Selecting the Right Criminal Justice College near Phenix City Alabama
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Phenix City Alabama. But once you have decided on the type of degree you want to pursue, just how do you undertake picking a school that will offer the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Of course the school you choose must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will probably start by looking for schools that are close to your home and comparing the cost for each school. But there are additional points that you must examine prior to making your ultimate choice. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the college are significant factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online degree program will also be a part of your search process. We will discuss these and other qualifications that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when deciding on the best criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors available along with the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Phenix City AL
Similar to most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently required for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Phenix City AL. There are 4 degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a two year degree, it offers an overview of such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. More and more police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree normally includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education makes available additional options for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional 2 years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become specialists in a specific area of criminal justice. Along with the options provided with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for individuals interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered also. Typically requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for earning any of the four degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specialties to pick from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after viewing countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV shows. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you need to pick a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Selecting a program and a school that specializes in that area would certainly be the best option toward that end. Possibly you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that situation, it would be best 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 Phenix City AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the program you have decided on, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the college. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first before choosing a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Classes Online
Many students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their region, or they may just want the independence of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of colleges domiciled within the USA that offer degree programs online much like the ones offered on campus. And for a number of Phenix City AL students, especially those who continue to work part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online programs in many cases make them the only option. And as an added advantage, online schools are often more affordable than traditional alternatives. Tuition can be cheaper and expenditures for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, as with any school you are looking at, that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can study in this kind of unsupervised setting, then obtaining your degree online might be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you intend to earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start looking for Phenix City AL area schools and fine tuning your options. Considering that there are numerous schools to pick from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when analyzing schools. Naturally cost is an important consideration and you will need to enroll in a school that is within your academic 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 might wish to ask the colleges you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice colleges have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. Among the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools 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 confirm that the degree program and college you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a top notch education, it will also assist in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of Phenix City AL employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you enroll in is important also. It’s especially critical if you are entering the profession with no relevant prior job history. With no prior experience, Phenix City 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 school reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the academic programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Phenix City AL colleges you are considering. A lower rate might be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also essential that the colleges have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help verify that the college has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a large network of contacts to assist students secure jobs after graduation.
How Far Away are the Colleges Located? As we mentioned at the opening of this article, one of the initial things you will probably consider when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or perhaps live on campus, the school you choose will need to be within driving distance of your Phenix City AL home. Naturally attending classes online will remove the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to go to a college outside of your resident state, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Junior and community colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the option for more interaction with the teachers. Large classes provide little chance of getting personalized instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a couple of classes prior to making your final decision. Talk to some of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phenix City AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Phenix City AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Phenix City AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Phenix City area where your school campus will be located.
Phenix City, Alabama
Phenix City lies immediately west across the Chattahoochee River from much larger Columbus, Georgia. Sometimes called Hub City, Most of Phenix City is included in the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area, but a section is located in Lee County, and is therefore in the Auburn, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. The entire city is part of the Columbus-Auburn-Opelika Combined Statistical Area.
Phenix City is located at 32°28′22″N 85°1′12″W / 32.47278°N 85.02000°W / 32.47278; -85.02000 (32.472822, -85.020121). It is the easternmost settlement in the state of Alabama as well as the Central Time Zone, but it and some other nearby areas unofficially observe Eastern Time, as these areas are part of the metropolitan area of the considerably larger city of Columbus, Georgia, which is in the Eastern Time Zone.
The climate in this area is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Phenix City has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Choose the Best Criminal Justice School near Phenix City AL
Making sure that you enroll in the right criminal justice college near Phenix City AL is vital to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers respect which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Attaining the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career starts with picking the best criminal justice college predicated upon your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s imperative that the college and degree program you select both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Also, verify that the college has a job assistance program with a high success rate for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Master Degrees. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are considering in order to narrow down your choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will get the proper education so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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