How to Pick the Right Criminal Justice School near Clarkdale Arizona
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Clarkdale Arizona. But once 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 realize your career objectives? Of course the school you select must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will probably begin by looking for colleges that are near your residence and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are additional points that you must examine prior to making your ultimate selection. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the school are critical 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 degree program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will cover these and other criteria that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the ideal criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors offered along with the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Clarkdale AZ
Just like with most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently required for a number of careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Clarkdale AZ. There are four degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a 2 year degree, it offers an overview of such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. More and more police departments are seeking applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates more options for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing 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 enables students to become experts in a particular facet of criminal justice. In addition to the options provided with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for those interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Typically requiring 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 four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specialties to choose from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after viewing countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV shows. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you need to select a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Choosing a program and a school that focuses on that area would naturally be the best option toward that end. Perhaps 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 alternatives offered from the various colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Clarkdale AZ area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the school you have decided on, research the degree program you have an interest in along with the school. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first prior to choosing a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Schools Online
Some students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their region, or they might just want the flexibility of earning a degree online. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of schools domiciled within the USA that provide online degree programs much like those offered on campus. And for a number of Clarkdale AZ students, particularly those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online programs may make them the only option. And as an added benefit, online schools are often more affordable than traditional alternatives. Tuition may be lower and expenses for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make sure, as with any college 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 type of independent environment, then obtaining your degree online may be the right option for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
By now you have undoubtedly 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 attending classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start looking for Clarkdale AZ area colleges and fine tuning your options. Because there are a large number of colleges to pick from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing schools. Obviously cost is an important factor and you will need to pick a school that fits within your academic budget. And we have already discussed a few others also, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you might wish to ask the colleges you are thinking about prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Numerous criminal justice schools have acquired one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. 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 an extensive assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s important to make sure that the program and college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. In addition to helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it will also aid in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Clarkdale AZ employers have a preference for graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As previously mentioned, together with accreditation the reputation of the college you choose is important as well. It’s particularly critical if you are going into the profession with no relevant prior job history. With no previous experience, Clarkdale AZ employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can obtain school rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other factors contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation may still be well respected for a specific degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Clarkdale AZ colleges you are looking at. A lower rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the course of study. It’s also important that the schools have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you get that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it also has a considerable network of contacts to assist students in obtaining jobs after graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, among the initial things you will probably consider when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or possibly board on campus, the school you select will have to be within commuting distance of your Clarkdale AZ home. Of course attending online classes will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to attend a college outside of your state of residence, you could be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Bigger classes allow for little chance of getting one-on-one instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a few classes before making your ultimate decision. Speak with some of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Arizona criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Clarkdale AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Clarkdale AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Clarkdale AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Clarkdale area where your school campus will be located.
Clarkdale (Yavapai: Saupkasuiva) is a town in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. The Verde River flows through the town as does Bitter Creek, an intermittent tributary of the river. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town was 4,097.
Clarkdale was founded in 1912 as a company smelter town by William A. Clark, for his copper mine in nearby Jerome. Clarkdale was one of the most modern mining towns in the world, including telephone, telegraph, electrical, sewer and spring water services, and was an early example of a planned community. The Clark Mansion, a local landmark, was built in the late 1920s by William Clark III, Clark's grandson and heir to the United Verde Copper Company. The structure, east of town across the Verde River near Pecks Lake, was destroyed in 2010 by a fire of "suspicious" origin.
The town center and business district were built in Spanish Colonial style, and feature the Clark Memorial Clubhouse and Memorial Library, both still in use. The Clubhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The entire original town site is also on the National Register as the Clarkdale Historic District.
Select the Ideal Criminal Justice College near Clarkdale AZ
Making certain that you pick the right criminal justice program near Clarkdale AZ is essential to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers value which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Attaining the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the best criminal justice college predicated upon your career objectives. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. In addition, make sure 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 Colleges Near Me That Offer Criminal Justice. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will be able to analyze and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering in order to narrow down your options and make the right selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the proper training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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