Picking the Right Criminal Justice School near Excel Alabama
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Excel Alabama. But once you have selected the kind of program you would like to pursue, just how do you tackle choosing a school that will provide the right training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the college you select must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt begin by searching for colleges that are near your residence and comparing the cost for each school. But there are other points that you should examine before making your final choice. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are important factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then locating 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 include in your vetting process when choosing the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors offered along with the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Excel AL
As with most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly needed for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the job opportunities available in Excel AL. There are 4 degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a 2 year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial court system. A growing number of police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally addresses the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education creates more opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional two years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a particular area of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for individuals with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree 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. Of course the time requirements for earning any one of the four degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specializations to pick from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after viewing countless episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you need to select a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Enrolling in a program and a school that focuses on that area would clearly be the best decision toward that end. Possibly you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that situation, it would be a good idea to explore all of the degree alternatives offered from the numerous universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Excel AL 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 decided on, investigate the degree program you have an interest in along with the school. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation in general 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 selecting a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Schools
Some prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their vicinity, or they might just prefer the convenience of earning an online degree. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of colleges located within the United States that provide degree programs online much like the ones offered on-campus. And for many Excel AL students, particularly those who continue working full or part-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online programs may make them the sole option. And as an additional advantage, online colleges are often more affordable than on campus alternatives. Tuition can be cheaper and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just make certain, as with any school you are reviewing, that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can learn in this type of unsupervised environment, then obtaining your degree online might be the ideal alternative for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
By now you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you intend to earn your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start searching for Excel AL area schools and narrowing down your options. Because there are so many colleges to select from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when evaluating schools. Naturally cost is an important consideration and you will need to enroll in a school that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already mentioned a few others also, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice colleges have received one or more accreditations from regional or national 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 teachers and course of instruction. It’s imperative to make sure that the degree program and college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it will also assist in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Excel AL employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you select is significant also. It’s particularly crucial if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior employment history. With no prior experience, Excel AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key 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 evaluate the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other elements contributing to the educational programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation may still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Excel AL schools you are reviewing. A low rate might be a sign 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 important that the schools have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a substantial network of employers to assist students obtain jobs after graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, one of the first things you will most likely look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or possibly live on campus, the school you choose will have to be within driving distance of your Excel AL home. Of course attending classes online will eliminate the need for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to attend a school outside of your state of residence, you may be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Junior and community colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, attending small classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes afford little chance of receiving individualized instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a few classes before making your final decision. Speak with several of the students and find out 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 backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Excel AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Excel AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Excel AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Excel area where your school campus will be located.
Excel is the birthplace of former University of Alabama and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Lee Roy Jordan. Excel High School (3A) provides education for children in and around the town of Excel. Businesses within the town include Dollar General, post office, a "do-it-yourself" car wash, a laundromat, hardware store, a locally-run diner and one bank.
As of the census of 2010, there were 723 people, 270 households, and 205 families residing in the town. The population density was 425.3 people per square mile (168.1/km2). There were 295 housing units at an average density of 173.5 per square mile (68.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 91.1% White, 5.0% Black or African American, 1.4% Native American, 0.1% some other race, and 2.4% from two or more races. 0.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 270 households out of which 41.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.6% were headed by married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 21.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.4% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68, and the average family size was 3.11.
Choose the Best Criminal Justice Degree Program near Excel AL
Making sure that you select the ideal criminal justice college near Excel AL is essential to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers care which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Attaining the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the optimal criminal justice college based on your career objectives. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential that the college and degree program you decide on both are accredited and have excellent reputations. In addition, verify that the college has a job assistance program with a high success rate for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Masters Degree. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your choices and make the best choice. And when you have made the correct decision, you will get the appropriate training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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