How to Pick the Right Criminal Justice School near Ash Fork Arizona
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Ash Fork Arizona. But after you have selected the type of degree you want to work toward, just how do you undertake selecting a college that will offer the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the college you pick must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly begin by searching for colleges that are nearby your residence and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are additional points that you need to examine before making your ultimate choice. For instance, the accreditation and reputation of the school are significant factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other qualifications that you might want to include in your vetting process when choosing the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Ash Fork AZ
Just like with most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently required for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Ash Fork AZ. There are four degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a two year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education creates additional opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional 2 years of classes in addition to attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a specific facet of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And finally, for those interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available also. Typically taking 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 attaining any one of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specializations to choose from when considering which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after viewing numerous episodes of the different 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 objective, you must pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Choosing a school and program that specializes in that area would clearly be the best option toward that end. Maybe you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be a good idea to investigate all of the degree options available from the various universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Ash Fork AZ area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the college you have decided on, research 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 mean that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is essential to decide on a major first before picking a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Colleges
Many prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their region, or they might just prefer 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 United States that offer online degree programs much like the ones offered on campus. And for many Ash Fork AZ students, especially those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online programs in many cases make them the sole option. And as an added benefit, online colleges are frequently lower in cost than traditional options. Tuition can be lower and expenses for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure, as with any college you are reviewing, 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 motivated, and can learn in this kind of independent setting, then obtaining your degree online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
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 attending classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin searching for Ash Fork AZ area colleges and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are numerous schools to select from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing colleges. Naturally cost is an important factor and you will need to pick a college that is within your academic budget. And we have already mentioned a few others also, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might want to ask the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Numerous criminal justice colleges have earned one or more accreditations from regional or national 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 gone through an extensive assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to confirm 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 guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it will also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of Ash Fork AZ employers are looking for graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As previously mentioned, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you select is significant as well. It’s especially critical if you are going into the field with no relevant prior job history. Without any previous experience, Ash Fork AZ employers will be considering the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can find college reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other aspects contributing to the educational programs. Bear in mind that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation might still be well respected for a specific degree program that you might be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Ash Fork AZ schools you are reviewing. A low percentage might be an indicator that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the schools have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first crucial job after graduation that marks the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a considerable network of employers to assist students obtain positions upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, one of the initial things you will most likely look at when searching for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps board on campus, the college you pick will need to be within commuting distance of your Ash Fork AZ home. Naturally 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 college outside of your resident state, you may be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Junior and community colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, attending small classes offers the option for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes provide little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Talk to some of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Arizona criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Ash Fork AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Ash Fork AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Ash Fork AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Ash Fork area where your school campus will be located.
Ash Fork, Arizona
Geologic places of interest include the Cathedral Caves which are approximately 10 miles (16 km) west of town off Arizona Road, and Dante's Descent, a 275-foot (84 m) deep sinkhole also known as "Devil's Hole", which is approximately five miles northwest of Ash Fork, off of Crookton Road. Unfortunately, after closure by the state, Dante's Descent cannot legally be visited by the public. Pictorial and historic documentation of the natural attraction may be found at the Ash Fork Library.
Ash Fork lies in close proximity to Kaibab National Forest and Coconino National Forest, and international attractions such as the Grand Canyon are approximately an hour's drive away using major roads. Service roads allow swifter access to back areas of Grand Canyon National Park, but may not be open to public thoroughfare.
Approximately 15 miles (24 km) to the north of Ash Fork is Beale Road, which has the distinction of being the first federally funded highway. The internationally renowned U.S. Route 66 also runs directly through the town. Notably, the longest original, uninterrupted stretch of Route 66 still in existence (approximately 9.6 miles (15.4 km) long) can be found between Ash Fork, Arizona, and Seligman, Arizona, beginning just beyond Ash Fork at Crookton Road. The surrounding geographical area and settlements served as inspiration for the 2006 Pixar film Cars.
Select the Ideal Criminal Justice Degree Program near Ash Fork AZ
Making certain that you choose the ideal criminal justice college near Ash Fork AZ is crucial to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers respect 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 begins with selecting the right criminal justice school predicated upon your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you pick both are accredited and have excellent reputations. In addition, make certain that the school has a job placement program with a high success rate for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Undergraduate. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the best decision, you will receive the appropriate training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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