Choosing the Right Criminal Justice College near Cochise Arizona
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Cochise Arizona. But after you have selected the kind of degree you want to work toward, just how do you undertake selecting a school that will offer the right training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the school you select must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will probably begin by looking for schools that are nearby your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other issues that you should investigate prior to making your ultimate choice. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the school are significant factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online training program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will deal with these and other criteria that you might wish to utilize in your vetting process when deciding on the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors available as well as the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Cochise AZ
Just like with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently needed for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the job opportunities available in Cochise AZ. There are 4 degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a 2 year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. More and more police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree typically covers the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education creates additional options for such positions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional 2 years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a particular aspect of criminal justice. In addition to the options offered with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for individuals interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available also. Typically taking anywhere from four to seven 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 be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors Offered
There are many specialties to select from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after viewing numerous episodes of the different crime scene investigation shows. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you must select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Selecting a school and program that specializes in that specialty would certainly be the best decision toward that end. Maybe you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that situation, it would be advisable to research all of the degree options offered from the various colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Cochise AZ area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the program 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 excellent reputation in general does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first prior to selecting a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Classes Online
Some prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they may just want the flexibility of earning an online degree. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of schools located within the USA that provide degree programs online similar to the ones offered on campus. And for many Cochise AZ students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online programs may make them the only option. And as an added benefit, online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition may be lower and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain, just like for any school you are reviewing, that the program you choose is accredited by an approved agency, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can learn in this type of unsupervised setting, then obtaining your degree online may be the best alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you intend to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start looking for Cochise AZ area colleges and fine tuning your options. Because there are numerous schools to select from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when assessing colleges. Clearly cost is an important consideration and you will need to choose a school that is within your academic budget. And we have already addressed several others as well, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you focus on those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are examining before making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have received one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. Among the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through an extensive screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to confirm that the program and school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. In addition to helping assure that you receive an excellent education, it will also help in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Cochise AZ employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you choose is important also. It’s especially crucial if you are entering the field with no relevant previous job history. With no prior experience, Cochise AZ 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 obtain school rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other variables contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well respected for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Cochise AZ schools you are looking at. A lower percentage may be an indicator that students were disappointed 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 placement program will help you land that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it also has a considerable network of contacts to assist students obtain positions after graduation.
Where are the Schools Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will most likely consider when looking for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or perhaps board on campus, the college you pick will have to be within driving distance of your Cochise AZ residence. Naturally attending online classes will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to attend a college not in your state of residence, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Junior and community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if they reside 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 option for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes provide little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a few classes prior to making your ultimate determination. Speak with some of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the Arizona criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cochise AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Cochise AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Cochise AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Cochise area where your school campus will be located.
Cochise County, Arizona
In 1528 Spanish Explorers: Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, Estevanico, and Fray Marcos de Niza survived a shipwreck off Texas coast. Captured by Native Americans they spent 8 years finding their way back to Mexico City, via the San Pedro Valley. Their journals, maps, and stories lead to the Cibola, seven cities of gold myth. The Expedition of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1539 using it as his route north through what they called the Guachuca Mountains of Pima (Tohono O'odham) lands and later part of the mission routes north, but was actually occupied by the Sobaipuri descendants of the Hohokam. They found a large Pueblo (described as a small city) between Benson and Whetstone, and several smaller satellite villages and smaller pueblos including ones on Fort Huachuca, Huachuca City and North Eastern Fry. About 1657 Father Kino visited the Sobaipuris just before the Apache forced most from the valley, as they were struggling to survive due to increasing Chiricahua Apache attacks as they moved into the area of Texas Canyon in the Dragoon Mountains. In 1776 The Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrante was founded on the West bank of the San Pedro River, to protect the natives as well as the Spanish settlers who supplied the mission stations, but it was chronically short on provisions from raids, and lack of personnel to adequately patrol the eastern route due to wars with France and England, so the main route north shifted west to the Santa Cruz valley, farther from the Chiricahua Apache's ranges who almost exclusively controlled the area by 1821.
Cochise County was created on February 1, 1881, out of the eastern portion of Pima County. It took its name from the legendary Chiricahua Apache war chief Cochise. The county seat was Tombstone until 1929 when it moved to Bisbee. Notable men who once held the position of County Sheriff were Johnny Behan, who served as the first sheriff of the new county, and who was one of the main characters during the events leading to and following the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Later, in 1886, Texas John Slaughter became sheriff. Lawman Jeff Milton and lawman/outlaw Burt Alvord both served as deputies under Slaughter.
A syndicated television series which aired from 1956 to 1958, Sheriff of Cochise starring John Bromfield, was filmed in Bisbee. The Jimmy Stewart movie Broken Arrow and subsequent television show of the same name starring John Lupton, which also aired from 1956 to 1958, took place (but was not filmed) in Cochise County.
Enroll in the Best Criminal Justice School near Cochise AZ
Making certain that you pick the ideal criminal justice program near Cochise AZ is vital to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers respect which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the ideal criminal justice school based on your career goals. 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. Additionally, verify that the college 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 Best School For Criminal Justice Degree. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to analyze and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will get the appropriate education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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