How to Select the Right Criminal Justice College near Fulton Alabama
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Fulton Alabama. But once you have decided on the kind of degree you would like to pursue, just how do you tackle picking a college that will provide the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the college you choose must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt begin by searching for schools that are close to your residence and comparing the cost for each school. But there are additional points that you should investigate prior to making your ultimate selection. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the college are important factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online training program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will address these and other qualifications that you might wish to include in your vetting process when choosing the best criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees offered as well as the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Fulton AL
As with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently needed for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities available in Fulton AL. There are four degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a 2 year degree, it offers an overview of such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking 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, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional two years of classes in addition to obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a particular aspect of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities provided with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for individuals interested in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered as well. Usually taking 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 obtaining any one of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are numerous specialties to choose from when considering which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after viewing countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV shows. Or maybe you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you must select a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Selecting a program and a school that specializes in that specialty would certainly be the ideal decision toward that end. Perhaps 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 investigate all of the degree options available from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Fulton AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the school you have decided on, investigate the degree program you have an interest in as well as the college. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has a good reputation in general 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 prior to choosing a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Colleges
Some students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they might just want the independence of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous schools located within the United States that offer online degree programs similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for many Fulton AL students, especially those who continue working part or full-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 colleges are frequently lower in cost than on campus alternatives. Tuition can be cheaper and expenditures for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, as with any college you are reviewing, that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged 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 environment, then earning your degree online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
At this point you have undoubtedly come to a decision 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. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin searching for Fulton AL area colleges and narrowing down your options. Because there are so many schools to select from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing schools. Clearly cost is an important consideration and you will need to enroll in a school that is within your academic budget. And we have already addressed a few others also, such as reputation, location and accreditation. To help you address those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you might wish to ask the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice colleges have obtained 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 gone through a rigorous screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to verify that the program and school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it will also aid in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Fulton AL employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the school you select is important also. It’s particularly crucial if you are going into the field with no relevant previous job history. Without any previous experience, Fulton AL employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can find college reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other elements contributing to the academic programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well respected for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Fulton AL colleges you are reviewing. A low percentage might be an indicator that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the course of study. It’s also important that the colleges have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you land that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help confirm that the college has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a large network of employers to assist students obtain jobs upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Campuses Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will most likely look at when searching for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or possibly live on campus, the school you pick will need to be within commuting distance of your Fulton AL residence. Certainly attending classes online will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to attend a college not in your state of residence, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, attending small classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the teachers. Large classes allow for little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Talk to several of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Fulton AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Fulton AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Fulton AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Fulton area where your school campus will be located.
As of the census of 2000, there were 308 people, 122 households, and 87 families residing in the town. The population density was 123.6 people per square mile (47.8/km²). There were 139 housing units at an average density of 55.8 per square mile (21.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 82.14% White and 17.86% Black or African American.
There were 122 households out of which 38.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.0% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the town, the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.
Enroll in the Ideal Criminal Justice Degree Program near Fulton AL
Making certain that you choose the right criminal justice program near Fulton AL is vital to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers value which school your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the ideal criminal justice school predicated upon your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you pick both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, confirm that the school has a job placement program with a strong track record for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Top Online Schools For Criminal Justice. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice schools you are reviewing in order to narrow down your choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the right decision, you will receive the proper training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Alabama