How to Select the Right Criminal Justice School near Carrollton Alabama
So you have decided to earn a criminal justice degree near Carrollton Alabama. But once you have selected the type of degree you would like to pursue, just how do you go about selecting a school that will provide the proper training to help you realize your career goals? 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 colleges that are close to your home and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are other factors that you must investigate prior to making your final decision. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college are critical factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will deal with these and other qualifications that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the right 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 benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Carrollton AL
Just like with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly required for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Carrollton AL. There are four degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a two year degree, it offers an introduction to such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. A growing number of police departments are seeking candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually addresses the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education creates additional opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional two years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a specific aspect of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for individuals interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered also. Generally requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for earning any one of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are numerous specialties to select from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after enjoying countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation shows. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you must select a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Enrolling in a school and program that focuses on that area would naturally be the best option toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be a good idea to investigate all of the degree alternatives offered from the numerous universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Carrollton 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 chosen, research the degree program you are interested in along with the school. 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 similarly highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to decide on a major first before selecting a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Classes Online
Many prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their vicinity, or they might just prefer the independence of earning a degree online. In either case, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There many schools domiciled within the United States that offer degree programs online similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for a number of Carrollton AL students, especially those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges may make them the only option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Tuition may be cheaper and costs for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain, as with any school you are considering, that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can study in this kind of independent environment, then earning your degree online may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you intend to earn your degree online or by attending classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin looking for Carrollton AL area schools and narrowing down your options. Since there are so many colleges to select from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when assessing schools. Obviously cost is an important consideration and you will need to pick a college that fits within your academic budget. And we have already mentioned a few others as well, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you may wish to ask the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. Among 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 essential to confirm that the program and college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. In addition to helping assure that you get a top notch education, it will also aid in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of Carrollton AL employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As stated previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is significant also. It’s particularly critical if you are going into the field with no relevant previous employment history. With no prior experience, Carrollton AL employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can obtain college reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other aspects contributing to the academic programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you might be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Carrollton AL schools you are considering. A lower rate 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 curriculum. It’s also important that the colleges have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a substantial network of contacts to assist students obtain jobs after graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we mentioned at the opening of this article, one of the initial things you will most likely look at when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or possibly board on campus, the school you choose will need to be within commuting distance of your Carrollton AL residence. Naturally attending classes online will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you opt to attend a college not in your resident state, you could be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes afford little chance of receiving individualized instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Speak with some of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Carrollton AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Carrollton AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Carrollton AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Carrollton area where your school campus will be located.
The Pickens County Courthouse in the center of Carrollton was erected in 1877. The first courthouse in Carrollton was burned on April 5, 1865 by troops of Union General John T. Croxton. A second courthouse was destroyed by a fire on November 16, 1876.
Incorporated in 1831, the town was named after Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Maryland, the only Roman Catholic and longest-living signer of the Declaration of Independence. A post office has been in operation at Carrollton since 1831.
As was typical, the county jail was located at the courthouse. The courthouse square was used frequently as a site for public lynchings by whites of African Americans, part of numerous efforts to suppress them during a time of high tensions as whites struggled for dominance. It was part of a program of intimidation and racial terrorism, with these murders frequent in the decades on either side of the turn of the 20th century. Among the numerous African Americans lynched in Carrollton was John Gibson, hanged on August 28, 1907. Pickens County had the fifth highest total of lynchings in Alabama, according to Lynching in America (2015, 3rd edition), published by the Equal Justice Initiative.
Pick the Ideal Criminal Justice College near Carrollton AL
Making sure that you pick the right criminal justice college near Carrollton AL is crucial to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers value which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Attaining the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career begins with picking the best criminal justice school predicated upon your career goals. As we have covered in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you decide on both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Also, verify that the college has a job placement program with a high success rate for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Best Criminal Justice Universities. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your options and make the right choice. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will get the proper education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Alabama