How to Choose the Right Criminal Justice School near Foley Alabama
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Foley Alabama. But once you have selected the type of program you would like to pursue, just how do you undertake choosing a school that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career objectives? Naturally the school you choose must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will probably begin by looking for colleges that are near your residence and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other considerations that you should investigate prior to making your ultimate decision. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the college are significant 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 also be a part of your due diligence process. We will deal with these and other criteria that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when choosing the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees offered along with the benefits of attending online schools.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Foley AL
As with most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently needed for many positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Foley AL. There are four degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. More and more police departments are seeking applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually includes the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available more options for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional 2 years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become specialists in a particular aspect of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities provided with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for individuals interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Typically requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for attaining any of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specialties to choose from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after viewing countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you must pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Selecting a program and a school that specializes in that area would naturally be the best option toward that end. Maybe 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 available from the various colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Foley AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the college you have selected, investigate the degree program you have an interest in along with the school. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation in general does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first before selecting a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Colleges Online
Some students may 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 online options available. There a large number of schools domiciled within the USA that provide online degree programs much like the ones offered on campus. And for many Foley AL students, especially those who continue to work full or part-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online programs in many cases make them the only option. And as an added advantage, online schools are frequently lower in cost than on campus options. Tuition may be cheaper and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure, 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 dedicated, and can learn in this type of independent setting, then obtaining your degree online might be the ideal option for you.
What 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 want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start searching for Foley AL area schools and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are so many schools to choose from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating schools. Clearly cost is a significant factor and you will need to enroll in a program that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already pointed out several others also, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you address those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you may wish to ask the colleges you are thinking about before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have received one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. Among the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone a rigorous assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to make sure that the program and school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. Along with helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it will also assist in securing student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, a number of Foley AL employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the School? As previously mentioned, together with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is important as well. It’s especially crucial if you are entering the profession with no relevant prior work history. Without any previous experience, Foley AL employers will be considering the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can obtain school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other elements contributing to the academic programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation might still be highly regarded for a particular degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Foley AL colleges you are reviewing. A low rate might be an indication that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the schools have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help confirm that the college has a good reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a large network of employers to help students secure positions after graduation.
How Far Away are the Colleges Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, among the first things you will probably consider when searching for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps board on campus, the college you enroll in will need to be within commuting distance of your Foley AL residence. Certainly 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 not in your state of residence, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Junior and community colleges also often charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, attending small classes offers the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Big classes provide little chance of getting one-on-one instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a couple of classes before making your ultimate determination. Talk to some of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You may also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Foley AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Foley AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Foley AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Foley area where your school campus will be located.
Foley is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 14,618. Foley is a principal city of the Daphne–Fairhope–Foley Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Baldwin County.
Foley was named for its founder, John B. Foley of Chicago.As Foley was traveling to President McKinley's funeral in 1901, he met a railroad agent who told him of the area in South Baldwin County. Foley came down the following year, and he liked what he saw and bought up to between 40,000 acres (160 km2) and 50,000 acres (200 km2) of land. He then returned to Chicago and formed the Magnolia Land Company. As he began to sell off acreage, he realized the need for a better way for the people to come to Foley.
Foley used some of his own money to lay the rails so the train could come from Bay Minette. The first railroad station was built in 1905. The original station burned in 1908 and was replaced the following year by the station that is now the City's museum. John Foley donated parcels of land for a school and churches. These included the current Catholic Church, Saint Margaret of Scotland, the Baptist church and the Methodist church. The first train to service Foley was a wood burner called the "Pine Knot Special." It would leave Foley in the morning and make a return trip in the afternoon. As people cleared the land, they would place lighter knots in a wood box for the engineer to use as was needed. Foley was incorporated in 1915 with G. I. Weatherly serving as its first mayor.
Pick the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Foley AL
Making certain that you pick the ideal criminal justice program near Foley AL is essential to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers value which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Attaining the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the ideal criminal justice school predicated upon your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s imperative that the school and degree program you select both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, make sure that the school has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Is Criminal Justice A Major?. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at so that you can narrow down your options and make the best choice. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the appropriate education so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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