Picking the Right Criminal Justice College near Saginaw Alabama
So you have decided to earn a criminal justice degree near Saginaw Alabama. But once you have selected the type of program you want to work toward, just how do you go about choosing a school that will offer the right training to help you realize your career objectives? Of course the institution you choose must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt begin by searching for schools that are nearby your home and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are other issues that you should evaluate before making your final selection. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college are significant factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer rather than 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 criteria that you might want to include in your vetting process when selecting the ideal criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors offered as well as the advantages of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Saginaw AL
As with most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly needed for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Saginaw AL. There are 4 degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a two year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. A growing number of police departments are looking for candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually addresses the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education makes available more options for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes in addition to attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a particular aspect of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And finally, for students interested in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available as well. Generally taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for earning any of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are numerous specialties to choose from when deciding which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after viewing countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV shows. Or maybe you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you need to pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Choosing a school and program that specializes in that area would certainly be the best option toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be advisable 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 Saginaw AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the college you have decided on, research the degree program you have an interest in as well as the college. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation in general does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first before choosing a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs
A number of students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their region, or they may just prefer the independence of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous colleges domiciled within the USA that offer online degree programs much like those offered on campus. And for many Saginaw AL students, particularly those who continue working full or part-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges may make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are often more affordable than traditional alternatives. Tuition may be lower and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just verify, just like for any college you are reviewing, that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can learn in this kind of independent environment, then earning your degree online may be the right alternative for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
By now you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you want to earn your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start searching for Saginaw AL area colleges and narrowing down your options. Since there are numerous schools to pick from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating schools. Certainly cost is an important factor and you will need to pick a program that is within your academic budget. And we have already addressed a few others also, such as accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you may want to ask the colleges you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have acquired one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. Among 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 an extensive screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s imperative to verify that the degree program and school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it will also aid in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Saginaw AL employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the Program? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you attend is significant also. It’s particularly critical if you are going into the field with no relevant previous job history. Without any previous experience, Saginaw AL employers will be considering the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can find school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other elements contributing to the educational programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be well regarded for a specific degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Saginaw AL colleges you are considering. A low percentage might be a sign that students were disappointed with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the colleges have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you get that first crucial job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help affirm that the college has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a sizable network of contacts to assist students in obtaining positions after graduation.
How Far Away are the Campuses Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, among the first things you will most likely consider when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will relocate or possibly board on campus, the college you enroll in will need to be within driving distance of your Saginaw AL residence. Naturally attending classes online will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to go to a college outside of your state of residence, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Community and junior 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 disappear in the crowd, going to small classes offers the opportunity for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes allow for little chance of getting personalized instruction if needed. One way to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a couple of classes before making your final determination. Talk to some of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Saginaw AL, make sure 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 find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Saginaw AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Saginaw AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Saginaw area where your school campus will be located.
Saginaw is an unincorporated community 2.5 miles north of Calera in Shelby County, Alabama, United States with zip code 35137. It is part of the Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman Combined Statistical Area. It is located southeast of Alabaster on the east side of Interstate 65 at the intersection of State Route 70 and U.S. Route 31.
Saginaw is the home of the Saginaw Pipe Company, Inc., a major supplier of steel pipe, beams, tubing, and plate. The Dravo Lime Company quarry in Saginaw was honored for their outstanding safety record in the annual Sentinels of Safety awards program co-sponsored by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the National Mining Association (NMA) in 1997 and 1999.
The U.S. Census bureau does not keep separate statistics for Saginaw. As of the census of 2000, for Block Group 2, Census Tract 306.09, Shelby County, Alabama, which is the census block group that includes the center of Saginaw, the total population was 1,684 people, with a racial makeup of 97.1% white, 2.2% black, and 0.7% mixed or other races.
Select the Right Criminal Justice School near Saginaw AL
Making certain that you choose the ideal criminal justice program near Saginaw AL is vital to your obtaining 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 picking the ideal criminal justice school based on your career goals. As we have covered in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you choose both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, verify that the school has a job placement program with a strong track record for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Colleges Near Me. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to analyze and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the correct decision, you will receive the proper training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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