How to Select the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Wedowee Alabama
So you have decided to earn a criminal justice degree near Wedowee Alabama. But once you have decided on the kind of degree you want to pursue, just how do you undertake choosing a school that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the college you pick must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly start by looking for colleges that are close to your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional points that you must investigate before making your final selection. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the college are critical factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online training program will also be a part of your search process. We will address these and other criteria that you may wish to include in your vetting process when selecting the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees offered as well as the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Wedowee AL
Similar to most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly required for many positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities available in Wedowee AL. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a 2 year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. A growing number of police departments are seeking applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education makes available more options for such positions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional 2 years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a specific aspect of criminal justice. In addition to the options offered with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for individuals interested in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered as well. Typically taking anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for earning any of the 4 degrees will depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors Offered
There are numerous specializations to choose from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after watching countless episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV shows. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you must pick a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Selecting a school and program that specializes in that specialty would clearly be the ideal option toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that case, it would be best to explore 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 Wedowee 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 selected, research the degree program you have an interest in along with the college. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation in general does not mean 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 Degree Programs Online
Some students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their region, or they may just prefer the flexibility of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous schools domiciled within the United States that provide degree programs online much like those offered on-campus. And for many Wedowee AL students, especially 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 advantage, online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition can be cheaper and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just make sure, just like for any school you are looking at, that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized 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 unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
By now you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you intend to earn your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start searching for Wedowee AL area schools and fine tuning your options. Considering that there are so many schools to select from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing schools. Naturally cost is an important factor and you will need to enroll in a college that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed a few others also, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice colleges have received 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 gone through a rigorous screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s imperative to make sure that the degree program and college you pick 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 student loans or financial aid, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, a number of Wedowee AL employers are looking for graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you choose is significant also. It’s particularly critical if you are getting in the field with no relevant previous job history. With no prior experience, Wedowee AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can get college rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other factors contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be well respected for a specific degree program that you might be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Wedowee AL schools you are reviewing. A low percentage may be a sign that students were disappointed with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the colleges have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help substantiate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it also has a substantial network of contacts to assist students secure positions after graduation.
Where are the Schools Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, among the first things you will probably look at when looking for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or perhaps live on campus, the college you select will have to be within commuting distance of your Wedowee AL home. Certainly attending classes online will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to go to a school outside of your resident state, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also usually charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, attending small classes provides the option for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes allow for little chance of getting personalized instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to audit a couple of classes before making your final decision. Talk to some of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You might also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s important to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Wedowee AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Wedowee AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Wedowee AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Wedowee area where your school campus will be located.
Wedowee is a town in Randolph County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 823, up from 818 in 2000. The small town is the county seat of Randolph County. It was initially incorporated in 1836, but its charter lapsed by the late 19th century. It was reincorporated in 1901.
Following Indian Removal of the Creek in the 1830s to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River by the US government, this area was settled by European Americans. The town of Wedowee was designated as the county seat of Randolph County in 1835. The county was developed for the cultivation of cotton as a commodity crop, with labor primarily done by enslaved African Americans, many of whom had been sold to the Deep South from the Upper South in the domestic slave trade.
Since the late 20th century, Lake Wedowee was created by the impoundment of the Tallapoosa River. This has enhanced the tourist drawing power of the town. Also known as the R. L. Harris Reservoir, the lake draws thousands of visitors to Wedowee every year. 
Pick the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Wedowee AL
Making certain that you enroll in the right criminal justice school near Wedowee AL is essential to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing 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 greatest potential success in your criminal justice career starts with picking the right criminal justice school based on your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important that the school and degree program you pick both are accredited and have excellent reputations. 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 Colleges With Criminal Justice Programs. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are looking at in order to narrow down your choices and make the best choice. And when you have made the right decision, you will receive the appropriate training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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