How to Select the Right Criminal Justice School near Auburn Alabama
So you have decided to earn a criminal justice degree near Auburn Alabama. But once you have chosen the kind of program you would like to work toward, just how do you tackle picking a school that will provide the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Of course the institution you choose must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will probably start by looking for colleges that are near your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other issues that you should evaluate before making your final selection. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college are critical factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online training program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will deal with these and other criteria that you might want to include in your vetting process when selecting the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees offered along with the benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Auburn AL
Just like with most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently needed for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the job opportunities available in Auburn AL. There are 4 degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a 2 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 candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree normally addresses the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available more opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes in addition to obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become specialists in a particular facet of criminal justice. In addition to the options afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for those with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Usually requiring anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for obtaining any of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specializations to select from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after watching numerous episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV shows. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you must 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 specializes in that area would certainly be the best option toward that end. Possibly you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be advisable to explore all of the degree options available from the numerous universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Auburn AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the college you have selected, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the school. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has an outstanding reputation in general does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first prior to picking a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Colleges Online
A number of prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they may just prefer the convenience of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There many colleges located within the United States that offer online degree programs much like the ones offered on-campus. And for many Auburn AL students, especially those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges may make them the sole option. And as an additional advantage, online schools are often more affordable than traditional alternatives. Tuition may be lower and costs for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make sure, just like for any college you are reviewing, that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can study in this kind of unsupervised environment, then obtaining your degree online may be the best alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
By now you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, 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 start looking for Auburn AL area schools and fine tuning your options. Considering that there are a large number of schools to pick from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing schools. Obviously cost is a significant consideration and you will need to choose a college that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already discussed a few others also, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you might want to ask the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice colleges have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional 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 an extensive assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to make sure that the program and school you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a top notch education, it will also assist in securing student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Also, many Auburn AL employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you choose is important as well. It’s particularly critical if you are entering the profession with no relevant previous work history. Without any prior experience, Auburn AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can find school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other factors contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be well respected for a particular degree program that you might be interested in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Auburn AL schools you are reviewing. A low rate may be an indicator that students were unhappy with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the course of study. It’s also essential that the schools have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you land that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a considerable network of employers to help students obtain jobs upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Colleges Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, among the initial things you will probably look at when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or possibly live on campus, the college you select will have to be within commuting distance of your Auburn AL home. Naturally attending classes online will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to attend a college outside of your state of residence, you may be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes allow for little chance of getting personalized instruction if needed. One method to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a few classes before making your final determination. Speak with several of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Auburn AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Auburn AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Auburn AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Auburn area where your school campus will be located.
Auburn is a city in Lee County, Alabama, United States. It is the largest city in eastern Alabama with a 2016 population of 63,118. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 158,991, along with the Columbus, GA-AL MSA and Tuskegee, Alabama, comprises the greater Columbus-Auburn-Opelika, GA-AL CSA, a region home to 501,649 residents.
Auburn is a historic college town and is the home of Auburn University. It is Alabama's fastest-growing metropolitan area and the nineteenth fastest-growing metro area in the United States since 1990. U.S. News ranked Auburn among its top ten list of best places to live in the United States for the year 2009. The city's unofficial nickname is “The Loveliest Village On The Plains,” taken from a line in the poem The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith: “Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain...”
Inhabited in antiquity by the Creek, the land on which Auburn sits was opened to settlement in 1832 with the Treaty of Cusseta. The first settlers arrived in the winter of 1836 from Harris County, Georgia. These settlers, led by Judge John J. Harper, intended to build a town that would be the religious and educational center for the area.
Find the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Auburn AL
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice program near Auburn AL is crucial to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers value which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Attaining the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the optimal criminal justice college predicated upon your career objectives. As we have addressed in this article, it’s imperative that the college and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, confirm 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 Top Criminal Justice Schools. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze 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 proper training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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