Choosing the Right Criminal Justice School near Greenville Alabama
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Greenville Alabama. But after you have decided on the kind of program you would like to work toward, just how do you tackle choosing a college that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Naturally the institution you pick must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt begin by looking for schools that are near your home and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are other considerations that you must examine before making your ultimate choice. For instance, the accreditation and reputation of the college are significant 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 reputable online degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other criteria that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when deciding on the ideal criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors available along with the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Greenville AL
As with most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly needed for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Greenville AL. There are four degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a 2 year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. A growing number of police departments are seeking applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available additional opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing 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 enables students to become specialists in a specific area of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities offered with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And finally, for individuals with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered as well. Usually requiring anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for obtaining any one of the 4 degrees will depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are a number of specialties to choose 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 shows. Or maybe you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Enrolling in a school and program that focuses on that area would certainly be the best decision toward that end. Possibly you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that case, it would be advisable to investigate all of the degree alternatives offered from the numerous colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Greenville AL 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 as well as the school. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first prior to selecting a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs Online
A number of students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their region, or they may just prefer the independence of earning an online degree. In either case, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous colleges domiciled within the USA that provide degree programs online much like the ones offered on campus. And for a number of Greenville AL students, especially those who continue to work part or full-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online schools may make them the only option. And as an added advantage, online schools are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition can be lower and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, just like for any college you are looking at, that the program you choose is accredited by an approved 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 may be the best alternative for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
At this point 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. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin looking for Greenville AL area schools and narrowing down your options. Since there are so many schools to choose from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when evaluating schools. Clearly cost is an important factor and you will need to select a program that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already mentioned a few others also, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you focus on those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you might want to ask the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. One of the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone an extensive screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to make sure 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 guarantee that you get a quality education, it will also aid in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Greenville AL employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the Program? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you enroll in is significant also. It’s particularly crucial if you are going into the profession with no relevant prior work history. With no prior experience, Greenville AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can get school reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other variables contributing to the educational programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Greenville AL colleges you are considering. A lower rate might be an indicator that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not up to the task 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 obtain 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 a good reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a substantial network of contacts to assist students in obtaining jobs upon graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we touched on at the beginning 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 decided that you will move or perhaps live on campus, the college you select will have to be within driving distance of your Greenville AL residence. Naturally attending online classes will remove the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you opt to attend a school outside of your resident state, you may be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Junior and community colleges also usually 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, going to small classes offers the option for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes provide little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a few classes before making your final determination. Talk to several of the students and ask what they have experienced. 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 field.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Greenville AL, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Greenville AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Greenville AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Greenville area where your school campus will be located.
Greenville is a city in Butler County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 8,135. The city is the county seat of Butler County and is known as the Camellia City. The movement to change the official Alabama state flower from the goldenrod to the camellia originated in Greenville with legislative sponsors LaMont Glass and H.B. Taylor.
Greenville was first settled in 1819. Its original name was Buttsville, but after becoming the county seat in 1822, its name was changed to Greenville, in remembrance of the former locale in South Carolina of many of the original settlers. The first county seat was at Fort Dale, a fortification that was named for Sam Dale, who fought to defend the area during the Creek War. The site of Fort Dale lies on the north of the city near the Fort Dale Cemetery, along what is now Alabama Highway 185.
The namesake of the county, Captain William Butler, was killed during the Creek War. He is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery, which is across from the oldest church in Butler County, the First United Methodist Church of Greenville.
Choose the Best Criminal Justice Degree Program near Greenville AL
Making certain that you enroll in the right criminal justice college near Greenville AL is essential to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers value which school your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Achieving the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the optimal criminal justice college based on your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you select both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, make certain that the school 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 Diploma. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess 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 ideal decision, you will get the proper training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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