Selecting the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Higley Arizona
So you have decided to earn a criminal justice degree near Higley Arizona. But once you have decided on the kind of program you want to pursue, just how do you go about choosing a school that will offer the right training to help you realize your career objectives? Of course the college you pick must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly start by searching for schools that are near your home and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are additional points that you should evaluate prior to making your ultimate decision. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school 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 quality online degree program will also be a part of your search process. We will address these and other criteria that you might wish to utilize in your vetting process when deciding on the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the advantages of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Higley AZ
Similar to most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently needed for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Higley AZ. There are 4 degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a 2 year degree, it offers an introduction to such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial court system. More and more police departments are seeking applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree normally addresses the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates additional options for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a specific area of criminal justice. Along with the options afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for those with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available as well. Typically taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for earning any of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the credit 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. Maybe CSI has always interested you after enjoying numerous episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV shows. Or maybe you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you must select a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Enrolling in a school and program that specializes in that specialty would obviously be the best decision toward that end. Possibly you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that case, it would be best to investigate all of the degree alternatives available from the various universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Higley AZ 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 decided on, investigate the degree program you have an interest in as well as 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 equally highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to decide on a major first prior to selecting a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Schools
Some students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their vicinity, or they might just want the independence of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of schools domiciled within the USA that provide degree programs online much like those offered on-campus. And for a number of Higley AZ students, especially those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online schools in many cases make them the sole option. And as an added advantage, online schools are frequently more affordable than on campus options. Tuition may be cheaper and expenditures for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure, as with any school you are considering, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can study in this type of independent setting, then obtaining your degree online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you want to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin looking for Higley AZ area schools and fine tuning your options. Considering that there are a large number of schools to pick from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating colleges. Certainly cost is an important consideration and you will need to choose a school that fits within your academic budget. And we have already mentioned several others as well, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you focus on those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you may wish to ask the schools you are examining before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Numerous criminal justice schools have acquired one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. Among the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through an extensive screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s important to confirm that the degree program and school you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it will also aid in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Higley AZ employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you enroll in is important also. It’s particularly crucial if you are going into the field with no relevant previous work history. With no prior experience, Higley AZ employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can find school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other variables contributing to the academic programs. Keep in mind that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation may still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Higley AZ colleges you are looking at. A low rate may be a sign that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the schools have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you get that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help affirm that the college has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a considerable network of employers to assist students secure positions after graduation.
How Far Away are the Campuses 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 perhaps live on campus, the school you select will have to be within commuting distance of your Higley AZ home. Certainly attending classes online will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to go to a school not in your resident state, you could be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also often 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 smaller classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes afford little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One way to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a couple of classes before making your ultimate decision. Talk to several of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Arizona criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Higley AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Higley AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Higley AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Higley area where your school campus will be located.
Higley Unified School District
The Higley Unified School District #60, abbreviated HUSD #60 is a school district in Gilbert, Arizona. The school district serves portions of Gilbert and Queen Creek. It is one of Arizona's fastest growing school districts, with modest continued growth despite the downturn in the economy at the end of the 2000s (decade). The District owns eight elementary schools and two high schools. In August 2013, the district opened two new middle schools and all other elementary schools that hosted grades K-8 went down to K-6.
The Higley district was incorporated in 1909 with a territory far larger than its current size, but most of the land was transferred to other Valley school districts over the years. For instance, the Queen Creek Unified School District was carved out of the Higley district in 1947.Higley Elementary School was the only school in the district for the next 53 years. The district's high school students went to Gilbert Public Schools' high schools. As the Valley expanded, Larry Likes, then-superintendent of the district, brought it through an era of suburbia swallowing the local farmland. It was not long before the growth of the 1990s and 2000s caught up to the district's 24-square-mile (62 km2) service area. In 1999, the district legally unified; in 2000, it opened Coronado Elementary School, its first new school in decades; in 2001, Higley High School opened its doors; four years later, it opened up Gateway Pointe Elementary School, then a year later, it opened Cortina Elementary School; another year later, further growth induced the opening of Williams Field High School. In the spring of 2008, Higley became the first district in Arizona to receive K-12 accreditation by the AdvancED/North Central Accreditation Team. Graduating Higley seniors were offered $2.7 million in academic and athletic scholarships.
The district opened two middle schools (Cooley Middle School and Sossaman Middle School) to better prepare 7th and 8th grade students for high school and to alleviate projected capacity issues at its elementary schools.
Select the Best Criminal Justice Degree Program near Higley AZ
Making certain that you pick the ideal criminal justice college near Higley AZ is crucial to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers value which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the right criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have covered in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you choose both are accredited and have excellent reputations. In addition, verify 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 Top Criminal Justice Colleges. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are considering in order to narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the proper training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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