Selecting the Right Criminal Justice School near Monroeville Alabama
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Monroeville Alabama. But once you have selected the type of program you want to pursue, just how do you go about choosing a college that will offer the right training to help you realize your career goals? Of course the institution you choose must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will probably start by searching for colleges that are nearby your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are additional considerations that you should evaluate prior to making your final selection. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college are significant factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online training program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will cover these and other criteria that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when picking the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees offered along with the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Monroeville AL
As with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently required for a number of careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the job opportunities available in Monroeville AL. There are 4 degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a two year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial court system. More and more police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally includes the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education makes available more opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional 2 years of classes in addition to attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a particular aspect of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities afforded with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for students with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered as well. Generally requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, 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 depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are many specializations to choose from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after enjoying countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation shows. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you need to select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Choosing a program and a school that specializes in that area would naturally be the ideal decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be best to research all of the degree options offered from the various universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Monroeville AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the program you have selected, investigate the degree program you have an interest in as well as the college. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first prior to selecting a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Colleges Online
A number of students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, or they may just prefer the flexibility of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There many schools domiciled within the United States that offer degree programs online much like those offered on-campus. And for a number of Monroeville AL students, especially those who continue to work full or part-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online schools may make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are frequently lower in cost than on campus alternatives. Tuition can be cheaper and expenses for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure, as with any college you are reviewing, that the program you choose is accredited by an approved organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can learn in this kind of unsupervised environment, then obtaining your degree online might be the right option for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
By now you have undoubtedly 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. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin looking for Monroeville AL area schools and fine tuning your options. Since there are so many schools to pick from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when analyzing schools. Certainly cost is an important factor and you will need to choose a college that fits within your academic budget. And we have already pointed out several others as well, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you may want to ask the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? A large number of 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 screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to verify that the program and college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping assure that you get a top notch education, it will also assist in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Monroeville AL employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As mentioned 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 previous employment history. With no previous experience, Monroeville AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can get college rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other aspects contributing to the educational programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well respected for a particular degree program that you might be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Monroeville AL colleges you are considering. A lower rate may be an indication that students were disappointed with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task 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 get that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help verify that the college has a good reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a large network of employers to assist students in obtaining jobs upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, among the initial things you will probably look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will relocate or possibly board on campus, the school you select will have to be within driving distance of your Monroeville AL home. Certainly 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 resident state, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Community and junior colleges also tend to 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, attending smaller classes offers the option for more interaction with the teachers. Big classes provide little chance of getting one-on-one instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a couple of classes before making your ultimate determination. Talk to some of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to verify that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Monroeville AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Monroeville AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Monroeville AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Monroeville area where your school campus will be located.
It is known as the hometown of two prominent writers of the post-World War II period, Truman Capote and Harper Lee, who were childhood friends in the 1930s. Lee's 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, earned her the Pulitzer Prize. The lasting fame of To Kill a Mockingbird became a tourist draw for the town. In 1997, the Alabama Legislature designated Monroeville and Monroe County as the "Literary Capital of Alabama."
The town was initially known as Walker's Mill and Store, named for Major Walker, the area's first white settler. In 1832, the county seat was relocated to Monroeville from Claiborne on the Alabama River. The settlement was briefly renamed "Centerville" due to its location in the center of the county, but then it was formally changed to Monroeville. The town was not formally incorporated until April 15, 1899.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.4 square miles (34.7 km2), of which 13.4 square miles (34.6 km2) is land and 0.0077 square miles (0.02 km2), or 0.05%, is water.
Enroll in the Ideal Criminal Justice Degree Program near Monroeville AL
Making sure that you pick the right criminal justice program near Monroeville AL is vital to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers respect which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Attaining the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the optimal criminal justice college based on your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you decide on both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, verify that the school has a job assistance program with a high success rate for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Accredited Criminal Justice Schools. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering in order to narrow down your options and make the best selection. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will get the proper training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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