How to Select the Right Criminal Justice College near Laveen Arizona
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Laveen Arizona. But after you have chosen the type of program you want to work toward, just how do you tackle selecting a college that will provide the right training to help you realize your career goals? Of course the school you pick must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will probably begin by searching for colleges that are near your residence and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are other considerations that you need to examine prior to making your final decision. For instance, the accreditation and reputation of the college are significant factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable 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 include 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 as well as the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Laveen AZ
As with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly needed for a number of careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the job opportunities available in Laveen AZ. There are four degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a 2 year degree, it provides an overview of such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. More and more police departments are looking for applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually includes the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education creates additional opportunities for such positions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional two years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become specialists in a specific facet of criminal justice. Along with the options provided with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for students interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available also. Typically requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 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 four degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specialties to pick from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after enjoying countless episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV programs. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you must select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Choosing a school and program that specializes in that specialty would clearly be the ideal option toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that situation, it would be a good idea to explore all of the degree options offered from the various universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Laveen AZ area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the school you have selected, research the degree program you have an interest in as well as the school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation in general does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first before choosing a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Schools
Many students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their vicinity, or they might just want the convenience of earning an online degree. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous colleges located within the United States that provide degree programs online much like those offered on campus. And for a number of Laveen AZ students, especially those who continue to work full or part-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online schools may make them the only option. And as an additional advantage, online schools are often lower in cost than on campus alternatives. Tuition can be cheaper and expenses for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make sure, as with any school you are reviewing, that the program you select is accredited by an approved agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can learn in this type of unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online may be the best alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have no doubt decided 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. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin searching for Laveen AZ area schools and fine tuning your options. Since there are so many colleges to choose from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing schools. Certainly cost is a significant consideration and you will need to pick a school that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already mentioned a few others as well, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you may wish to ask the schools you are examining prior to making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have earned one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. One of the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone a rigorous assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. 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 several reasons. Along with helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it will also aid in acquiring student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Laveen AZ employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you select is important as well. It’s especially crucial if you are going into the profession with no relevant previous job history. With no previous experience, Laveen AZ employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can find school reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the academic programs. Bear in mind that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be highly regarded for a particular degree program that you might be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Laveen AZ colleges you are looking at. A low percentage may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 essential 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 verify that the college has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it also has a considerable network of employers to help students in obtaining jobs after graduation.
How Far Away are the Campuses Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, one of the initial things you will most likely look at when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or possibly live on campus, the college you pick will have to be within driving distance of your Laveen AZ residence. Certainly attending online classes will eliminate the need for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to go to a college outside of your state of residence, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, attending small classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes provide little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Speak with some of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Arizona criminal justice field.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Laveen AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Laveen AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Laveen AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Laveen area where your school campus will be located.
Laveen /ləˈviːn/ is an "urban village" within the city of Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, situated eight miles (13 km) southwest of Downtown Phoenix between South Mountain and the confluence of the Gila and Salt rivers. Parts of Laveen constitute an unincorporated community in Maricopa County, while the remainder falls within the city limits of Phoenix, constituting the city's "Laveen Village". Laveen Village is split between District 7 and District 8, both notable as minority-majority districts for the city. Although Laveen has been home to "pastoral alfalfa, cotton, and dairy farms" since the 1880s, housing and commercial developments have been increasingly urbanizing the area.
The Laveen area was first settled by farmers and dairymen in 1884. Despite its proximity to Phoenix, the community was isolated from its larger neighbor by the Salt River, which until the Roosevelt Dam was completed in 1911 carried water year-round. The only bridged crossing was at Central Avenue, more than six miles (10 km) away. Because of its isolation, like the rest of south Phoenix early Laveen was autonomous of Phoenix and became relatively self-sufficient, supporting two general stores, a barbershop, repair garage, two pool halls, and a building for the Laveen Women's Club. These businesses served as important gathering places for the greater Laveen community, which includes modern south Phoenix and the neighboring Gila River Indian Community (GRIC)
In the early 1900s, Walter E. Laveen and his family homesteaded an area encompassing all four corners of present-day 51st Avenue and Dobbins Road, where they also built the area's first general store—the Laveen Store—on the southeast corner. Members of the Laveen family donated land adjacent to their store for a school, which was built in 1913 and named Laveen School. A second general store, the Del Monte Market, was built in 1908 at 27th Avenue and Dobbins Road and is considered the oldest still standing building in Laveen.
Select the Best Criminal Justice School near Laveen AZ
Making certain that you choose the ideal criminal justice college near Laveen AZ is vital to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers respect which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career starts with picking the best criminal justice school predicated upon your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, make certain that the college has a job placement program with a high success rate for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Schools Near Me. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will be able to assess and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at in order to narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the proper education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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