How to Choose the Right Criminal Justice College near Kodiak Alaska
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Kodiak Alaska. But once you have decided on the kind of program you would like to work toward, just how do you go about choosing a school that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career objectives? Naturally the school you select must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly start by looking for schools that are nearby your residence and comparing the cost for each school. But there are additional points that you must evaluate before making your final choice. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are important factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online training program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will deal with these and other criteria that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors offered along with the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Kodiak AK
Similar to many 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 obtained increases, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Kodiak AK. There are 4 degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a 2 year degree, it provides an overview of such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial court system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available additional opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional 2 years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a specific facet of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities afforded with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for individuals with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered also. Typically requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for attaining any one of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specialties to choose from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after viewing numerous episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV programs. Or maybe you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you need to choose 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 clearly be the ideal option 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 best to research all of the degree options offered from the various universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Kodiak AK area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before 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 school is accredited and has an excellent reputation in general does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is essential to decide on a major first before choosing a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Classes
Some students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their area, or they may just want the convenience of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of schools domiciled within the USA that offer online degree programs much like the ones offered on-campus. And for a number of Kodiak AK students, especially those who continue to work full or part-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online schools in many cases make them the only option. And as an added advantage, online schools are frequently lower in cost than on campus options. Tuition may be lower and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just make sure, as with any school you are considering, that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can learn in this kind of independent environment, then earning your degree online might be the right alternative for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
By now you have undoubtedly 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. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin searching for Kodiak AK area colleges and narrowing down your options. Since there are numerous colleges to pick from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing colleges. Certainly cost is an important factor and you will need to enroll in a college that is within your academic budget. And we have already addressed a few others as well, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you may wish to ask the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Numerous criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. One of the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s important to confirm that the program and school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it will also aid in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Kodiak AK employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As previously stated, together with accreditation the reputation of the school you select is significant also. It’s especially critical if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior job history. Without any previous experience, Kodiak AK employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can get college 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 school with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be highly respected for a specific degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Kodiak AK colleges you are considering. A low percentage may be an indicator that students were disappointed with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also essential that the colleges have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you land that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help verify that the college has a good reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a sizable network of contacts to assist students secure positions after graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we mentioned at the opening of this article, among the first things you will most likely consider when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will relocate or perhaps live on campus, the school you choose will have to be within commuting distance of your Kodiak AK home. Naturally attending classes online will remove the need for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you opt to go to a college not in your resident state, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially 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 Large are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes allow for little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a few classes prior to making your final determination. Talk to some of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Alaska criminal justice field.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Kodiak AK, make certain they are available 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 procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Kodiak AK?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Kodiak AK, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Kodiak area where your school campus will be located.
Kodiak (Alutiiq: Sun'aq; Russian: Кадьяк, tr. Kadʹyak) is one of seven communities and the main city on Kodiak Island, Kodiak Island Borough, in the U.S. state of Alaska. All commercial transportation between the entire island and the outside world goes through this city either via ferryboat or airline. The population was 6,130 as of the 2010 census. 2014 estimates put the population at 6,304.
After the Alaska Purchase by the United States in 1867, Kodiak became a commercial fishing center which continues to be the mainstay of its economy. A lesser economic influence includes tourism, mainly by those seeking outdoor adventure trips. Salmon, halibut, the unique Kodiak bear, elk, Sitka deer (black tail), and mountain goats attract hunting tourists as well as fishermen to the Kodiak Archipelago. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game maintains an office in the city and a website to help hunters and fishermen obtain the proper permits and learn about the laws specific to the Kodiak area.
The city has four public elementary schools, a middle and high school, as well as a branch of the University of Alaska. An antenna farm at the summit of Pillar Mountain above the city historically provided communication with the outside world before fiber optic cable was run. Transportation to and from the island is provided by ferry service on the Alaska Marine Highway as well as local commercial airlines.
Select the Best Criminal Justice College near Kodiak AK
Making certain that you select the ideal criminal justice college near Kodiak AK is crucial to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers value which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Achieving the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the best criminal justice school based on your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s imperative that the college and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, make sure that the school has a job assistance program with a high success rate for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Best Colleges For Criminal Justice Majors. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are looking at so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the best decision, you will receive the appropriate training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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