How to Select the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Rainbow City Alabama
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Rainbow City Alabama. But after you have decided on the kind of degree you would like to pursue, just how do you go about picking a school that will provide the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the institution you pick must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly begin by searching for schools that are nearby your home and comparing the cost for each school. But there are additional considerations that you need to investigate before making your ultimate choice. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are important factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online training program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other qualifications that you may wish to include in your vetting process when selecting the best criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors offered as well as the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Rainbow City AL
Just like with 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 available in Rainbow City AL. There are four degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. More and more police departments are looking for applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually addresses the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education creates more opportunities for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional 2 years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a specific aspect of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for students with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Usually requiring anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for attaining any of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors Offered
There are many specialties to select from when considering which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after viewing numerous episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV programs. Or maybe you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you must pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Choosing a program and a school that focuses on that area would certainly be the ideal decision toward that end. Possibly you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that case, it would be advisable to explore all of the degree alternatives available from the numerous universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Rainbow City 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 chosen, investigate the degree program you are interested in as well as the school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first before selecting a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Schools Online
Some prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they might just prefer the convenience of earning an online degree. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous schools located within the USA that provide online degree programs much like those offered on campus. And for many Rainbow City AL students, especially those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges in many cases make them the only option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are often more affordable than on campus alternatives. Tuition may be lower and expenses for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, as with any college you are considering, that the program you select 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 independent environment, then earning your degree online might be the best option for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, including 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 Rainbow City AL area schools and narrowing down your options. Because there are a large number of colleges to select from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating schools. Certainly cost is a significant factor and you will need to enroll in a school that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already discussed a few others also, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you focus on those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you might wish to ask the colleges you are examining prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have acquired one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. Among the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone a rigorous assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to make sure that the program and school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. In addition to helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it will also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Rainbow City AL employers have a preference for graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the Program? As stated previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you choose is significant also. It’s particularly crucial if you are entering the field with no relevant prior employment history. Without any prior experience, Rainbow City AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can get school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other elements contributing to the academic programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be well respected for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Rainbow City AL colleges you are reviewing. A low percentage might be a sign that students were unhappy with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also essential that the colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you land that first crucial job after graduation that marks the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help confirm that the college has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it also has a considerable network of employers 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 first 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 move or possibly live on campus, the college you select will have to be within driving distance of your Rainbow City AL home. Certainly attending classes online will remove the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you opt to attend a college not in your state of residence, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community 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 like to disappear in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes provide little chance of getting personalized instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Speak with several of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You may also want to inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rainbow City AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Rainbow City AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Rainbow City AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Rainbow City area where your school campus will be located.
Rainbow City, Alabama
This city was named after U.S. Highway 411, called Rainbow Drive, which runs through the middle of the city. Some of the older citizens say it was named after the US 42nd Infantry Division, known as the "Rainbow Division".
As early as 1818, families from the Carolinas and Georgia began to migrate to the area and homestead land near the Coosa River. Hernando de Soto's troops were the first visitors to the area in 1540, and today a bridge stands where the Pensacola Trading Path crossed the Coosa River. A paved highway now traces the trail that was cut from Nashville to Horseshoe Bend by Andrew Jackson on his way to fight the Creek Native Americans in what is now known as the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.
Originally called "Coosa Bend", the area was later called "Morgan's Cross Road". It was located at the intersection of the Gadsden-Ashville Road and Gilbert's Ferry Road. The land was passed from Edmond Jones to his son Clayton, who never married. When he died, the land passed to his sister, Luvica Morgan, who was also the wife of William Morgan.
Pick the Ideal Criminal Justice Degree Program near Rainbow City AL
Making certain that you select the right criminal justice school near Rainbow City AL is vital to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers care which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Attaining the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the optimal criminal justice school based on your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential that the college and degree program you pick both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, make certain that the college 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 Bachelor Of Science In Criminal Justice. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at so that you can narrow down your options and make the right selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will receive the proper training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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