How to Select the Right Criminal Justice College near Clio Alabama
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Clio Alabama. But once you have chosen the kind of degree you want to pursue, just how do you undertake picking a college that will offer the proper training to help you achieve your career goals? Of course the college you select must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly start by searching for schools that are close to your home and comparing the cost for each school. But there are other factors that you need to investigate before making your ultimate choice. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the school are critical factors as well. And if you are interested 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 address these and other qualifications that you might wish to utilize in your vetting process when picking the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees available along with the benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Clio AL
As with most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently needed for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Clio AL. There are four degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a two year degree, it offers an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. More and more police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree normally covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education creates more opportunities for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional 2 years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a particular area of criminal justice. Along with the options provided with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for students with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available as well. Generally requiring anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for attaining any of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors Offered
There are many specialties to pick from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after watching numerous episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV programs. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you need to pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Enrolling in a school and program that focuses on that specialty would obviously be the best decision toward that end. Possibly you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that case, it would be advisable to research all of the degree options available from the numerous colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Clio 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 chosen, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the school. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has an outstanding reputation in general does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is extremely important to decide on a major first before choosing a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs
A number of prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their region, or they might just want the independence of earning a degree online. In either case, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous colleges located within the United States that provide degree programs online similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for many Clio AL students, especially 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 sole option. And as an additional advantage, online schools are often lower in cost than traditional options. Tuition may be lower and expenditures for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced also. Just verify, as with any college you are reviewing, that the program you select is accredited by an approved organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can learn in this kind of independent setting, then earning your degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
By now you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you intend to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start looking for Clio AL area schools and fine tuning your options. Because there are a large number of schools to select from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when evaluating colleges. Naturally cost is a significant factor and you will need to pick a program that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already discussed a few others as well, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you might want to ask the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have acquired one or more accreditations from national or regional 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 a rigorous assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to confirm that the program and college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. In addition to helping ensure that you get a top notch education, it will also aid in acquiring student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Clio AL employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the School? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you select is important as well. It’s especially critical if you are going into the profession with no relevant previous employment history. With no previous experience, Clio AL employers will be evaluating 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 get school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other aspects contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be highly regarded for a particular degree program that you might be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Clio AL schools you are considering. A low rate may be an indicator that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the schools have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you land that first crucial job after graduation that marks the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a sizable network of employers to assist students secure positions after graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, among the first things you will most likely consider when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will relocate or possibly board on campus, the school you pick will need to be within commuting distance of your Clio AL home. Of course attending classes online will remove the need for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to go to a school outside of your resident state, you might be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, attending small classes offers the option for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes allow for little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a couple of classes before making your final determination. Talk to several 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 inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Clio AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Clio AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Clio AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Clio area where your school campus will be located.
Clio is a city in Barbour County, Alabama, United States. The population was 1,399 at the 2010 census, down from 2,206 in 2000, at which time it was a town. It is the birthplace of former Alabama governor George C. Wallace, as well as Baseball Hall of Famer and current Atlanta Braves broadcaster Don Sutton.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,399 people, 514 households, and 321 families residing in the town. The population density was 139 people per square mile (53.7/km2). There were 634 housing units at an average density of 62.7 per square mile (24.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 36.5% Black or African American, 32.0% White, 0.4% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 30.2% from other races, and .4% from two or more races. 36.0% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 514 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.4% were married couples living together, 19.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.5% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.37.
Enroll in the Best Criminal Justice School near Clio AL
Making sure that you pick the right criminal justice program near Clio AL is crucial to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers respect which school your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Attaining the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the optimal criminal justice college based on your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you pick both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Also, confirm that the college 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 Masters Programs Online. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to assess and compare the criminal justice schools you are considering in order to narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the right decision, you will get the proper education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Alabama