Choosing the Right Criminal Justice College near Blountsville Alabama
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Blountsville Alabama. But once you have decided on the type of program you want to pursue, just how do you go about picking a school that will offer the right training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the college you pick must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will probably begin by looking for colleges that are nearby your home and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional points that you must examine before making your final choice. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are significant factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online training program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will cover these and other qualifications that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when picking the best criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors available along with the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Blountsville AL
As with most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently required for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Blountsville AL. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a 2 year degree, it provides an introduction to such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial court system. More and more police departments are looking for candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available additional opportunities for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional 2 years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a particular facet of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for those interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered as well. 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 one of the four degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specialties to select from when deciding which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after watching countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation shows. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you need to select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Selecting a program and a school that focuses on that specialty would obviously be the ideal decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet decided 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 numerous colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Blountsville AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the school you have selected, research the degree program you are interested in along with the college. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is essential to choose a major first prior to selecting a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Classes
A number of prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their region, or they might just prefer the convenience of earning an online degree. In either case, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There many colleges domiciled within the United States that provide online degree programs similar to those offered on-campus. And for a number of Blountsville AL students, particularly those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges in many cases make them the only option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are frequently lower in cost than on-campus options. Tuition may be cheaper and expenditures for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just make certain, just like for any school you are looking at, that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can learn in this kind of unsupervised setting, then earning your degree online might be the best alternative for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
At this point you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin looking for Blountsville AL area schools and fine tuning your options. Since there are numerous colleges to pick from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating schools. Naturally cost is a significant factor and you will need to enroll in a college that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed several others also, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? Numerous criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. One of the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through a rigorous assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to confirm that the degree program and college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it will also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Blountsville AL employers have a preference for graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the School? As previously mentioned, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is significant also. It’s particularly critical if you are getting in the field with no relevant prior employment history. With no prior experience, Blountsville AL employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can obtain school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be highly regarded for a specific degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Blountsville AL schools you are looking at. A low percentage might be an indication that students were disappointed with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the course of study. It’s also essential that the colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you get that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help confirm that the college has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a considerable network of employers to help students secure jobs upon graduation.
Where are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, among the first things you will probably look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or perhaps live on campus, the school you pick will need to be within commuting distance of your Blountsville AL home. Naturally attending classes online will remove the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to go to a school not in your resident state, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, attending smaller classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes provide little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a few classes before making your final determination. Speak with some of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You may also want to inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s important to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Blountsville AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Blountsville AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Blountsville AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Blountsville area where your school campus will be located.
Blount County was created by the Alabama territorial legislature on February 6, 1818, from land ceded to the federal government by the Creek Nation on August 9, 1814. It was named for Gov. Willie G. Blount of Tennessee, who provided assistance to settlers in Alabama during the Creek War of 1813-14. It lies in the northeastern section of the state, generally known as the mineral region.
What became Blountsville appears on an 1819 map as the mixed Creek/Cherokee Native American village of "Wassausey" (meaning Bear Meat Cabin, the name of an Indian translator who lived there). The town was established by Caleb Fryley and Johnny Jones in 1816 as Bear Meat Cabin. The post office was opened as Blountsville on October 20, 1825, and incorporated on December 13, 1827. It was the county seat until 1889 when the government was moved to Oneonta.
There were many schools in the town in the early years: The Academy, Blount College and the District Agricultural School, plus the public schools. The Blount County Courthouse and jail was built in 1833 and remained there until it was moved to Oneonta. A major crossroads in early Alabama, Blountsville became a Confederate depot for the cavalry. Confederate forces led by General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Union forces led by General Abel Streight skirmished briefly in the town on May 1, 1863, and Major General Lovell H. Rousseau and his Union cavalry occupied the town in July 1864. Blount College was in the building that was originally the courthouse. It was established in 1890. The beautiful Blountsville United Methodist Church was established in 1818 and is the oldest building in Blountsville and is still in use today. Another old building in Blountsville was once known as the Barclift House. Built in 1834 as Hendricks Tavern, it is now owned and is being restored by the Ortiz family.
Enroll in the Ideal Criminal Justice College near Blountsville AL
Making sure that you select the ideal criminal justice college near Blountsville AL is vital to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers value which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Achieving the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career starts with picking the ideal criminal justice college predicated upon your career objectives. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important that the school and degree program you decide on both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, confirm that the school has a job placement program with a strong track record for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Certificate. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will be able to assess and compare the criminal justice schools you are reviewing in order to narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will get the appropriate training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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