Selecting the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Glendale Arizona
So you have decided to earn a criminal justice degree near Glendale Arizona. But after you have decided on the kind of degree you would like to pursue, just how do you undertake picking a school that will provide the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Of course the institution you choose must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly begin by searching for schools that are near your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional issues that you must examine prior to making your final choice. For example, the accreditation and reputation 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 degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will discuss these and other qualifications that you might wish to include in your vetting process when deciding on the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors available as well as the benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Glendale AZ
Similar to most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently required for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Glendale AZ. There are 4 degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a 2 year degree, it offers an overview of such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education makes available additional opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional 2 years of classes in addition to earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a particular area of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for students interested in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available also. Generally requiring 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 earning any one of the four degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are many specialties to select from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after enjoying numerous episodes of the various crime scene investigation shows. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you need to choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Enrolling in a program and a school that focuses on that area would obviously 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 explore all of the degree options offered from the various universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Glendale AZ area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the college you have chosen, investigate the degree program you are interested in along with the school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not guarantee 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 college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Schools
A number of prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their region, or they might just want the independence of earning an online degree. In either case, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of colleges domiciled within the USA that offer online degree programs similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for a number of Glendale AZ students, particularly those who continue to work full or part-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are often lower in cost than on campus options. Tuition can be cheaper and costs for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just verify, as with any school you are looking at, that the program you choose is accredited by an approved agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can learn in this type of independent setting, then earning your degree online may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
At this point you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin searching for Glendale AZ area colleges and fine tuning your options. Because there are numerous schools to pick from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing schools. Obviously cost is a significant factor and you will need to pick 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 focus on those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have acquired 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 gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s imperative to make sure 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 ensure that you obtain a top notch education, it will also assist in securing student loans or financial aid, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Also, many Glendale AZ employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is significant also. It’s particularly crucial if you are entering the field with no relevant previous work history. With no prior experience, Glendale AZ employers will be considering the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can obtain college reviews and rankings, including 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 academic programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Glendale AZ schools you are considering. A lower rate may be an indicator that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the course of study. It’s also important that the schools have job placement programs with higher 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 high placement rate will not only help confirm that the college has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a substantial network of contacts to assist students obtain positions after graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, among the initial 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 relocate or possibly live on campus, the college you select will have to be within commuting distance of your Glendale AZ home. Of course attending online classes will remove the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to attend a school not in your resident state, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Junior and community colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, attending smaller classes offers the opportunity for more interaction with the instructors. Bigger classes allow for little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate determination. Talk to some of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Arizona criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Glendale AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Glendale AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Glendale AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Glendale area where your school campus will be located.
Glendale /ˈɡlɛndeɪl/ is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, located about nine miles (14 km) northwest from Downtown Phoenix. According to the 2017 U.S. Census estimates, the population of the city is 246,709.
In the late 1800s what is now known as Glendale, Arizona, was all desert. William John Murphy, a native of New Hartford, New York, who resided in the town of Flagstaff in what was then known as the territory of Arizona, was in charge of building a 40-mile-long (64 km) Arizona Canal from Granite Reef to New River for the Arizona Canal Company. In 1885, he completed the canal, which would bring water to the desert land. Murphy was deep in debt, since he had agreed to be paid in Arizona Canal Company stock and bonds and land instead of cash.
In 1887, Murphy formed the Arizona Improvement Company. His objective was to sell the land and water rights south of the canal. Murphy had to raise capital from out of state sources in order to meet payroll and construction expenses. Murphy decided to refer to this land as "Glendale". In order to develop and interest potential investors and settlers in this new town, Murphy decided to provide a better way of access from Phoenix to Glendale and ending in the town of Peoria by building an 18-mile-long (29 km) diagonal road which he named Grand Avenue.
Select the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Glendale AZ
Making certain that you select the ideal criminal justice school near Glendale AZ is crucial to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers value which school your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Attaining the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career begins with picking the right criminal justice school based on your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important that the school and degree program you select both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, verify 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 Criminal Justice Programs. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your options and make the right choice. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the appropriate education so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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