross-section of the community, and believe in your abilities and judgment, while at the same time recognizing your personal limitations and developmental needs.

Kirkwood’s program provides a solid foundation for transfer to a four-year school. Once students graduate from the four-year program, they’re qualified for entry-level positions in law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice and child protective services.

Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education
1 or 2 years (2-5 semesters) AA  |  AAS degree  |  certificate or diploma
Potential Careers: Childcare or preschool lead teacher, early childhood program director, teacher

Care for and shape the minds of young children. At Kirkwood, you will have opportunities to participate in a variety of community early childhood programs, including Head Start Centers, kindergarten classrooms, voluntary four-year-old preschool programs and child care centers.

Liberal Arts: Education Careers

Liberal Arts: Education Careers
2-year AA degree
Potential Careers: Teacher, special education teacher, paraeducator

This pre-professional program provides the first two years of a teaching degree. The curriculum combines a strong arts and sciences background with professional courses.

Kirkwood provides advising to help students choose courses that meet transfer institutions’ requirements. The program also provides specific training, general education, and experience working with children or youth in educational settings.

Students can complete courses that meet state paraeducator certification. Paraeducators are school employees who provide support to teachers and students while under the supervision of teachers.

Entry-level Firefighter

Entry-level Firefighter
2-year AAS degree
Potential Careers: Firefighter, emergency medical technician (EMT)

Get the skills you need to get started as firefighter. Kirkwood’s program is tailored for recent high school graduates or local volunteers wanting to improve their employment possibilities.
Certifications: Firefighter I, EMT (state and national)

Liberal Arts: Human Services

Human Services
2-year AA degree  |  2-year AAS degree  Behavioral Health Paraprofessional diploma
Potential Careers: Case manager, social worker, counselor

Get a solid foundation built on a deep understanding of human behaviors, social policy, social programs, communication, record keeping, interviewing, observing, group processes and problem solving. Kirkwood’s program encourages student involvement with community agencies, including observations and hands-on experience. Graduates of the Kirkwood program usually transfer to four-year schools.

Choose this program if you’re interested in becoming a social worker, certified alcohol/drug counselor, certified treatment assistant and/or a community-based patient support staff person.


2-year AAS degree
Potential Careers: Emergency medical technician, critical care

Paramedics provide one of the highest levels of pre-hospital emergency care. They provide advanced care in a variety of settings. Utilizing critical thinking skills, paramedics rapidly assess, treat and stabilize injured or ill patients and provide transport to or between hospitals. Settings may include ground and air ambulances, emergency departments, critical care units or cardiac cath labs. Along with advanced assessment techniques, paramedics utilize medications, cardiac monitoring and interpreting, defibrillation and advanced invasive skills as guided by state and local protocols, as well as the medical direction of each service.

The Paramedic program follows the current National Emergency Medical Services Education Standards from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The standards prepare the EMT and AEMT for the more advanced scope of practice of the paramedic. This allied health program has a mandatory background check for clinical participation.

Liberal Arts: Paralegal

Paralegal Studies
2-year AAS degree 
Potential Careers: Paralegal in law firm or corporate legal department

Paralegals are legal professionals who assist lawyers. A lawyer may delegate any legal work to a paralegal, except giving legal advice or representing a client in court (although paralegals sometimes help at trial).

After graduating from Kirkwood’s program and earning a four-year degree, you’ll be qualified for entry-level paralegal positions in law firms, corporate legal departments and other business and government offices such as prosecutors’ offices, banks, title companies and insurance companies.

Water Environmental Technology Online

Water Environmental Technology Online
1-year diploma  |  2-year AAS degree
Potential Careers: Wastewater treatment plant, engineering firm

Get hands-on training in water and wastewater applications. Graduates work in municipal water and wastewater treatment plants and the collection and distribution systems that serve them. Become certified in one of four grade levels, depending on the size of the community you serve and the treatment complexity.

The Water Environmental Technology program comes to you via Environmental Technology Online, It is possible to transfer credits from this program to the University of Northern Iowa toward a bachelor’s degree in Technology Management.

Select an area to explore.
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Liberal Arts - Four Year College Transfer
Public Administration, Human Services and Education
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
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