How to Pick the Right Criminal Justice School near Cottondale Alabama
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Cottondale Alabama. But after you have chosen the type of program you want to pursue, just how do you go about selecting a college that will provide the right training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the institution you select must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly start by looking for schools that are close to your home and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are additional issues that you need to investigate prior to making your ultimate decision. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the college are critical factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online degree program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will address these and other criteria that you may want to utilize in your vetting process when choosing the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors available as well as the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Cottondale AL
As with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly required for a number of careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Cottondale AL. There are four degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a two year degree, it offers an overview of such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree typically includes the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education creates more opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional 2 years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a particular aspect of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for individuals interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available also. Usually requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for earning any of the 4 degrees will depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are a number of specialties to select from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after viewing countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you need to select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Choosing a school and program that focuses on that area would naturally be the best option toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that case, it would be best to explore all of the degree alternatives offered from the various universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Cottondale AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the program you have selected, research the degree program you have an interest in along with the college. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first prior to choosing a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Colleges Online
A number of prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their region, or they might just prefer the convenience of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous schools located within the United States that provide online degree programs much like the ones offered on-campus. And for many Cottondale AL students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges may make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are often lower in cost than traditional options. Tuition may be cheaper and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced also. Just verify, as with any school you are reviewing, that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can learn in this type of independent environment, then earning your degree online might be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you intend to earn your degree online or by attending classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start searching for Cottondale AL area colleges and fine tuning your options. Because there are so many schools to pick from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when reviewing schools. Naturally cost is an important consideration and you will need to select a school that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already discussed several others also, such as reputation, location and accreditation. To help you address those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you might want to ask the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have earned one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. One of the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s imperative to verify that the degree program and college you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. Along with helping confirm that you obtain a top notch education, it will also aid in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many Cottondale AL employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As previously stated, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is significant also. It’s especially crucial if you are entering the field with no relevant prior employment history. With no prior experience, Cottondale AL employers will be considering the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can obtain school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other elements contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be highly regarded for a specific degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Cottondale AL schools you are reviewing. A lower rate may be an indicator that students were unhappy with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also essential that the schools have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you land that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help validate that the college has a good reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a large network of employers to help students secure jobs upon graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, among the initial things you will probably consider when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps board on campus, the school you choose will have to be within driving distance of your Cottondale AL residence. Naturally attending online classes will eliminate the need for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to attend a college outside of your resident state, you could be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Junior and community colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes offers the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Larger classes afford little chance of receiving individualized instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a couple of classes before making your final determination. Speak with several of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cottondale AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Cottondale AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Cottondale AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Cottondale area where your school campus will be located.
Richard Price Rummonds
Richard Price Rummonds (also known as Richard-Gabriel Price Rummonds), one of the foremost handpress printers of the late twentieth century, is also an author, publisher, typographer, and historian of printing. His two books on nineteenth-century printing, Printing on the Iron Handpress and Nineteenth-Century Printing Practices and the Iron Handpress, comprehensively describe the history, operation and merits of the iron handpress.
Born on April 26, 1931, in Long Beach, California, Rummonds was raised in Sacramento, California. He attended Syracuse University in 1949–1950, in the School of Fine Arts, with the intention of majoring in set and costume design and the University of California at Berkeley intermittently between 1950 and 1954, where he majored in English and Creative Writing. During this period he was on the staff of Occident, the student literary magazine, of which he became the editor for the Spring 1954 issue.
Rummonds began printing in Quito, Ecuador in 1966, using the Plain Wrapper Press imprint. His first book was a selection of his own poems. The following year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he printed a book of his short stories.
Pick the Best Criminal Justice College near Cottondale AL
Making certain that you select the ideal criminal justice college near Cottondale AL is essential to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers care which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the ideal criminal justice school predicated upon your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important that the school and degree program you select both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, confirm that the college has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Major Description. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are considering in order to narrow down your options and make the right choice. And when you have made the correct decision, you will get the proper education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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