Selecting the Right Criminal Justice College near Kenai Alaska
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Kenai Alaska. But after you have chosen the type of program you would like to pursue, just how do you undertake selecting a school that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the college you pick must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly start by searching for schools that are nearby your residence and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are additional considerations that you need to examine before making your final selection. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the school are critical factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online training program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will cover these and other criteria that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees offered along with the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Kenai AK
Just like with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly required for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Kenai AK. There are four 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 looking for applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually addresses the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education creates more options for such occupations 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 obtaining 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 may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for those interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Generally requiring anywhere from four to seven 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 course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
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 watching countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV programs. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you need to choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Selecting a program and a school that specializes in that specialty 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 a good idea to investigate all of the degree alternatives offered from the various universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Kenai AK area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the school you have chosen, research the degree program you have an interest in as well as the school. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first before picking a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Colleges
A number of prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, or they may just want the flexibility of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There many schools located within the United States that provide online degree programs similar to those offered on-campus. And for many Kenai AK students, especially those who continue working full or part-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online programs in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are often lower in cost than on-campus options. Tuition can be lower 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 reviewing, that the program you select 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 learn in this kind of unsupervised setting, then earning your degree online might be the right option for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
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 earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin looking for Kenai AK area schools and fine tuning your options. Since there are a large number of schools to select from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing colleges. Obviously cost is a significant factor and you will need to choose a college that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already pointed out a few others as well, including reputation, location and accreditation. 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 School Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have acquired one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. 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 important to make sure that the program and school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it will also assist in securing student loans or financial aid, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Also, many Kenai AK employers are looking for graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the Program? As mentioned previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you select is important as well. It’s particularly critical if you are going into the field with no relevant previous work history. With no prior experience, Kenai AK employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can get school 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. Bear in mind that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well respected for a particular degree program that you might be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Kenai AK colleges you are considering. A lower percentage may be a sign that students were disappointed with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the course of study. It’s also imperative that the schools have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first crucial 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 college has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a considerable network of employers to help students obtain jobs after graduation.
How Far Away are the Colleges Located? As we touched on at the beginning of this article, among the initial things you will most likely look at when searching for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will relocate or perhaps board on campus, the school you select will have to be within commuting distance of your Kenai AK residence. Of course attending classes online will eliminate the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to attend a school outside of your state of residence, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community and junior colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Large classes provide little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to audit a few classes before making your final decision. Talk to several of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Alaska criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s important to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Kenai AK, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. 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 Kenai AK?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Kenai AK, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Kenai area where your school campus will be located.
Kenai (/ˈkiːnaɪ/, KEY-nigh) (Dena'ina: Shk'ituk't) is a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 7,100 as of the 2010 census, up from 6,942 in 2000.
The city of Kenai is named after the local Dena'ina (Tanaina) word 'ken' or 'kena', which means 'flat, meadow, open area with few trees; base, low ridge', according to the Dena'ina Topical Dictionary by James Kari, Ph.D., published in 2007. This describes the area along the mouth and portion of the Kenai River near the City of Kenai. Archaeological evidence suggests that the area was first occupied by the Kachemak people from 1000 B.C., until they were displaced by the Dena'ina Athabaskan people around 1000 A.D. Before the arrival of the Russians, Kenai was a Dena'ina village called Shk'ituk't, meaning "where we slide down." When Russian fur traders first arrived in 1741, about 1,000 Dena'ina lived in the village. The traders called the people "Kenaitze", which is a Russian term for "people of the flats", or "Kenai people". This name was later adopted when they were incorporated as the Kenaitze Indian Tribe in the early 1970s.
In 1786 Pytor Zaikov built Fort Nikolaevskaia for the Lebedev-Lastochkin Company on the site of modern Kenai, being the first European settlement on the Alaskan mainland. Hostilities surfaced between the natives and settlers in 1797, culminating in an incident in which the Dena'ina attacked Fort St. Nicholas, later dubbed the battle of Kenai. Over one hundred deaths occurred from all involved parties. Later, in 1838, the introduction of smallpox killed one half of the Dena'ina population.
Enroll in the Best Criminal Justice Degree Program near Kenai AK
Making sure that you pick the right criminal justice college near Kenai AK is vital to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Attaining the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the right criminal justice school predicated upon 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. Additionally, make certain 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 Degree Programs. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing so that you can narrow down your options and make the best choice. And when you have made the right decision, you will get the proper education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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