Selecting the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Fairbanks Alaska
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Fairbanks Alaska. But after you have selected the type of degree you would like to work toward, just how do you go about picking a college that will offer the right training to help you realize your career goals? Of course the school you select must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly start by looking for schools that are close to your residence and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are additional issues that you should evaluate before making your final decision. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college are important factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online degree program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will deal with these and other qualifications that you may want to include in your vetting process when choosing the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Fairbanks AK
Just like with most other professions, degrees in criminal justice 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 to choose from in Fairbanks AK. There are 4 degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a two year degree, it provides an introduction to such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial court system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually addresses the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates more options for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional 2 years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a particular aspect of criminal justice. Along with the options provided with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for individuals with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available as well. Typically taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for earning any of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specialties to select from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after viewing countless episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you need to pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Selecting a school and program that specializes in that area would naturally be the ideal decision toward that end. Maybe you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be best to investigate all of the degree options available from the numerous colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Fairbanks AK 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 school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first before selecting a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs Online
Some students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their vicinity, or they might just want the convenience of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of schools located within the United States that provide online degree programs similar to those offered on-campus. And for a number of Fairbanks AK students, particularly those who continue to work full or part-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online programs in many cases make them the only option. And as an added advantage, online colleges are frequently more affordable than on campus options. Tuition may be lower and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced also. Just verify, just like for any college you are considering, that the program you select 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 unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online might be the best alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
At this point you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you want to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start searching for Fairbanks AK area colleges and narrowing down your options. Since there are numerous schools to select from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when analyzing colleges. Naturally cost is a significant factor and you will need to select a school that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed several others also, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may wish to ask the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have received one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. Among the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone a rigorous assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to verify that the degree program and school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it will also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Fairbanks AK employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As previously stated, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you choose is significant also. It’s especially critical if you are entering the field with no relevant prior work history. Without any prior experience, Fairbanks AK employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can obtain college reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other factors contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Fairbanks AK schools you are reviewing. A low rate might be an indication that students were disappointed 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 assistance programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help validate that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it also has a considerable network of employers to assist students in obtaining positions after graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, one of the initial things you will probably consider when looking for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will relocate or possibly live on campus, the school you choose will have to be within driving distance of your Fairbanks AK home. Naturally attending classes online will remove the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to attend a college outside of your resident state, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, attending small classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Larger classes afford little chance of getting personalized instruction if needed. One way to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to audit a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate determination. Talk to several of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Alaska criminal justice field.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Fairbanks AK?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Fairbanks AK, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Fairbanks area where your school campus will be located.
Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska. 2016 estimates put the population of the city proper at 32,751, and the population of the Fairbanks North Star Borough at 100,605, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Alaska (after Anchorage). The Metropolitan Statistical Area encompasses all of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and is the northernmost Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States, located 196 driving miles (or 140 air miles) south of the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the founding campus of the University of Alaska system.
Though there was never a permanent Alaska Native settlement at the site of Fairbanks, Athabascan peoples have used the area for thousands of years. An archaeological site excavated on the grounds of the University of Alaska Fairbanks uncovered a Native camp about 3,500 years old. From evidence gathered at the site, archaeologists surmise that Native activities in the area were limited to seasonal hunting and fishing. In addition, archeological sites on the grounds of nearby Fort Wainwright date back 10,000 years. Arrowheads excavated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks site matched similar items found in Asia, providing some of the first evidence that humans arrived in North America via the land bridge.
Captain E. T. Barnette founded Fairbanks in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross (or Tanana Crossing, where the Valdez–Eagle trail crossed the Tanana River), where he intended to set up a trading post. The steamboat on which Barnette was a passenger, the Lavelle Young, ran aground while attempting to negotiate shallow water. Barnette, along with his party and supplies, were deposited along the banks of the Chena River 7 miles (11 km) upstream from its confluence with the Tanana River. The sight of smoke from the steamer's engines caught the attention of gold prospectors working in the hills to the north, most notably an Italian immigrant named Felice Pedroni (better known as Felix Pedro) and his partner Tom Gilmore. The two met Barnette where he disembarked and convinced him of the potential of the area. Barnette set up his trading post at the site, still intending to eventually make it to Tanacross. Teams of gold prospectors soon congregated in and around the newly founded Fairbanks; they built drift mines, dredges, and lode mines in addition to panning and sluicing.
Find the Best Criminal Justice School near Fairbanks AK
Making certain that you select the ideal criminal justice program near Fairbanks AK is vital to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers respect which school your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the optimal criminal justice school predicated upon your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential that the college and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, make certain 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 College Courses. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are considering in order to narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the correct decision, you will receive the proper education so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Alaska