Choosing the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Linden Alabama
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Linden Alabama. But once you have selected the kind of degree you want to pursue, just how do you undertake picking a college that will provide the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Of course the college you choose must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will probably start by looking for colleges that are nearby your residence and comparing the cost for each school. But there are additional considerations that you must evaluate before making your ultimate decision. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the college are significant factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online degree program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other criteria that you might want to include in your vetting process when deciding on 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 advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Linden AL
Similar to 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 employment opportunities to choose from in Linden AL. There are 4 degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a two year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial court system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually addresses the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education creates additional options for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional 2 years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a particular aspect of criminal justice. Along with the options afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for individuals interested in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered as well. Generally taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for earning any of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specialties to choose from when considering which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after watching numerous episodes of the various crime scene investigation shows. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you must pick a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Selecting a school and program that specializes in that specialty would naturally be the ideal decision toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that situation, it would be advisable to explore all of the degree options available from the numerous colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Linden 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 are interested in as well as the school. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first prior to selecting a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Schools Online
Some prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their region, or they may just prefer the independence of earning an online degree. In either case, they will find that there are accredited online options available. 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 Linden AL students, especially those who continue working full or part-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online schools in many cases make them the only option. And as an added benefit, online colleges are often lower in cost than traditional options. Tuition can be cheaper and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make certain, just like for any college you are looking at, 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 dedicated, and can learn in this kind of independent environment, then obtaining your degree online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
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 start looking for Linden AL area schools and fine tuning your options. Considering that there are numerous schools to pick from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when reviewing colleges. Obviously cost is a significant consideration and you will need to select a school that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already discussed several others also, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are examining before making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. Among the most respected 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 make sure that the program and college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it will also aid in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Linden AL employers are looking for graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is important as well. It’s particularly crucial if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior job history. Without any previous experience, Linden AL employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can find school rankings and reviews, 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 educational programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you might be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Linden AL colleges you are reviewing. A low percentage might be a sign 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 imperative that the colleges have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help confirm that the college has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it also has a substantial network of contacts to help students secure positions after graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, among the initial things you will most likely look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or possibly live on campus, the school you choose will have to be within commuting distance of your Linden AL residence. Naturally attending online classes will remove the need for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to attend a school not in your state of residence, you may be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also usually 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 smaller classes provides the option for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes allow for little chance of getting one-on-one instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a few classes before making your final decision. Talk to some of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Linden AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Linden AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Linden AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Linden area where your school campus will be located.
Settled prior to 1818, the community was first known as Screamersville, since the cry of wild animals could still be heard during the night. It became the county seat in 1819 and was then known as the Town of Marengo. This was changed to Hohenlinden in 1823, to honor the county's earliest European settlers, French Bonapartist refugees to the Vine and Olive Colony. The name commemorated the battle in 1800 at Hohenlinden, Bavaria, where the French defeated the armis of both Austria and Bavaria. The spelling was later shorten to just to Linden.
Linden is located at 32°18′4″N 87°47′34″W / 32.30111°N 87.79278°W / 32.30111; -87.79278 (32.301154, −87.792650). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2), of which 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.83%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,424 people, 938 households, and 662 families residing in the city. The population density was 675.6 people per square mile (260.7/km²). There were 1,084 housing units at an average density of 302.1 per square mile (116.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.43% White, 46.20% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.33% Asian, and 0.87% from two or more races. 1.07% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Best Criminal Justice Degree Program near Linden AL
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice college near Linden AL is vital to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers care which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with picking the ideal criminal justice college predicated upon your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s imperative that the school and degree program you decide on both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, make sure that the school has a job placement program with a strong track record for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Undergraduate. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the correct decision, you will get the proper education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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