How to Pick the Right Criminal Justice College near Robertsdale Alabama
So you have decided to earn a criminal justice degree near Robertsdale Alabama. But after you have chosen the type of program you would like to work toward, just how do you go about picking a school that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the college you pick must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will probably begin by looking for colleges that are near your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other issues that you should investigate prior to making your ultimate selection. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are critical factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online training program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will deal with these and other criteria that you may want to include in your vetting process when choosing the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the benefits of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Robertsdale AL
Similar to most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly required for various careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities available in Robertsdale AL. There are four degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it offers an introduction to such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates more opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing 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 allows students to become specialists in a specific area of criminal justice. Along with the options provided with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for individuals interested in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered also. Usually requiring anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for attaining 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 deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after enjoying numerous episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV shows. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you need to select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Selecting a program and a school that specializes in that area would obviously be the best option toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that scenario, it would be advisable to research all of the degree options offered from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Robertsdale 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, investigate the degree program you are interested in along with the school. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has an outstanding reputation in general does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is essential to decide on a major first before choosing a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Classes Online
A number of students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, or they may just prefer the convenience of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of colleges located within the United States that provide degree programs online much like those offered on-campus. And for a number of Robertsdale AL students, particularly those who continue to work full or part-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online programs in many cases make them the sole option. And as an added advantage, online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional alternatives. Tuition can be lower and costs for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just verify, as with any college you are reviewing, that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can learn in this kind of unsupervised environment, then obtaining your degree online may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
At this point you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you intend to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start searching for Robertsdale AL area schools and narrowing down your options. Because there are so many schools to choose from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when analyzing colleges. Clearly 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 as well, such as reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you might want to ask the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. Among the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through a rigorous screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to verify that the degree program and school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. Along with helping confirm that you obtain a top notch education, it will also help in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Robertsdale AL employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the Program? As previously stated, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you select is important also. It’s especially crucial if you are getting in the field with no relevant previous job history. With no previous experience, Robertsdale AL employers will be considering the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can obtain college rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other factors contributing to the academic programs. Remember 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.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Robertsdale AL colleges you are reviewing. A lower percentage might be a sign that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out, 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 placement programs with high placement rates. A job assistance 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a substantial network of contacts to help students in obtaining jobs upon graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will most likely look at when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or possibly live on campus, the college you enroll in will need to be within driving distance of your Robertsdale AL residence. Of course attending classes online will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you opt to attend a college outside of 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 state or school district.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, going to small classes provides the option for more interaction with the instructors. Bigger classes afford little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a couple of classes before making your final determination. Talk to some of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Robertsdale AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Robertsdale AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Robertsdale AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Robertsdale area where your school campus will be located.
Robertsdale is located in southern Baldwin County at 30°33'16.034" North, 87°42'20.038" West (30.554454, -87.705566).U.S. Route 90 (Old Spanish Trail) passes through the city, leading west 24 miles (39 km) to Mobile and east 35 miles (56 km) to Pensacola, Florida.
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,276 people, 1,951 households, and 1,392 families residing in the city. The population density was 968 people per square mile (373.6/km²). There were 1,573 housing units at an average density of 357.3 per square mile (137.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.3% White, 5.4% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 6.1% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. 9.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,951 households out of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.10.
Select the Right Criminal Justice School near Robertsdale AL
Making certain that you pick the ideal criminal justice program near Robertsdale AL is essential to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Attaining the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the optimal criminal justice college predicated upon your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s important that the school and degree program you choose both have excellent reputations and are accredited. In addition, 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 Criminal Justice Courses. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at so that you can narrow down your options and make the right choice. And when you have made the right decision, you will receive the appropriate education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Alabama