Choosing the Right Criminal Justice College near Prescott Valley Arizona
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Prescott Valley Arizona. But once you have selected the type of degree you want to work toward, just how do you go about choosing a school that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the institution you select must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly start by looking for colleges that are nearby your residence and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are additional issues that you need to examine before making your ultimate selection. For instance, the accreditation and reputation of the school are important factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will cover these and other criteria that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the ideal criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees offered as well as the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Prescott Valley AZ
Similar to many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently needed for many positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities available in Prescott Valley AZ. There are 4 degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it offers an introduction to such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. More and more police departments are looking for applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually addresses the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education makes available additional 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 in addition to earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a specific area of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for students with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Typically requiring anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for earning any of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specialties to pick from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after enjoying numerous episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV programs. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you must select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Choosing a school and program that focuses on that specialty would naturally be the best decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be best to investigate all of the degree options available from the numerous colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Prescott Valley 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 have an interest in along with the school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding 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 Schools Online
A number of students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their region, or they may 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 located within the United States that offer degree programs online much like those offered on campus. And for a number of Prescott Valley AZ students, especially those who continue working part or full-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online programs may make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition may be cheaper and expenditures for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make sure, just like for any college you are looking at, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can study in this type of independent setting, then earning your degree online might be the best option for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
By now you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you want to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin searching for Prescott Valley AZ area colleges and narrowing down your options. Because there are so many schools to select from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when evaluating schools. Certainly cost is an important factor and you will need to select a college that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed several others also, such as accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are examining before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. Among the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through a rigorous screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s essential to verify that the degree program and school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it will also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, a number of Prescott Valley AZ employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the School? As previously stated, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you select is important also. It’s especially critical if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior work history. Without any previous experience, Prescott Valley AZ employers will be considering the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can obtain college reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other elements contributing to the educational programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be highly regarded for a particular degree program that you might be interested in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Prescott Valley AZ schools you are reviewing. A lower percentage may be a sign that students were unhappy with the program and quit, 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 placement program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help substantiate that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain jobs after graduation.
Where are the Schools Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, one of the initial things you will probably look at when searching 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 enroll in will have to be within driving distance of your Prescott Valley AZ home. Naturally attending classes online will remove the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to attend a college not in your state of residence, you might be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Large classes provide little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a few classes before making your final determination. Speak with several of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with 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 Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Prescott Valley AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Prescott Valley AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Prescott Valley area where your school campus will be located.
Prescott Valley, Arizona
Prescott Valley is a town located in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States, about 8 miles east of Prescott, which it has surpassed in growth. Prescott Valley was the seventh fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona between 1990 and 2000, with a current population (October 2016) of about 45,500 residents.
The Walker party discovered gold along Lynx Creek in 1863. The Lynx Creek placers went on to produce a recorded 29,000 troy ounces (900 kg) of gold. Estimates of actual production range up to 80,000 troy ounces (2,500 kg), which would be worth about $108 million at 2017 prices.
Prescott Valley, formerly known as Lonesome Valley, was settled by ranchers in the 1880s, raising beef to supply the miners and new settlers. The Fain family, pioneer ranchers, still ranch in the valley.
Enroll in the Ideal Criminal Justice College near Prescott Valley AZ
Making sure that you select the right criminal justice program near Prescott Valley AZ is essential to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers value which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Attaining the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the best criminal justice college predicated upon your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s imperative that the school and degree program you select both are accredited and have excellent reputations. In addition, make certain 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 Science Degree. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering in order to narrow down your choices and make the best selection. 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.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Arizona