Selecting the Right Criminal Justice College near Fayette Alabama
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Fayette Alabama. But once you have chosen the kind of program you want to pursue, just how do you go about choosing a school that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career goals? Of course the institution you select must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will probably start by looking for colleges that are close to your home and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional considerations that you need to examine before making your final choice. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are significant factors also. 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 also be a part of your search process. We will deal with these and other qualifications that you may want to utilize in your vetting process when deciding on the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees available along with the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Fayette AL
Just like with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently required for many positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the job opportunities available in Fayette AL. There are four degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a two year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. A growing number of police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree normally addresses the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education makes available additional options for such positions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional two years of classes in addition to earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a particular area of criminal justice. In addition to the options afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates may 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 available also. Typically requiring anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for earning any one of the four degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specializations to select from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after enjoying countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV shows. Or maybe you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you must choose a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Choosing a school and program that specializes in that specialty would certainly be the best option toward that end. Maybe you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that case, it would be a good idea to research all of the degree options available from the various colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Fayette AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the school you have decided on, investigate the degree program you have an interest in as well as the college. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is essential to choose a major first prior to selecting a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs
Some students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they may just prefer 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 domiciled within the United States that provide online degree programs similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for a number of Fayette AL students, especially those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online programs may make them the sole option. And as an added benefit, online colleges are often lower in cost than on campus alternatives. Tuition can be cheaper and expenditures for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just verify, just like for any college you are looking at, that the program you enroll in 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 study in this kind of unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
By now you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you intend to obtain your degree online or by going to classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin searching for Fayette AL area schools and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are so many colleges to pick from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating colleges. Clearly cost is an important factor and you will need to enroll in a college that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed a few others as well, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you might want to ask the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have obtained 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 a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s imperative to make sure that the degree program and college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. Along with helping assure that you receive a quality education, it will also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, a number of Fayette AL employers have a preference for graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is significant also. It’s particularly crucial if you are going into the field with no relevant previous work history. With no previous experience, Fayette AL employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can get college rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other aspects contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Fayette AL colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate might 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 curriculum. It’s also essential that the schools have job placement programs with higher 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a considerable network of employers to assist students obtain positions upon graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, among the initial things you will probably look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or possibly board on campus, the college you choose will need to be within commuting distance of your Fayette AL home. Of course attending online classes will remove the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you opt to go to a college not in your state of residence, you could 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 school district or state.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes provides the option for more interaction with the teachers. Big classes provide little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One method to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Speak with some of the students and find out what their experiences have been. 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 Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Fayette AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Fayette AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Fayette AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Fayette area where your school campus will be located.
Originally known as "La Fayette", it incorporated on January 15, 1821. When Fayette County was created in 1824, the town's name was officially changed to "Fayette Court House", though it was also known as "Fayetteville", which was the name shown on maps and on the U.S. Census in 1880 and 1890. It was officially shortened to "Fayette" in 1898.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,922 people, 2,092 households, and 1,303 families residing in the city. The population density was 575.1 people per square mile (222.0/km²). There were 2,336 housing units at an average density of 273.0 per square mile (105.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.34% White, 23.38% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.30% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. One percent of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,092 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.85.
Find the Best Criminal Justice Degree Program near Fayette AL
Making certain that you choose the ideal criminal justice school near Fayette AL is vital to your obtaining 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 in your best interest to care also. Attaining the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the best criminal justice school based on your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential that the college and degree program you decide on both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Also, verify that the college has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Education. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to assess and compare the criminal justice schools you are reviewing in order to narrow down your choices and make the best choice. And when you have made the right decision, you will get the proper training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Alabama