Picking the Right Criminal Justice College near Chandler Arizona
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Chandler Arizona. But after you have decided on the type of degree you would like to work toward, just how do you go about choosing a college that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the college you select must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly start by searching for colleges that are close to your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are other issues that you should investigate before making your ultimate decision. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are critical factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online training program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will discuss these and other qualifications that you might wish to include in your vetting process when deciding on the ideal criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors offered as well as the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Chandler AZ
As with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly required for a number of careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the job opportunities available in Chandler AZ. There are 4 degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a 2 year degree, it offers an overview of such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. More and more police departments are seeking applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree typically covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education makes available more options for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional two years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become specialists in a particular facet of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for those with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered also. Typically requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for obtaining any one of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are numerous specializations to choose from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after viewing countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV shows. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Enrolling in a school and program that focuses on that specialty would clearly be the best decision toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that scenario, it would be best to explore 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 Chandler 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 decided on, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the college. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has a good reputation in general 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 prior to selecting a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Schools
Some prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their region, or they may just want the flexibility of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There many schools domiciled within the United States that offer online degree programs much like the ones offered on-campus. And for a number of Chandler AZ students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges may make them the sole option. And as an additional advantage, online schools are often lower in cost than on-campus options. Tuition may be cheaper and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make sure, as with any college you are looking at, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an approved agency, 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 obtaining your degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions 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 earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start searching for Chandler AZ area colleges and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are a large number of schools to pick from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing schools. Certainly cost is an important consideration and you will need to choose a program that is within your academic budget. And we have already addressed several others also, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? A large number of criminal justice colleges 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 a rigorous screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s essential to make sure that the program and school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it will also assist in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Chandler AZ employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you enroll in is significant also. It’s particularly crucial if you are entering the profession with no relevant prior work history. With no previous experience, Chandler AZ employers will be considering the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over 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 look at the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other elements contributing to the educational programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Chandler AZ schools you are reviewing. A low percentage might be an indicator that students were unhappy with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the course of study. It’s also essential that the schools have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help substantiate that the college has a good reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a sizable network of contacts to help students secure positions after graduation.
How Far Away are the Colleges Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, among the initial things you will probably look at 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 select will need to be within driving distance of your Chandler AZ home. Of course attending online classes will remove the need for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to attend a college outside of your resident state, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Community and junior 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, attending small classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Large classes provide little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One way to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a few classes before making your final determination. Talk to some of the students and find out what they have experienced. 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 profession.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Chandler AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Chandler AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Chandler area where your school campus will be located.
Chandler is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, and a prominent suburb of the Phoenix, Arizona, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). It is bordered to the north and west by Tempe, to the north by Mesa, to the west by Phoenix, to the south by the Gila River Indian Community, and to the east by Gilbert. As of July 2015, the population was 260,828 according to the United States Census Bureau, According to the city's official website, Chandler's Transportation & Development Department estimated the population, as of May 2016, to be 247,328. It also has satellite locations for many technology companies, including Intel and Orbital ATK.
In 1891, Dr. Alexander John Chandler, the first veterinary surgeon in Arizona Territory, settled on a ranch south of Mesa, studying irrigation engineering. By 1900, he had acquired 18,000 acres (73 km2) of land, and began drawing up plans for a townsite on what was then known as the Chandler Ranch. The townsite office opened on May 17, 1912, the same year that Chandler High School was established. The townsite was bounded by Galveston Street on the north, Frye Road on the south, Hartford Street on the west, and Hamilton Street on the east. By 1913, a town center had become established, featuring the Hotel San Marcos, the first golf resort in the state.
Most of Chandler's economy was successfully sustained during the Great Depression (a second San Marcos hotel was canceled due to the Depression however), but the cotton crash a few years later had a much deeper impact on the city's residents. Later, the founding of Williams Air Force Base in 1941 led to a small surge in population, but Chandler still only held 3,800 people by 1950. By 1980, it had grown to 30,000, and it has since paced the Phoenix metropolitan area's high rate of growth, with vast suburban residential areas swallowing former agricultural plots. Some of this growth was fueled by the establishment of manufacturing plants for communications and computing firms such as Microchip, Motorola and Intel.
Choose the Right Criminal Justice College near Chandler AZ
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice school near Chandler AZ is essential to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers value which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Attaining the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the optimal criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s imperative that the school and degree program you choose both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, verify that the school 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 Colleges That Offer Criminal Justice Degrees. However, by going through 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 receive the appropriate education so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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