Choosing the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Jefferson Alabama
So you have decided to earn a criminal justice degree near Jefferson Alabama. But once you have selected the kind of degree you want to pursue, just how do you go about picking a college that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Naturally the school you pick must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly start by looking for colleges that are nearby your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are additional issues that you should investigate prior to making your ultimate choice. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are critical factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then locating 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 wish to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees available along with the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Jefferson AL
Similar to many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently needed for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities available in Jefferson AL. There are four degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a two year degree, it offers an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial court system. A growing number of police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree typically addresses the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education makes available more options for such professions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional two years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become specialists in a particular facet of criminal justice. Along with the options offered with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for those interested in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. 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 attaining any one of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors Offered
There are many specializations to select from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after viewing numerous episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation shows. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Enrolling in a school and program that specializes in that area would naturally be the best decision 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 advisable to research all of the degree alternatives offered from the various universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Jefferson AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the college you have chosen, research the degree program you are interested in along with the school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is essential to choose a major first prior to selecting a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Colleges
Some students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, or they may just prefer the convenience of earning a degree online. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of schools located within the United States that provide online degree programs much like the ones offered on campus. And for a number of Jefferson AL students, particularly those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online programs in many cases make them the only option. And as an added benefit, online schools are often more affordable than on campus options. Tuition may be cheaper and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure, as with any college you are considering, that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized agency, 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 may be the best alternative for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
At this point you have no doubt come to a decision 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 begin looking for Jefferson AL area colleges and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are so many colleges to select from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing schools. Naturally cost is a significant factor and you will need to choose a program that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already mentioned several others as well, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might want to ask the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Numerous criminal justice colleges have acquired one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. Among the most respected 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 essential to confirm that the program and college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a top notch education, it will also help in securing student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of Jefferson AL employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is important also. It’s especially critical if you are entering the field with no relevant prior employment history. With no prior experience, Jefferson AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can find school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be well respected for a specific degree program that you may be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Jefferson AL colleges you are looking at. A lower percentage might be an indicator that students were disappointed with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the colleges have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you obtain that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help verify that the college has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a large network of contacts to help students obtain jobs after graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, among the first things you will most likely consider when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or possibly board on campus, the school you pick will need to be within commuting distance of your Jefferson AL home. Of course attending classes online will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to go to a school outside of your state of residence, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Junior and community colleges also often charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes offers the opportunity for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes afford little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a few classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Talk to some of the students and find out what their experiences have been. 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 profession.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s important to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Jefferson AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Jefferson AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Jefferson AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Jefferson area where your school campus will be located.
Al Ricardo Jefferson (born January 4, 1985) is an American professional basketball player for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). He played high school basketball for Prentiss High School in Mississippi before skipping college to enter the 2004 NBA draft, where he was drafted 15th overall by the Boston Celtics. He has previously played for the Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers.
Born in Monticello, Mississippi, Jefferson attended Prentiss High School in the small nearby town of Prentiss from 2000 to 2004. After starting for his varsity team as a freshman at Prentiss, he became one of the elite players in the country as a junior, drawing the attention of both college coaches around the country, and the scouts of the NBA. In his senior year for the Bulldogs, he averaged an astounding 42.6 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks per game as his Bulldogs team went on to lose in the Mississippi state class 3A semi-finals to Byhalia High School 88-73, in which Jefferson finished with 56 points.
Considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, Jefferson was listed as the No. 1 center and the No. 4 player in the nation in 2004. He had originally committed to Arkansas, but opted instead to make the jump to the NBA straight out of high school.
Find the Right Criminal Justice School near Jefferson AL
Making sure that you pick the right criminal justice program near Jefferson AL is crucial to your obtaining 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 to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the optimal criminal justice school based on your career goals. As we have covered in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you select both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, make sure that the school 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 Online Colleges For Criminal Justice Degrees. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are looking at in order to narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the correct decision, you will get the appropriate education so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Alabama