Picking the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Fountain Hills Arizona
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Fountain Hills Arizona. But once you have selected the kind of program you would like to work toward, just how do you go about selecting a school that will provide the right training to help you realize your career goals? Naturally the institution you select must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly begin by searching for schools that are nearby your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other considerations that you must investigate before making your final decision. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are important factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other qualifications that you may want to utilize in your vetting process when choosing the ideal 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 school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Fountain Hills AZ
Similar to many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently required for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Fountain Hills AZ. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a two year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. More and more police departments are looking for candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education makes available additional opportunities for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional 2 years of classes in addition to attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a specific area of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. 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 finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for obtaining any one of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specializations to choose from when deciding which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after viewing numerous 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 choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Selecting a school and program that specializes in that area would naturally be the ideal option toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that case, it would be advisable to investigate all of the degree options offered from the various universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Fountain Hills 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 decided on, research the degree program you have an interest in as well as the school. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is essential to choose a major first before choosing a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Classes Online
A number of prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, or they might just prefer the flexibility of earning an online degree. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There many schools located within the USA that offer degree programs online much like the ones offered on-campus. And for many Fountain Hills AZ students, particularly those who continue working full or part-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges may make them the only option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are frequently lower in cost than traditional options. Tuition can be lower and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, just like for any college you are reviewing, that the program you select is accredited by an approved organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can learn in this kind of unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
By now you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you intend to earn your degree online or by attending classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start looking for Fountain Hills AZ area colleges and narrowing down your options. Because there are a large number of schools to pick from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing schools. Obviously cost is a significant consideration and you will need to enroll in a program that fits within your academic 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 wish to ask the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? Numerous criminal justice colleges have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. One of 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 confirm that the program and school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. Along with helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it will also aid in securing student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Fountain Hills AZ employers have a preference for graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As stated previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you select is important as well. It’s especially crucial if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior job history. Without any prior experience, Fountain Hills AZ employers will be considering the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can find school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other factors contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation may still be well respected for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Fountain Hills AZ schools you are reviewing. A low rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the course of study. It’s also important that the colleges have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you land that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help substantiate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a sizable network of employers to assist students in obtaining positions upon graduation.
Where are the Schools Located? As we touched on at the opening 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 determined that you will relocate or possibly board on campus, the school you enroll in will have to be within driving distance of your Fountain Hills AZ residence. Of course attending online classes will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to attend a school outside of your resident state, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also often charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, attending small classes provides the option for more interaction with the teachers. Big classes allow for little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate determination. Talk to several of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Arizona criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s crucial to verify that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fountain Hills AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Fountain Hills AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Fountain Hills AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Fountain Hills area where your school campus will be located.
Fountain Hills, Arizona
Fountain Hills is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. Known for its impressive fountain, once the tallest in the world, it borders on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and Scottsdale, Arizona. The population is 22,489, as of the 2010 census. Between the 1990 and 2000 censuses it was the eighth-fastest-growing place among cities and towns in Arizona.
In the early 1900's, the area that became Fountain Hills and the McDowell Mountain Regional Park was part of the Pemberton Ranch, later renamed the P Bar Ranch. Fountain Hills High School is built on the site of one of the P Bar Ranch's buildings, and a plaque stands in the parking lot to commemorate this.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.2 square miles (47.1 km2), of which 18.1 square miles (46.9 km2) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.26 km2) (0.55%) is water.
Find the Best Criminal Justice College near Fountain Hills AZ
Making sure that you choose the right criminal justice school near Fountain Hills AZ is crucial to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Attaining the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career begins with picking the right criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s imperative that the school and degree program you select both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, make sure that the college has a job placement program with a strong track record for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Bachelor Degree. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering in order to narrow down your choices and make the best choice. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the proper education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Arizona