How to Select the Right Criminal Justice School near Sierra Vista Arizona
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Sierra Vista Arizona. But after you have selected the kind of degree you would like to pursue, just how do you tackle choosing a school that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the school you pick must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt begin by searching for colleges that are close to your home and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional points that you need to examine prior to making your ultimate selection. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are important factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will deal with these and other criteria that you may wish to include in your vetting process when choosing the best criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees available along with the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Sierra Vista AZ
Similar to 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 advances, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Sierra Vista AZ. There are 4 degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a two year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. A growing number of police departments are seeking applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree typically covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates additional options for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional 2 years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a particular facet of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for individuals with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available as well. Typically requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for attaining any one of the 4 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. Maybe CSI has always interested you after viewing countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV shows. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what 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 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 explore all of the degree options offered from the various universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Sierra Vista AZ 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, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the school. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is extremely important to decide on a major first before picking a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Colleges
A number of students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their region, or they may just want the convenience of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of schools domiciled within the USA that offer online degree programs similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for many Sierra Vista AZ students, especially those who continue working full or part-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online programs may make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are frequently more affordable than on campus alternatives. Tuition may be lower and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, as with any school you are looking at, that the program you choose is accredited by an approved organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can learn in this type of independent setting, then earning your degree online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
At this point you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you want to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin looking for Sierra Vista AZ area colleges and fine tuning your options. Because there are a large number of schools to choose from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when assessing colleges. Clearly cost is an important consideration and you will need to choose a college that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed several others as well, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice colleges have obtained one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. One of the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone a rigorous assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to make sure that the program and school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. Along with helping assure that you obtain a top notch education, it will also help in securing student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many Sierra Vista AZ employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As stated previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the school you select is significant also. It’s especially critical if you are entering the profession with no relevant prior employment history. Without any previous experience, Sierra Vista AZ employers will be considering the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can obtain school reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other variables contributing to the educational programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Sierra Vista AZ schools you are reviewing. A low percentage might be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also essential that the colleges have job assistance 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 validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it also has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain positions upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will most likely look at when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or perhaps board on campus, the school you choose will have to be within driving distance of your Sierra Vista AZ residence. Certainly attending classes online will eliminate the need for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to attend a school outside of your resident state, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the option for more interaction with the teachers. Large classes afford little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to audit a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Speak with some of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Arizona criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Sierra Vista AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Sierra Vista AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Sierra Vista AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Sierra Vista area where your school campus will be located.
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Sierra Vista is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States. As of the 2010 census the population of the city was 43,888. The city is part of the Sierra Vista-Douglas Metropolitan Area, with a 2010 population of 131,346. Fort Huachuca, a U.S. Army post, is located in the northwest part of the city.
As evidenced by several neolithic sites and known archeological sites, Paleo-Indians have been in southern Arizona from at least 12,000 years ago. It was the home to a large Sobaipuri, Pueblo near Fairbanks which had several smaller pueblos and settlements throughout the valley, a Spanish Fort, Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate  between modern Huachuca City, Whetstone and Tombstone, on the Western bank of the San Pedro River. along with sparse Spanish settlers supporting the route to Tucson's Mission San Xavier del Bac and Presidio San Agustín del Tucsón.
Like most of Cochise County it was part of the Gadsden Purchase. At the end of the Apache Wars, with the protection of Fort Huachuca and the completion of the Southern Pacific and El Paso & Southwestern railroads, the San Pedro Valley began to populated by American Settlers.
Pick the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Sierra Vista AZ
Making certain that you choose the ideal criminal justice school near Sierra Vista AZ is crucial to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers value which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Attaining the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the right criminal justice school based on your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you decide on both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, make certain that the school has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Bachelor Of Science In Criminal Justice Jobs. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are reviewing in order to narrow down your choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the appropriate training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Arizona