How to Pick the Right Criminal Justice College near Evergreen Alabama
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Evergreen Alabama. But after you have decided on the type of program you want to work toward, just how do you go about selecting a college that will offer the right training to help you realize your career goals? Of course the college you select must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt start by looking for schools that are near your residence and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other points that you must investigate before making your final choice. For instance, 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 rather than sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online training program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other criteria that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when deciding on the best criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Evergreen AL
Similar to many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly needed for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Evergreen AL. There are 4 degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. A growing number of police departments are looking for applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually addresses the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available more opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional two years of classes in addition to obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a particular facet of criminal justice. Along with the options provided with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for those with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available as well. Usually requiring anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for attaining any of the four degrees will depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specialties to choose from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after watching countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV programs. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you must pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Selecting a program and a school that focuses on that area would naturally be the best option toward that end. Possibly you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that situation, it would be a good idea to explore all of the degree options available from the numerous universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Evergreen AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the college you have selected, research the degree program you have an interest in along with the college. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first before selecting a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs
Some prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their region, or they might just want the flexibility of earning a degree online. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There many schools domiciled within the United States that provide online degree programs much like the ones offered on campus. And for a number of Evergreen AL students, especially those who continue working 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 added benefit, online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional alternatives. Tuition may be lower and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain, as with any college you are considering, that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can study in this type of independent setting, then obtaining your degree online might be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you want to earn your degree online or by attending classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start looking for Evergreen AL area schools and narrowing down your options. Since there are a large number of colleges to select from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating colleges. Obviously cost is an important consideration and you will need to select a school that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed a few others also, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you address those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you might want to ask the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice colleges have received one or more accreditations from national or regional 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 an extensive screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s imperative to confirm that the program and school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. Along with helping confirm that you receive a top notch education, it will also assist in securing student loans or financial aid, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Evergreen AL employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the School? As previously mentioned, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is significant as well. It’s especially crucial if you are going into the field with no relevant prior job history. Without any previous experience, Evergreen 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 college rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other elements contributing to the academic programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be highly regarded for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Evergreen AL colleges you are looking at. A low rate might be an indicator that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the colleges have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you get 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 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 Schools Located? As we touched on at the beginning of this article, one of 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 perhaps board on campus, the college you pick will need to be within commuting distance of your Evergreen AL residence. Naturally attending online classes will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to attend a school not in your state of residence, you could be required to pay 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 school district or state.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, going to small classes offers the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Larger classes allow for little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a couple of classes prior to making your final decision. Talk to several of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Evergreen AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Evergreen AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Evergreen AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Evergreen area where your school campus will be located.
Evergreen, Conecuh County, Alabama
Early settlers to the area came from Georgia and South Carolina beginning in 1818. Evergreen was founded officially in 1819 when Revolutionary War veteran James Cosey and several other men settled within the present limits of the city. The Reverend Alexander Travis first called the town by its present name of Evergreen for the abundance of surrounding green foliage, plants, and ferns.
The former county seat of Sparta was burned in a federal raid during the Civil War. In 1866, the county seat was moved to Evergreen as it was more centrally located in the county. Evergreen was incorporated as a city on March 28, 1873.
In 1882, a tornado hit the city, destroying every building except for the Episcopal church. On November 7, 1895, fire destroyed every business and house located on the east side of the railroad. Five days later, fire destroyed every business and house on the west side. The Conecuh County Courthouse burned in 1868, 1875, 1885, and 1895.
Pick the Right Criminal Justice School near Evergreen AL
Making certain that you select the ideal criminal justice school near Evergreen AL is essential to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care 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 begins with picking the optimal criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s imperative that the school and degree program you select both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, make certain that the school 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 Degrees Near Me. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your choices and make the best choice. And when you have made the right decision, you will receive the appropriate training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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