Choosing the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Dixons Mills Alabama
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Dixons Mills Alabama. But after you have selected the type of degree you would like to pursue, just how do you go about choosing a school that will provide the right training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the institution you pick must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will no doubt start by looking for schools that are nearby your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional points that you must investigate before making your ultimate choice. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the school are significant factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online degree program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will cover these and other criteria that you might wish to include in your vetting process when choosing the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Dixons Mills AL
Similar to many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly required for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Dixons Mills AL. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. More and more police departments are looking for candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree normally covers the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education makes available more options for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional two years of classes in addition to earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a specific area of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities afforded with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for individuals with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered also. Usually requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for attaining any of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specialties to choose from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after enjoying numerous episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you need to select a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Selecting a school and program that focuses on that specialty would certainly be the best decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that case, it would be a good idea to investigate all of the degree options offered from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Dixons Mills AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the program you have decided on, investigate the degree program you are interested in as well as the school. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to decide on a major first before picking a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Colleges
Some prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their vicinity, or they may just want the convenience of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of colleges located within the USA that offer degree programs online much like those offered on campus. And for a number of Dixons Mills AL students, especially those who continue to work part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are often lower in cost than traditional alternatives. Tuition can be lower and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced also. Just verify, just like for any college you are looking at, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an approved agency, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can study in this kind of unsupervised setting, then earning your degree online may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
At this point you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you intend to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin looking for Dixons Mills AL area schools and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are a large number of schools to select from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing schools. Obviously cost is a significant consideration and you will need to select a program that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already discussed a few others also, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may wish to ask the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have received one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. Among 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 essential to confirm that the program and college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it will also help in securing student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Dixons Mills AL employers are looking for graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As previously mentioned, together with accreditation the reputation of the college you attend is important as well. It’s particularly crucial if you are entering the profession with no relevant prior work history. With no previous experience, Dixons Mills AL employers will be evaluating 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 get school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other aspects contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be highly regarded for a specific degree program that you might have an interest in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Dixons Mills AL colleges you are looking at. A lower percentage might be an indication 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 higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you land that first crucial job after graduation that marks the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help validate that the college has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it also has a substantial network of contacts to assist students secure jobs upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, among the first things you will probably look at when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps live on campus, the college you select will need to be within driving distance of your Dixons Mills AL residence. Certainly attending classes online will eliminate the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to attend 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 their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, attending smaller classes offers the opportunity for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes afford little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a couple of classes prior to making your final determination. Talk to several of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dixons Mills AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Dixons Mills AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Dixons Mills AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Dixons Mills area where your school campus will be located.
The Mason–Dixon line, also called the Mason and Dixon line or Mason's and Dixon's line, was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute involving Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware in Colonial America. It is still a demarcation line among four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia (originally part of Virginia before 1863). Later it became known as the border between the Northern United States and the Southern United States. Before the Missouri Compromise, the line (west of Delaware) marked the northern limit of slavery in the United States. It is still used today in that figurative sense, as a line that separates the North and South politically and socially.
Maryland's charter of 1632 granted the Calverts land north of the entire length of the Potomac River up to the 40th parallel. A problem arose when Charles II granted a charter for Pennsylvania in 1681. The grant defined Pennsylvania's southern border as identical to Maryland's northern border, but described it differently, as Charles relied on an inaccurate map. The terms of the grant clearly indicate that Charles II and William Penn believed the 40th parallel would intersect the Twelve-Mile Circle around New Castle, Delaware, when in fact it falls north of the original boundaries of the City of Philadelphia, the site of which Penn had already selected for his colony's capital city. Negotiations ensued after the problem was discovered in 1681. A compromise proposed by Charles II in 1682, which might have resolved the issue, was undermined by Penn receiving the additional grant of the "Three Lower Counties" along Delaware Bay, which later became the Delaware Colony, a satellite of Pennsylvania. Maryland considered these lands part of its original grant.
The conflict became more of an issue when settlement extended into the interior of the colonies. In 1732 the Proprietary Governor of Maryland, Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore, signed a provisional agreement with William Penn's sons, which drew a line somewhere in between and renounced the Calvert claim to Delaware. But later, Lord Baltimore claimed that the document he had signed did not contain the terms he had agreed to, and refused to put the agreement into effect. Beginning in the mid-1730s, violence erupted between settlers claiming various loyalties to Maryland and Pennsylvania. The border conflict would be known as Cresap's War.
Find the Best Criminal Justice Degree Program near Dixons Mills AL
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice program near Dixons Mills AL is vital to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care which college 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 begins with choosing the ideal criminal justice college predicated upon your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important that the school and degree program you select both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Also, make certain that the school 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 Colleges With Good Criminal Justice Programs. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will receive the appropriate training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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