How to Pick the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Leesburg Alabama
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Leesburg Alabama. But once you have decided on the type of degree you want to work toward, just how do you tackle selecting a school that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally 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 colleges that are near your residence and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are additional points that you should examine before making your ultimate choice. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are important factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online training program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will deal with these and other criteria that you may wish to include in your vetting process when picking the best criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors offered along with the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Leesburg AL
Just like with most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently needed for various careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the job opportunities available in Leesburg AL. There are 4 degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a two year degree, it offers an overview of such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree typically covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education creates more options for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional two years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a particular aspect of criminal justice. Along with the options afforded with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for those interested in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Usually requiring anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for obtaining any one of the four degrees will depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specializations to pick from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after viewing countless episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation shows. Or maybe you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you must select a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Choosing a program and a school that specializes in that area 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 research all of the degree options offered from the numerous universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Leesburg 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, research the degree program you are interested in along with the college. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation in general does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is essential to decide on a major first before choosing a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Degree Programs Online
A number of prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their vicinity, or they might just prefer the flexibility of earning an online degree. In either case, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There many colleges domiciled within the United States that offer online degree programs much like the ones offered on-campus. And for many Leesburg AL students, especially those who continue working full or part-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online programs in many cases make them the sole option. And as an added benefit, online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition can be lower and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make sure, as with any school you are considering, that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can learn in this type of unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
By now you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you intend to earn your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start searching for Leesburg AL area schools and narrowing down your options. Because there are so many colleges to choose from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when reviewing schools. Obviously cost is a significant factor and you will need to select a program that fits within your academic budget. And we have already discussed several others as well, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are examining prior to making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? Numerous criminal justice colleges have received one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. One of the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through an extensive assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s essential to confirm 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 ensure that you get a top notch education, it will also aid in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Leesburg AL employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the school you choose is significant as well. It’s especially crucial if you are going into the profession with no relevant previous employment history. With no previous experience, Leesburg AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can obtain school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be highly respected for a specific degree program that you may have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Leesburg AL colleges you are looking at. A lower rate may be an indicator that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the schools have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you land that first crucial job after graduation that marks the beginning 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 also has a sizable network of contacts to assist students obtain positions after graduation.
Where are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, one of the initial 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 possibly live on campus, the school you select will have to be within driving distance of your Leesburg AL residence. Naturally attending online classes will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you opt to go to a school outside of your resident state, you may be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, going to small classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Bigger classes allow for little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to audit a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Speak with several of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to verify that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Leesburg AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Leesburg AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Leesburg AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Leesburg area where your school campus will be located.
Leesburg was originally called Hamptonville; it was named for Joseph Hampton and the Henslee family respectively. A post office was established as Hamptonville in 1836, and in 1839 the name was changed to Leesburg.
Leesburg is located in western Cherokee County at 34°10'57.446" North, 85°46'8.350" West (34.182624, -85.768986). It is bordered by Lookout Mountain and the town of Sand Rock to the north and Weiss Lake on the Coosa River to the south. Weiss Dam, forming the lake, is located just south of the town limits.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,027 people, 409 households, and 298 families residing in the town. The population density was 160 people per square mile (61.8/km²). There were 663 housing units at an average density of 103.6 per square mile (39.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.5% White, 0.0% Native American, 0.0% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. 1.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Ideal Criminal Justice Degree Program near Leesburg AL
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice school near Leesburg AL is vital to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers value which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the best criminal justice college predicated upon your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you choose both have excellent reputations and are accredited. In addition, confirm 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 Criminology And Criminal Justice Degree. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing so that you can narrow down your options and make the right selection. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will receive the appropriate training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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