How to Pick the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Bullhead City Arizona
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Bullhead City Arizona. But after you have decided on the type of program you want to work toward, just how do you tackle selecting a college that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the institution you select must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly begin by searching for colleges that are near your home and comparing the cost for each school. But there are other considerations that you must examine before making your final decision. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college are critical factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online degree program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other criteria that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when picking the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Bullhead City AZ
Similar to most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly required for a number of careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Bullhead City AZ. There are 4 degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a two year degree, it offers an overview of such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. A growing number of police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree typically includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates more options for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional two 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 opportunities afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for individuals with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered as well. Usually taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for earning any of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specialties to select from when deciding which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after enjoying numerous episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV shows. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you need to pick a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Choosing a school and program that specializes in that area would obviously be the ideal decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be advisable to explore all of the degree alternatives offered from the various colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Bullhead City AZ area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the school you have chosen, research the degree program you have an interest in along with the college. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first prior to selecting a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Degree Programs Online
A number of prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they might just want the independence of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous colleges located within the United States that provide degree programs online similar to the ones offered on campus. And for a number of Bullhead City AZ students, particularly those who continue to work part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online programs in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional advantage, online colleges are often more affordable than on-campus options. Tuition may be lower and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain, as with any college you are considering, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an approved organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can learn in this type of independent setting, then earning your degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
At this point you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you intend to earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin searching for Bullhead City AZ area schools and fine tuning your options. Because there are numerous colleges to choose from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when reviewing colleges. Naturally cost is an important factor and you will need to choose a college that is within your academic budget. And we have already discussed several others as well, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national 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 an extensive screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to make sure that the program and college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. Along with helping confirm that you obtain a top notch education, it will also aid in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Bullhead City AZ employers have a preference for graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As previously mentioned, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you enroll in is important also. It’s especially critical if you are entering the field with no relevant previous work history. With no prior experience, Bullhead City AZ employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can find school rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other factors contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be highly respected for a specific degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Bullhead City AZ schools you are reviewing. A lower percentage might be an indication that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the course of study. It’s also essential that the colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help affirm 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 Schools Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, one of the initial things you will most likely consider when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or perhaps board on campus, the school you enroll in will need to be within driving distance of your Bullhead City AZ residence. Of course attending classes online will remove the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to attend a school not in your resident state, you may be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Junior and community colleges also often charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the option for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes allow for little chance of receiving individualized instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a few classes prior to making your ultimate determination. Speak with several of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the Arizona criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Bullhead City AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Bullhead City AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Bullhead City area where your school campus will be located.
Bullhead City, Arizona
Bullhead City is a city located on the Colorado River in Mohave County, Arizona, United States, roughly 90 mi (140 km) south of Las Vegas, Nevada, and directly across the Colorado River from Laughlin, Nevada, whose casinos and ancillary services supply much of the employment for Bullhead City. Bullhead City is located on the southern border of Lake Mohave. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 39,540. The nearby communities of Laughlin, Needles, California, Fort Mohave and Mohave Valley bring the Bullhead area's total population to about 100,000, making it the largest micropolitan area in Mohave County.
In 2011, the Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport was named Airport of the Year by the Arizona Department of Transportation. The latest figures indicate that "...more than 115,000 people flew into Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport on casino-sponsored charters in 2010." In the 1980s the airport was home to the helicopters of the TV show Airwolf.
The earliest inhabitants of the Colorado River Valley were the Mojave people. The rich soil and plentiful water provided the valley's natives with the necessities to create a prosperous farming community. According to Mojave legend, life began on Spirit Mountain, the highest peak visible from the Bullhead City area.
Choose the Right Criminal Justice School near Bullhead City AZ
Making certain that you enroll in the right criminal justice college near Bullhead City AZ is crucial to your receiving 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 to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the optimal criminal justice school based on your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, confirm 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 Accredited Criminal Justice Programs Online. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the appropriate training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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