Choosing the Right Criminal Justice College near Scottsboro Alabama
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Scottsboro Alabama. But after you have selected the type of degree you would like to pursue, just how do you undertake selecting a school that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the school you choose must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will probably start by looking for colleges that are nearby your home and comparing the cost for each school. But there are additional considerations that you should examine prior to making your ultimate decision. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are critical factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online training program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will deal with these and other criteria that you might wish to include in your vetting process when picking 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 along with the benefits of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Scottsboro AL
Just like with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly required for a number of careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the job opportunities available in Scottsboro AL. There are 4 degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a 2 year degree, it provides an overview of such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree normally includes the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education makes available additional options for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional 2 years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a particular aspect of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities provided with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for students with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered as well. Usually taking anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for attaining any of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are a number of specialties to pick from when deciding which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after viewing numerous episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you must pick a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Selecting a program and a school that focuses on that specialty would naturally be the ideal decision toward that end. Possibly you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that situation, it would be best to research all of the degree alternatives offered from the numerous universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Scottsboro 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 selected, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the school. Just because 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 regarded. That’s why it is essential to decide on a major first prior to picking a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Schools Online
A number of students may not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their vicinity, or they might just prefer the convenience of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of colleges located within the United States that offer online degree programs much like the ones offered on-campus. And for many Scottsboro AL students, particularly those who continue working full or part-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online programs in many cases make them the only option. And as an added benefit, online schools are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Tuition can be cheaper and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced also. Just verify, as with any school you are looking at, that the program you select is accredited by an approved organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can study in this type of independent setting, then earning your degree online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
By now you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you intend to earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin searching for Scottsboro AL area schools and narrowing down your options. Because there are a large number of colleges to choose from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing colleges. Certainly cost is an important consideration and you will need to choose a school that is within your academic budget. And we have already addressed a few others as well, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you address those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you may wish to ask the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? Numerous criminal justice colleges have obtained one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. One of the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through a rigorous assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s essential to verify that the program and college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you get a top notch education, it will also aid in securing student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, a number of Scottsboro AL employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As stated previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is significant as well. It’s particularly critical if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior work history. With no prior experience, Scottsboro AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can obtain college rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the academic programs. Keep in mind that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Scottsboro AL colleges you are looking at. A low percentage may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the schools have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first pivotal 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 industry, but that it additionally has a sizable network of employers to help students in obtaining positions after graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we touched on at the beginning of this article, one of the initial things you will most likely look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps live on campus, the school you choose will have to be within commuting distance of your Scottsboro AL home. Of course attending online classes will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to attend a school not in your state of residence, you may be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Junior and community colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, attending smaller classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes allow for little chance of getting personalized instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a few classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Talk to several of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Scottsboro AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 Scottsboro AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Scottsboro AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Scottsboro area where your school campus will be located.
Scottsboro is a city in Jackson County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 14,770. Named for its founder Robert T. Scott, the city is the county seat of Jackson County.
From its incorporation in 1870 until 1890, it was the largest community in Jackson County, losing the distinction from 1900 to 1920 to Bridgeport, but reclaiming the title in 1930 and holding it since that time.
It is located 30 miles each from the state boundaries of Georgia to the east (Dade County) and Tennessee to the north, about 45 miles from Huntsville, Alabama to the west and about 55 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee to the northeast.
Choose the Best Criminal Justice School near Scottsboro AL
Making sure that you choose the right criminal justice school near Scottsboro 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 also. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with picking the right criminal justice college predicated upon your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the college and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. In addition, confirm 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 Law Enforcement Schools. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will receive the proper education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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