Center for Continuing Studies

Victim Advocacy Certificate

Our accelerated online program trains and qualifies you to provide assistance to crime victims.

You'll acquire skills for work in advocacy positions in domestic violence shelters, crisis centers, crisis hotlines, state and county victim assistance programs in the criminal justice system.

You'll examine criminal procedure, discuss the devastating effects crime can have on victims and identify the elements of successful recovery.


This course takes at least 50 hours. Expect to spend at least 8 hours each week on reading and writing assignments. You must pass two exams. Course extensions will not be granted.

A minimum passing score is 70 percent on all tests and assignments.

Our topics:

  • Rights and responsibilities of a victim advocate
  • Relevant legislation and background on victim advocacy
  • The American legal system
  • Civil and criminal litigation
  • Crime effects on victims
  • The grief process and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Media definitions of racism, sexism and heterosexism
  • Classism, ageism and ableism
  • Responses to victims of hate crimes
  • Guidelines for death notification and post-notification support
  • Working with family members of a homicide victim
  • Suicide behavioral distress signals
  • Techniques for assisting suicidal persons and tools for prevention
  • Domestic violence patterns
  • Characteristics of abusers and victims
  • Domestic violence counseling
  • Signs of child abuse
  • Myths regarding rape
  • Effects of sexual assault and rape
  • Responses to victims of sexual assault and rape
  • Elements of sexual abuse, child neglect, physical abuse, and emotional abuse
  • Techniques for intervention and support in child abuse situations
  • Job-hunting techniques

What you earn

Successful graduates earn a certificate of completion from St. Cloud State University, and a certificate of course hours completed from The Center for Legal Studies.

2017 and 2018 online sessions

  • Oct. 16 - Dec. 1
  • Jan. 8 - Feb. 23
  • Mar. 5 - Apr. 20
  • Apr. 30 - June 15
  • June 25 - Aug. 10
  • Aug. 20 - Oct. 5

Cost: $645 online; $685 via DVD; $645 text only.

Materials: Order "Manual for Victim Advocacy" and "Oran's Dictionary of Law, 4th Edition" through The Center for Legal Studies.

WESTLAW legal research access available through the course.

Alternate registrations

  • 800-522-7737, and pay by credit card
  • 320-308-4723 or 320-308-6100, and pay by check
  • Complete this form (PDF)

Need a payment plan?

1. Complete a registration form, submit it by email, mail or fax

2. Make a 25 percent down-payment and arrange monthly payments

Contact: Angela Olson