Selecting the Right Criminal Justice School near Palmer Alaska
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Palmer Alaska. But after you have chosen the kind of program you would like to pursue, just how do you go about selecting a school that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Of course the institution you pick must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will probably start by looking for schools that are close to your residence and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are additional issues that you must investigate before making your final selection. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the school are significant factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online training program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will cover these and other qualifications that you may want to include in your vetting process when picking the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors offered as well as the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Palmer AK
As with most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly required for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Palmer AK. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a two year degree, it provides an overview of such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial court system. More and more police departments are looking for applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally addresses the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available additional opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes in addition to obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a specific facet of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities afforded with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And finally, for students with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered also. Generally requiring anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for earning any of the four degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specializations to pick from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after viewing countless episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV shows. Or maybe you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to select a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Choosing a school and program that focuses on that specialty would naturally be the best option toward that end. Maybe you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be best to explore all of the degree options offered from the numerous colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Palmer AK area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the program you have decided on, investigate the degree program you have an interest in as well as the school. Just because a criminal justice school 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 extremely important to decide on a major first prior to selecting a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs Online
Some prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, or they might just want the independence of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous schools located within the United States that provide online degree programs much like the ones offered on campus. And for many Palmer AK students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online schools in many cases make them the sole option. And as an added advantage, online colleges are often more affordable than on campus alternatives. Tuition may be cheaper and costs for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, just like for any school you are looking at, that the program you choose is accredited by an approved organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can study in this kind of unsupervised setting, then obtaining your degree online may be the best alternative for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly 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 begin searching for Palmer AK 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 utilize when assessing colleges. Certainly cost is an important consideration and you will need to pick a school that is within your academic budget. And we have already mentioned several others as well, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you may wish to ask the colleges you are thinking about before making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. Among the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone an extensive assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to confirm that the program and college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. Along with helping confirm that you obtain a top notch education, it will also assist in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of Palmer AK employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you enroll in is important as well. It’s especially critical if you are going into the field with no relevant prior job history. With no previous experience, Palmer AK employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can find college rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other aspects contributing to the academic programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be well respected for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Palmer AK schools you are considering. A lower rate might be a sign that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out, 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 get that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help affirm that the college has a good reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a considerable network of contacts to help students obtain jobs upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Campuses Located? As we mentioned at the opening of this article, one of the first things you will most likely consider when searching for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or possibly live on campus, the school you enroll in will have to be within commuting distance of your Palmer AK home. Naturally attending online classes will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to go to 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 colleges also usually charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, attending small classes provides the option for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes afford little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a few classes before making your ultimate decision. Talk to several of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the Alaska criminal justice field.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Palmer AK, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Palmer AK?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Palmer AK, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Palmer area where your school campus will be located.
Palmer is a city in and the borough seat of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Anchorage Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 5,937.
The first people to live in the Matanuska Valley, where Palmer is located, were the Dena'ina and Ahtna Athabaskans. They moved throughout the area, living a subsistence lifestyle and trading with other native groups. Their trade routes were along the Matanuska River. Russians came to Alaska in 1741 and brought the Russian Orthodox religious tradition to the indigenous peoples of the region. In the early 1890s, an entrepreneur named George W. Palmer built a trading post on the Matanuska River, near present-day Palmer. The town was later named after Palmer.
In the late 19th century, the U.S. government began to take interest in the Matanuska coal fields located north of Palmer. This interest sparked financiers to consider constructing the Alaska Central Railroad in 1904. The advent of World War I created a need for high quality coal to fuel U.S. battleships, and by 1917 the US Navy had constructed rail from the port of Seward to the Chickaloon coal deposits. At the end of World War I, the U.S. Navy distributed land in the coal fields to war veterans and additional land was opened to homesteading. Farmers, miners and homesteaders began to populate the area. The Palmer Post Office was opened July 6, 1917 under the name of Warton. With railroad accessibility, new markets for agriculture began to open up for farmers in the Matanuska Valley.
Choose the Best Criminal Justice College near Palmer AK
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice program near Palmer AK is essential to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers care which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the ideal criminal justice school predicated upon your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, make certain that the school has a job placement program with a high success rate for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Courses List. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at in order to narrow down your options and make the best choice. And when you have made the right decision, you will get the appropriate education so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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