Picking the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Tombstone Arizona
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Tombstone Arizona. But once you have decided on the type of degree you want to pursue, just how do you undertake picking a school that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Naturally the institution you pick must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will no doubt start by looking for schools that are near your home and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are additional issues that you should examine before making your final selection. For instance, the accreditation and reputation of the college are important factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online training program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will address these and other qualifications that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when deciding on 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 benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Tombstone AZ
As with most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently required for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities available in Tombstone AZ. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning 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 judicial court system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree typically covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education creates more opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can require 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 aspect of criminal justice. Along with the options offered with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for students interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered as well. Generally requiring anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for attaining any one of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are numerous specializations to select from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after watching numerous episodes of the different crime scene investigation shows. Or maybe you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Enrolling in a school and program that focuses on that area would obviously be the ideal option toward that end. Maybe you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that scenario, it would be best to explore all of the degree alternatives available from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Tombstone 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 decided on, research the degree program you are interested in along with the college. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation in general does not mean that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first prior to choosing a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Classes Online
Some prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their region, or they might just prefer the independence of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous schools domiciled within the USA that provide online degree programs similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for a number of Tombstone AZ students, especially those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional advantage, online schools are frequently lower in cost than on-campus alternatives. Tuition may be lower and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure, as with any school you are considering, that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized 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 unsupervised setting, then obtaining your degree online might be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start searching for Tombstone AZ area schools and narrowing down your options. Since there are so many colleges to select from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when analyzing colleges. Clearly cost is an important consideration and you will need to select a program that fits within your academic budget. And we have already pointed out a few others as well, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you address those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. One of 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 screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s essential to confirm that the degree program and college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. Along with helping confirm that you receive a top notch education, it will also assist in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Tombstone AZ employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the Program? As previously mentioned, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you choose is significant also. It’s particularly critical if you are getting in the profession with no relevant previous work history. Without any previous experience, Tombstone 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, such as U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other aspects contributing to the academic programs. Keep in mind that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Tombstone AZ colleges you are looking at. A lower rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help substantiate that the college has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it also has a sizable network of employers to help students in obtaining positions upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, among the initial things you will most likely consider when looking for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or possibly board on campus, the college you enroll in will have to be within commuting distance of your Tombstone AZ residence. Naturally attending classes online will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you opt to attend a college not in your state of residence, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, attending smaller classes provides the option for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes afford little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One way to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a couple of 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 ask them 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 Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Tombstone AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Tombstone AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Tombstone AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Tombstone area where your school campus will be located.
Tombstone is a historic city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, founded in 1879 by prospector Ed Schieffelin in what was then Pima County, Arizona Territory. It became one of the last boomtowns in the American frontier. The town grew significantly into the mid-1880s as the local mines produced $40 to $85 million in silver bullion, the largest productive silver district in Arizona. Its population grew from 100 to around 14,000 in less than seven years. It is best known as the site of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and presently draws most of its revenue from tourism.
The town was established on a mesa above the Goodenough Mine. Within two years of its founding, although far distant from any other metropolitan area, Tombstone had a bowling alley, four churches, an ice house, a school, two banks, three newspapers, and an ice cream parlor, alongside 110 saloons, 14 gambling halls, and numerous dance halls and brothels. All of these businesses were situated among and on top of a large number of silver mines. The gentlemen and ladies of Tombstone attended operas presented by visiting acting troupes at the Schieffelin Hall opera house, while the miners and cowboys saw shows at the Bird Cage Theatre and brothel.
Under the surface were tensions that grew into deadly conflict. The mining capitalists and the townspeople were largely Republicans from the Northern states. Many of the ranchers (some of whom—like the Clantons—were also rustlers or other criminal varieties) were Confederate sympathizers and Democrats. The booming city was only 30 miles (48 km) from the U.S.–Mexico border and was an open market for cattle stolen from ranches in Sonora, Mexico, by a loosely organized band of outlaws known as The Cowboys. The Earp brothers—Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan—as well as Doc Holliday, arrived in December 1879 and mid-1880. The Earps had ongoing conflicts with Cowboys Ike and Billy Clanton, Frank and Tom McLaury, and Billy Claiborne. The Cowboys repeatedly threatened the Earps over many months until the conflict escalated into a shootout on October 26, 1881. The historic gunfight is often portrayed as occurring at the O.K. Corral, though it actually occurred a short distance away in an empty lot on Fremont Street.
Choose the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Tombstone AZ
Making sure that you pick the ideal criminal justice program near Tombstone AZ is essential to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers value which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Achieving the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the optimal criminal justice college based on your career objectives. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, confirm that the college has a job assistance program with a high success rate for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Law Enforcement Courses. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing in order to narrow down your choices and make the best choice. And when you have made the correct decision, you will get the appropriate education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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