Picking the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Cottonwood Alabama
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Cottonwood Alabama. But after you have chosen the type of degree you want to pursue, just how do you go about selecting a college that will provide the proper training to help you realize your career goals? Of course the college you select must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will no doubt begin by looking for colleges that are near your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional points that you should investigate prior to making your final choice. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the college are significant factors also. 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 discuss these and other qualifications that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when picking the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors available along with the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Cottonwood AL
Similar to most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently needed for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Cottonwood AL. There are four degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a 2 year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for applicants 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 opportunities for such positions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional 2 years of classes in addition to attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a specific area of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities provided with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for students interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Generally requiring 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 attaining any one of the four degrees will depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specialties to select from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after viewing countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV shows. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you must choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Enrolling in a program and a school that specializes in that specialty would certainly be the best decision toward that end. Maybe you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be advisable to investigate all of the degree alternatives offered from the numerous colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Cottonwood AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the program you have chosen, investigate 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 Online Classes
A number of students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, or they might just want the independence of earning a degree online. 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 many Cottonwood AL students, especially those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional advantage, online schools are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition can be cheaper and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make certain, just like for any college you are reviewing, that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example 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 alternative for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
By now you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin looking for Cottonwood AL 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 important to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when reviewing schools. Certainly cost is an important factor and you will need to choose a program that is within your academic budget. And we have already addressed a few others as well, such as accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might want to ask the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have acquired one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. 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 assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to make sure that the degree 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 guarantee that you receive a quality education, it will also aid in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Cottonwood AL employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the School? As previously mentioned, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you attend is significant as well. It’s especially critical if you are entering the field with no relevant previous work history. Without any prior experience, Cottonwood AL employers will be weighing 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 obtain college reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other factors contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation may still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Cottonwood AL schools you are considering. A low percentage might be an indicator that students were disappointed 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 important 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it also has a substantial network of employers to help students obtain positions upon graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we mentioned at the opening of this article, one of the first things you will probably look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps board on campus, the school you select will need to be within driving distance of your Cottonwood AL residence. Certainly 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 college outside of your resident state, you might be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also usually charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Bigger classes allow for little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a couple of classes prior to making your final decision. Speak with several of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cottonwood AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And find out 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 Cottonwood AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Cottonwood AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Cottonwood area where your school campus will be located.
Cottonwood is a town in Houston County, Alabama, United States. One source said the town incorporated in 1901, although the 1910 U.S. Census stated 1903. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 1,289, up from 1,170 in 2000.
Cottonwood is located in southern Houston County at 31°3′13″N 85°18′9″W / 31.05361°N 85.30250°W / 31.05361; -85.30250 (31.053646, -85.302409).Alabama State Route 53 passes through the center of town, leading north 14 miles (23 km) to Dothan and southeast 7 miles (11 km) to the Florida state line. Malone, Florida, is 11 miles (18 km) southeast of Cottonwood.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,170 people, 485 households, and 323 families residing in the town. The population density was 212.9 people per square mile (82.1/km2). There were 548 housing units at an average density of 99.7 per square mile (38.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 69.06% White, 29.06% Black or African American, 0.68% Native American, and 1.20% from two or more races. 1.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Pick the Best Criminal Justice Degree Program near Cottonwood AL
Making sure that you choose the right criminal justice school near Cottonwood AL is essential to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Attaining the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career starts with picking the optimal criminal justice college predicated upon your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important that the school and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, confirm that the school has a job placement program with a high success rate for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Bachelors In Criminal Justice Online. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at in order to narrow down your choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the right decision, you will get the appropriate education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Alabama