Picking the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Wadley Alabama
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Wadley Alabama. But after you have decided on the type of degree you want to pursue, just how do you tackle picking a college that will offer the proper training to help you realize your career goals? Of course the institution you select must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly start by searching for colleges that are near your residence and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are additional factors that you must investigate prior to making your ultimate selection. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the college are critical factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will discuss these and other qualifications that you might wish to utilize in your vetting process when deciding on the best criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors offered as well as the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Wadley AL
Just like with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly needed for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities available in Wadley AL. There are four degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a 2 year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. More and more police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree typically includes the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education creates more options for such professions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional 2 years of classes in addition to obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become specialists in a particular area of criminal justice. Along with the options afforded with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for those interested in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available also. Generally 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 attaining any of the four degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specializations to pick from when considering which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after viewing countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV shows. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Selecting a school and program that specializes in that area would naturally be the ideal decision toward that end. Perhaps 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 research all of the degree options offered from the numerous universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Wadley 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 chosen, investigate 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 indicate that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first before choosing a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Colleges Online
Many students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their region, or they might just prefer the convenience of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous colleges located within the USA that provide degree programs online much like those offered on-campus. And for many Wadley AL students, particularly those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges in many cases make them the sole option. And as an added benefit, online colleges are often lower in cost than on-campus alternatives. Tuition may be cheaper and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just verify, just like for any college you are considering, that the program you select is accredited by an approved organization, for example 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 earning your degree online may be the best alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
By now you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you want to obtain your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin searching for Wadley AL area colleges 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 important to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing colleges. Naturally cost is a significant consideration and you will need to pick a college that fits within your academic budget. And we have already addressed a few others also, such as reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have obtained 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 undergone an extensive screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s important to make sure that the program and college you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. In addition to helping assure that you receive an excellent education, it will also help in securing student loans or financial aid, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Wadley AL employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As previously mentioned, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is important also. It’s particularly crucial if you are entering the profession with no relevant previous employment history. With no prior experience, Wadley AL employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can find college reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other factors contributing to the educational programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well respected for a particular degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Wadley AL schools you are reviewing. A lower percentage may be an indicator that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the schools have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help verify that the college has a good reputation within the industry, but that it also has a considerable network of employers to help students in obtaining jobs upon graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, among the initial things you will probably look at when looking for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or possibly live on campus, the college you pick will have to be within commuting distance of your Wadley AL residence. Of course attending online classes will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you opt to go to a college not in your state of residence, you might be required to pay 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 school district or state.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Bigger classes afford little chance of getting one-on-one instruction if needed. One method to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate determination. Speak with some of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wadley AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Wadley AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Wadley AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Wadley area where your school campus will be located.
Wadley is a town in Randolph County, Alabama, United States. It is home to the Wadley campus of Southern Union State Community College. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 751, up from 640 in 2000. According to the 1910 U.S. Census, the town was incorporated in 1908.
As of the census of 2000, there were 640 people, 228 households, and 149 families residing in the town. The population density was 463.7 people per square mile (179.1/km²). There were 276 housing units at an average density of 200.0 per square mile (77.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 65.16% White, 33.28% Black or African American, 1.09% from other races, and 0.47% from two or more races. 2.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 228 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.3% were married couples living together, 24.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.91.
Select the Ideal Criminal Justice School near Wadley AL
Making sure that you choose the ideal criminal justice college near Wadley AL is crucial to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers care which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Attaining the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career begins with picking the ideal criminal justice college based on your career objectives. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you choose both are accredited and have excellent reputations. In addition, make sure that the school has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Schools With Criminal Justice Majors. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are considering so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right selection. 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.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Alabama