How to Pick the Right Criminal Justice School near Colorado City Arizona
So you have decided to earn a criminal justice degree near Colorado City Arizona. But after you have decided on the type of degree you want to work toward, just how do you tackle selecting a school that will provide the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Of course the school you pick must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly start by searching for schools that are near your residence and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are additional considerations that you should evaluate before making your ultimate decision. For instance, the accreditation and reputation of the school are significant factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your search process. We will cover these and other qualifications that you might wish to include in your vetting process when selecting the best 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 Offered near Colorado City AZ
Similar to many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly required for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the employment opportunities available in Colorado City AZ. There are 4 degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it offers an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. More and more police departments are seeking applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education makes available more options 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 attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become specialists in a specific area of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities provided with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for those with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered also. Generally requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for attaining any of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are many specializations to pick from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after enjoying countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation shows. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you must choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Selecting a program and a school that specializes in that area would clearly be the ideal decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be a good idea to explore all of the degree options available from the various universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Colorado City AZ area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the school you have chosen, investigate the degree program you are interested in as well as the school. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first prior to selecting a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Colleges
A number of prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, or they may just want the convenience of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous colleges located within the United States that offer degree programs online much like the ones offered on campus. And for a number of Colorado City AZ students, especially those who continue to work part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online schools may make them the only option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are often more affordable than on campus alternatives. Tuition may be lower and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make certain, just like for any school you are considering, that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can learn in this kind of independent setting, then obtaining your degree online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
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 obtain your degree online or by attending classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start looking for Colorado City AZ area schools and fine tuning your options. Because there are numerous colleges to pick from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing schools. Clearly cost is an important factor and you will need to enroll in a school that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already pointed out several others also, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those issues and more, below is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. One of the most respected 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 course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to confirm that the program and college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it will also assist in securing student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Colorado City AZ employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As previously mentioned, 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 previous work history. Without any previous experience, Colorado City AZ employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can get school 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 elements contributing to the academic programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well respected for a particular degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Colorado City AZ colleges you are looking at. A lower percentage may be a sign that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you land that first crucial job after graduation that marks the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a sizable network of contacts to assist students secure jobs upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, among the initial things you will probably look at 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 choose will have to be within driving distance of your Colorado City AZ home. Naturally attending online classes will eliminate the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you opt to go to a school outside of your state of residence, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, going to small classes offers the option for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes afford little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One way to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a few classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Speak with several of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Arizona criminal justice field.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Colorado City AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Colorado City AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Colorado City AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Colorado City area where your school campus will be located.
Colorado City, Arizona
Colorado City is a town in Mohave County, Arizona, United States, and is located in a region known as the Arizona Strip. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town was 4,821. At least three Mormon fundamentalist sects are said to have been based there.
Colorado City, formerly known as Short Creek (or the Short Creek Community), was founded in 1913 by members of the Council of Friends, a breakaway group from the Salt Lake City-based The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The Council of Friends membership desired a remote location where they could practice plural marriage, which had been publicly abandoned by the LDS Church in 1890. On July 26, 1953, Arizona Governor John Howard Pyle sent troops into the settlement to stop polygamy in what became known as the Short Creek raid. The two-year legal battle that followed became a public relations disaster that damaged Pyle's political career and set a hands-off tone toward the town in Arizona for the next 50 years.
After the death of Joseph W. Musser, the community split into two groups: the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints stayed in Short Creek, while the Apostolic United Brethren relocated to Bluffdale, Utah. The FLDS changed the name of the community to Colorado City (on the Arizona side of the border) and Hildale (on the Utah side) to eliminate any ties to the Short Creek raids.
Choose the Right Criminal Justice School near Colorado City AZ
Making certain that you choose the ideal criminal justice program near Colorado City AZ is crucial to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers respect which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Attaining the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career begins with picking the optimal 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 pick both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, make certain that the college has a job placement program with a high success rate for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Best Colleges To Study Criminal Justice. However, by utilizing 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 options and make the best selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will receive the appropriate education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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