Picking the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Newton Alabama
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Newton Alabama. But once you have decided on the kind of program you would like to pursue, just how do you go about picking a school that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the institution you select must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will no doubt begin by looking for colleges that are close to your residence and comparing the cost for each school. But there are additional issues that you need to evaluate before making your final choice. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are critical factors also. 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 also be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other criteria that you might wish to include in your vetting process when deciding on the best 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 school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Newton AL
Similar to most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly required for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Newton AL. There are 4 degree levels available, 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 judiciary system. More and more police departments are looking for applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education creates more options for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional 2 years of classes in addition to earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a particular facet of criminal justice. In addition to the options offered with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for those with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available also. 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 depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specialties to select from when considering which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after watching numerous episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV shows. Or maybe you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you must pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Selecting a program and a school that specializes in that specialty would obviously be the ideal decision toward that end. Possibly you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be best to explore all of the degree alternatives available from the numerous universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Newton 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 chosen, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the school. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation in general does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first prior to picking a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Classes
Many prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their vicinity, or they might just prefer the convenience of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There many colleges located within the United States that provide online degree programs similar to the ones offered on campus. And for a number of Newton AL students, especially those who continue working full or part-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges may make them the only option. And as an added benefit, online schools are frequently more affordable than traditional alternatives. Tuition can be cheaper and costs for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain, just like for 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 learn in this kind of independent environment, then earning your degree online might be the best option for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
At this point you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you want to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin looking for Newton AL area schools and fine tuning your options. Considering that there are so many colleges to pick from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating schools. Clearly cost is an important consideration and you will need to enroll in a program that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already mentioned several others also, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might want to ask the colleges you are thinking about before making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? Numerous criminal justice schools have earned one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. One of 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 important to make sure that the program and college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. Along with helping assure that you get a quality education, it will also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Newton AL employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the school you enroll in is important as well. It’s particularly critical if you are going into the field with no relevant prior employment history. Without any prior experience, Newton AL employers will be considering the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can obtain school rankings and reviews, 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. Remember that a college 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? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Newton AL colleges you are looking at. A lower rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the course of study. It’s also imperative that the colleges have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help validate that the college has a good reputation within the industry, but that it also has a substantial network of contacts to help students secure positions upon graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, one of the initial things you will probably consider when searching for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or possibly live on campus, the college you pick will need to be within driving distance of your Newton AL residence. Certainly attending classes online will eliminate the need for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you opt to go to a college not in your state of residence, you may be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community and junior colleges also usually charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Bigger classes provide little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a few classes prior to making your ultimate determination. Speak with several of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Newton AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Newton AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Newton AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Newton area where your school campus will be located.
Cameron Jerrell Newton (born May 11, 1989) is an American football quarterback for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Florida and Auburn. He was drafted as the first overall pick by the Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft. Newton is the only player in the modern era to be awarded the Heisman Trophy, win a national championship, and become the first overall pick in an NFL draft within a one-year span. He was the 2011 NFL Rookie of the Year, is a three-time Pro Bowler, and was named the NFL MVP in 2015.
In his rookie year, Newton broke all-time NFL rookie records for passing and rushing yards. He became the first NFL quarterback to throw for 400 yards in his first game, shattering Peyton Manning's first-game record by 120 yards. He also broke Otto Graham's 61-year-old record for passing yards by any quarterback in an NFL debut. Newton went on to become the first rookie quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season. He also ran for 14 touchdowns, more in a single season than any quarterback in NFL history, breaking Steve Grogan's 35-year-old record.
In 2015, Newton became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 30 touchdowns and rush for 10 in the same season (35 passing, 10 rushing). He also became the only quarterback ever to have 300 yards passing, 5 touchdown passes, and over 100 yards rushing in the same game. Newton capped off the 2015 season by capturing MVP honors and leading the Panthers to a 15–1 record and a trip to Super Bowl 50.
Find the Ideal Criminal Justice College near Newton AL
Making certain that you select the ideal criminal justice program near Newton AL is vital to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers respect 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 optimal criminal justice school based on your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s imperative that the college and degree program you select both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, make sure that the school has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Online Bachelors Degree Criminal Justice. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to assess and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at so that you can narrow down your choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the proper education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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