Choosing the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Moulton Alabama
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Moulton Alabama. But after you have chosen the type of program you would like to work toward, just how do you go about choosing a school that will provide the right training to help you achieve your career objectives? Naturally the institution you pick must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will probably start by searching for schools that are nearby your residence and comparing the cost for each school. But there are other factors that you must evaluate prior to making your final choice. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college are critical factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online training program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will address these and other criteria that you may want to utilize in your vetting process when picking the best criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors available as well as the advantages of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Moulton AL
Similar to many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently needed for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the employment opportunities available in Moulton AL. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a 2 year degree, it offers an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. More and more police departments are seeking applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree normally includes the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available additional options for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional two years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a specific facet of criminal justice. In addition to the options afforded with the lower degrees, graduates can 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 as well. Typically taking anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for earning any of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specializations to choose from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after watching numerous episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV programs. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you must select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Enrolling in a school and program that focuses on that specialty would clearly be the best option toward that end. Possibly you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that scenario, it would be best to research all of the degree alternatives available from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Moulton 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 decided on, investigate the degree program you have an interest in along with the school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation in general does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is extremely important to decide on a major first prior to selecting a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Schools Online
A number of students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they may just prefer the convenience of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of colleges domiciled within the United States that offer online degree programs much like those offered on-campus. And for many Moulton 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 sole option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are frequently lower in cost than on campus alternatives. Tuition can be lower and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure, just like for any school you are considering, that the program you enroll in 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 setting, then obtaining your degree online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you intend to obtain your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin looking for Moulton AL area colleges and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are numerous colleges to choose from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when assessing colleges. Obviously cost is a significant factor and you will need to pick a school that is within your academic budget. And we have already mentioned several others as well, such as reputation, location and accreditation. To help you address those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may wish to ask the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. 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 a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s essential to verify that the degree program and college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. Along with helping ensure that you get a top notch education, it will also help in acquiring student loans or financial aid, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Also, many Moulton AL employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the School? As previously mentioned, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is important as well. It’s particularly crucial if you are entering the profession with no relevant prior employment history. With no prior experience, Moulton 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 obtain college 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 aspects contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well regarded for a specific degree program that you might be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Moulton AL schools you are reviewing. A low rate may be a sign that students were unhappy with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the colleges have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first crucial job after graduation that marks the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it also has a sizable network of contacts to help students in obtaining positions upon graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, among the first things you will most likely look at when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will relocate or perhaps live on campus, the school you select will have to be within commuting distance of your Moulton AL home. Certainly attending classes online will remove the need for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you opt to attend a school not in your state of residence, you might be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, attending smaller classes offers the opportunity for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes allow for little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Talk to some of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Moulton AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Moulton AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Moulton AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Moulton area where your school campus will be located.
Moulton is a city in Lawrence County, Alabama, United States and is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, as well as the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. Although it incorporated in 1819, along with its rival of Courtland, to compete for the honor of county seat, it did not first appear on the U.S. Census rolls until 1900. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 3,471, its record high. The city has been the county seat of Lawrence County since 1820. It has been the largest community in the county since the 1920 U.S. Census.
By the time Alabama became a state in 1819, an inn had been erected at the site of what is now Moulton to serve migrants along the various early paths that passed through the area. Shortly after Alabama achieved statehood, both Moulton and Courtland (to the north) incorporated and competed for the county seat of Lawrence County. Governor Thomas Bibb awarded the seat to Moulton as the most centrally located of the two within the county. The city is named for Lieutenant Michael Moulton, a soldier killed while fighting under General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814.
Moulton is located at 34°28′56″N 87°17′8″W / 34.48222°N 87.28556°W / 34.48222; -87.28556 (34.482307, -87.285621). The city is concentrated along Alabama State Route 33 southwest of Decatur. Alabama State Route 24 passes through the northern part of the city, and Alabama State Route 157 passes through its eastern section. The William B. Bankhead National Forest lies to the southwest of Moulton.
Choose the Best Criminal Justice College near Moulton AL
Making sure that you choose the ideal criminal justice school near Moulton AL is vital to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers value which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career begins with picking the optimal criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s imperative that the school and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, make sure that the college 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 Best Colleges To Study Criminal Justice. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will be able to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are reviewing so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the correct decision, you will receive the appropriate training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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