Choosing the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Auburn University Alabama
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Auburn University Alabama. But once you have chosen the type of degree you would like to work toward, just how do you undertake picking a school that will provide the proper training to help you realize your career goals? Of course the school you choose must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will probably begin by searching for schools that are nearby your home and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are other considerations that you should examine prior to making your ultimate selection. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are critical factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online training program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will deal with these and other criteria that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when deciding on the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors offered as well as the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Auburn University AL
Similar to most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly needed 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 Auburn University AL. There are four degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it offers an introduction to such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. A growing number of police departments are seeking candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree typically covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education makes available additional opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing 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 specific area of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities afforded with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for those with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered also. Usually taking anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for attaining any of the 4 degrees will depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are many specializations to choose from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after enjoying countless episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation shows. Or maybe you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you must choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Choosing a school and program that specializes in that specialty would naturally be the ideal decision toward that end. Possibly you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be a good idea to research 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 Auburn University AL 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 chosen, research the degree program you have an interest in along with the college. Even if a criminal justice school 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 decide on a major first prior to picking a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Schools Online
Many prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their vicinity, or they might just want the flexibility of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous schools domiciled within the USA that offer degree programs online similar to those offered on-campus. And for a number of Auburn University AL students, particularly those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online schools may make them the sole option. And as an added advantage, online colleges are often lower in cost than traditional options. Tuition may be cheaper and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure, just like for any college you are looking at, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an approved agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can learn in this type of independent environment, then earning your degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
By now you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin looking for Auburn University AL area schools and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are numerous schools to choose from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when assessing schools. Naturally cost is an important factor and you will need to select a school that is within your academic budget. And we have already mentioned a few others as well, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might wish to ask the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice colleges have obtained one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. Among 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 screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s important to make sure that the program and college you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. Along with helping confirm that you get a quality education, it will also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Auburn University AL employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the Program? As mentioned previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the college you choose is important also. It’s particularly critical if you are getting in the field with no relevant prior job history. With no prior experience, Auburn University AL employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can find school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other variables contributing to the educational programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well regarded for a specific degree program that you may have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Auburn University AL schools you are looking at. A low rate may be a sign that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out, 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 higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain positions upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Colleges Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, one of the initial things you will probably consider when searching for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or perhaps live on campus, the school you select will have to be within commuting distance of your Auburn University AL residence. Of course attending classes online will remove the need for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to go to a school outside of your state of residence, you may be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, attending small classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Bigger classes provide little chance of receiving individualized instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a few classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Speak with some of the students and ask 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 Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Auburn University AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Auburn University AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Auburn University AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Auburn University area where your school campus will be located.
Auburn University (AU or Auburn) is a public research and land-grant university in Auburn, Alabama. With more than 23,000 undergraduate students and a total enrollment of more than 30,000 with 1,260 faculty members, Auburn is the second largest university in Alabama. It is one of the state's two public flagship universities. The university is classified as an RI: Doctoral Research—Very High Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
Auburn was chartered on February 1, 1856, as East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts school affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1872, under the Morrill Act, it became the state's first public land-grant university and was renamed as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. In 1892, it became the first four-year coeducational school in Alabama, and in 1899 was renamed Alabama Polytechnic Institute (API) to reflect its changing mission. In 1960, its name was changed to Auburn University to acknowledge the varied academic programs and larger curriculum of a major university.
The Alabama Legislature chartered the institution as the East Alabama Male College on February 1, 1856, coming under the guidance of the Methodist Church in 1859. Its first president was Reverend William J. Sasnett, and the school opened its doors in 1859 to a student body of eighty and a faculty of ten.
Select the Ideal Criminal Justice College near Auburn University AL
Making sure that you select the right criminal justice school near Auburn University AL is essential to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers care which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Attaining the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the optimal criminal justice school predicated upon your career goals. As we have covered in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you pick both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, make sure that the school 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 Justice Online Classes. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate and compare the criminal justice schools you are considering in order to narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will receive the proper training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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