How to Select the Right Criminal Justice College near Wetumpka Alabama
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Wetumpka Alabama. But after you have selected the type of degree you want to work toward, just how do you undertake picking a college that will offer the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the school you pick must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt start by searching for colleges that are nearby your residence and comparing the cost for each school. But there are other points that you need to investigate before making your ultimate 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 as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online training program will also be a part of your search process. We will cover these and other qualifications that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when choosing the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees offered along with the benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Wetumpka AL
Similar to most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently needed for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Wetumpka AL. There are 4 degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a two year degree, it offers an introduction to such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates additional options for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional two years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become specialists in a particular area of criminal justice. Along with the options offered with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for those interested in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered also. Typically taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for obtaining any of the 4 degrees will depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are a number of specializations to select from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after watching countless episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you must pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Enrolling in a program and a school that specializes in that specialty would naturally be the best option toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that case, it would be best to investigate all of the degree options available from the various universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Wetumpka AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the school you have chosen, research the degree program you have an interest in along with the college. Just because a criminal justice college 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 very important to choose a major first before choosing a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs
Some students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their vicinity, or they might just want the convenience of earning an online degree. In either case, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of schools domiciled within the United States that offer online degree programs similar to those offered on campus. And for many Wetumpka AL students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online schools may make them the only option. And as an added advantage, online schools are frequently lower in cost than on campus alternatives. Tuition can be lower and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain, just like for any school you are considering, that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, 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 ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
By now you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you intend to obtain your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin searching for Wetumpka AL area schools and fine tuning your options. Since there are a large number of colleges to pick from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when assessing schools. Certainly cost is an important factor and you will need to choose a school that is within your academic budget. And we have already discussed a few others as well, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have acquired 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 undergone a rigorous screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s essential to make sure that the program and college you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it will also assist in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Wetumpka AL employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As previously mentioned, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you choose is important also. It’s particularly crucial if you are going into the profession with no relevant prior employment history. With no prior experience, Wetumpka AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can get college 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 aspects contributing to the academic programs. Keep in mind that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be well regarded for a specific degree program that you might have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Wetumpka AL schools you are reviewing. A lower 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 essential that the schools have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help verify that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a considerable network of employers to help students obtain jobs after graduation.
Where are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will probably look at when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or perhaps board on campus, the school you select will need to be within driving distance of your Wetumpka AL residence. Certainly attending online classes will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to attend a school not in your state of residence, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community and junior colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the option for more interaction with the teachers. Larger classes provide little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One method to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a few classes before making your final determination. Talk to some of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wetumpka 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 ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Wetumpka AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Wetumpka AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Wetumpka area where your school campus will be located.
Wetumpka is a city in and the county seat of Elmore County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 6,528. In the early 21st century, Elmore County, long a rural area, became one of the fastest-growing counties in the state. The city is considered part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Area.
Wetumpka identifies as "The City of Natural Beauty". Among the notable landmarks are the Wetumpka crater and the Jasmine Hill Gardens, with a full-sized replica of the Temple of Hera of Olympia, Greece. Historic downtown Wetumpka developed on both sides of the Coosa River. It was near Fort Toulouse, built by French colonists in 1717, when they had claimed this territory for the king.
The word Wetumpka is derived from the Muscogee language (Creek) phrase we-wau tum-cau. The name Wetumpka is a historic Creek place word meaning "rumbling waters", believed to be a description of the sound of the nearby Coosa River at the rapids of the Devil's Staircase. The roar of the rapids reportedly could be heard for miles before the construction in the 20th century of Walter Bouldin Dam and Jordan Dam, when the river was captured as a reservoir behind the dam.
Pick the Ideal Criminal Justice College near Wetumpka AL
Making sure that you pick the ideal criminal justice program near Wetumpka AL is vital to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers respect which school your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the best criminal justice school predicated upon your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s imperative that the school and degree program you select both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, verify that the college 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 Degrees Colleges. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice schools you are reviewing in order to narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the correct decision, you will get the appropriate education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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