How to Choose the Right Criminal Justice School near Thomasville Alabama
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Thomasville Alabama. But once you have decided on the kind of program you want to work toward, just how do you undertake selecting a college that will offer the proper training to help you realize your career goals? Of course the school you choose must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly begin by looking for schools that are near your residence and comparing the cost for each school. But there are additional points that you should evaluate before making your final choice. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the school are critical factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your search process. We will cover these and other qualifications that you might want to include in your vetting process when choosing the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors available along with the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Thomasville AL
Similar to most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently needed for various careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Thomasville AL. There are 4 degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it offers an overview of such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree typically includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education makes available more options for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional 2 years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a specific facet of criminal justice. In addition to the options provided with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for individuals with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available as well. Generally taking anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for obtaining any of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are many specializations to choose from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after viewing countless episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation shows. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you need to pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Enrolling in a program and a school that focuses on that area would obviously be the best decision toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be a good idea to research all of the degree options available from the numerous colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Thomasville 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 decided on, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the college. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has an outstanding reputation in general does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first prior to selecting a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Classes Online
Many prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their vicinity, or they might just prefer the flexibility of earning an online degree. 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 online degree programs much like the ones offered on-campus. And for a number of Thomasville AL students, especially those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges may make them the only option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Tuition can be cheaper and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced also. Just verify, just like for any college you are reviewing, 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 motivated, and can study in this kind of unsupervised setting, then earning your degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
At this point you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you intend to earn your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start looking for Thomasville AL area schools and narrowing down your options. Because there are a large number of colleges to choose from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing colleges. Obviously cost is a significant factor and you will need to select a college that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed a few others also, such as accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may want to ask the colleges you are thinking about prior to making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have acquired 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 gone through a rigorous assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to confirm that the program and school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it will also aid in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, a number of Thomasville AL employers are looking for graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you select is significant as well. It’s particularly crucial if you are entering the field with no relevant previous work history. Without any previous experience, Thomasville AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can get school rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other elements contributing to the educational programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation may still be well regarded for a specific degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Thomasville AL colleges you are considering. A lower rate may be an indicator 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 essential that the colleges have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help substantiate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a sizable network of contacts to help students in obtaining positions upon graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, one of the first things you will probably consider when searching for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps live on campus, the school you pick will need to be within driving distance of your Thomasville AL residence. Of course attending classes online will remove the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you opt to go to a school outside of your state of residence, you might be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Bigger classes afford little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Talk to some of the students and ask 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 Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Thomasville AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Thomasville AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Thomasville AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Thomasville area where your school campus will be located.
Thomasville is a city in Clarke County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 4,209. Founded as a late 19th-century railroad town, it has transitioned over the course of more than a century into a 21st-century commercial hub. It is the childhood hometown of author and storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham.
Thomasville was founded in 1888 and incorporated on November 24 of that year. The former community of Choctaw Corner, dating back to the antebellum period, was a settlement west of what would become Thomasville, but when the merchants there learned that a railroad was going to bypass their town to the east, they decided to move their stores to be near the railroad. The former community is now inside the city limits. The tracks between Mobile and Selma were completed the same year that Thomasville began. First referred to as "Choctaw", the town was named after railroad financier and former Union Civil War general, Samuel Thomas, after he donated $500 for the construction of Thomasville's first school. The town had expanded by the end of the 19th century with numerous stores, several hotels and boarding houses, and a depot station. In 1899, what is now downtown was destroyed by a fire that burned several blocks of the wood frame buildings. Thomasville quickly rebuilt, this time in brick, and was once again flourishing by the start of World War I.
Over the next century, Thomasville continued to grow and expand. Over the years, many businesses came and others left. These included garment factories, sawmills, and cotton gins. The railroad discontinued its use of the town's depot by the 1950s, but that time also saw the opening of Thomasville's FPS-35 radar base, part of the Air Defense Command's Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, bringing in servicemen and their families. The prototype for the FPS-35 radar was developed at the Thomasville Aircraft Control and Warning Station. The 1950s also saw the planting of roses along Highway 43, the main highway through Thomasville, earning it the nickname of The City of Roses. The 1960s and 1970s saw the opening of numerous paper mills in the area, an industry that continues to be important to the economy of Thomasville today. This time also saw businesses begin to relocate from downtown to the main highway. The Thomasville Historic District was designated in 1999 by the National Register of Historic Places.
Select the Ideal Criminal Justice Degree Program near Thomasville AL
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice program near Thomasville AL is crucial to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers respect which school your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the ideal criminal justice school predicated upon your career objectives. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential that the college and degree program you select both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, make sure that the school has a job assistance program with a high success rate for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Colleges That Offer Criminal Justice. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to analyze and compare the criminal justice colleges you are looking at in order to narrow down your options and make the right choice. And when you have made the best decision, you will receive the appropriate education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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