Selecting the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Pennington Alabama
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Pennington Alabama. But once you have selected the type of degree you want to work toward, just how do you tackle picking a school that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the school you pick must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will probably start by looking for schools that are near your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are other considerations that you must investigate prior to making your ultimate decision. For example, the accreditation and reputation 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 similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will discuss these and other qualifications that you may want to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors available as well as the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Pennington AL
Similar to most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly needed 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 Pennington AL. There are four degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. More and more police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree typically includes the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education creates more opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional two years of classes in addition to earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a particular area of criminal justice. Along with the options provided with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for students interested in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Typically taking anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for attaining any of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specializations to pick from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after enjoying countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV programs. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to choose a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Choosing a school and program that specializes in that specialty would clearly be the best option toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be best to research all of the degree alternatives available from the numerous universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Pennington AL 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 decided on, investigate the degree program you are interested in as well as the college. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation in general does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first before selecting 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 independence of earning a degree online. In either case, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There many schools domiciled within the United States that provide online degree programs much like the ones offered on campus. And for many Pennington AL students, particularly those who continue to work full or part-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges in many cases make them the only option. And as an added advantage, online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition may be cheaper and expenses for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced also. Just verify, just like for any college you are considering, that the program you select is accredited by an approved agency, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can study in this kind of unsupervised environment, then obtaining your degree online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
At this point you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin searching for Pennington AL area colleges and narrowing down your options. Because there are numerous colleges to select from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing colleges. Obviously cost is a significant consideration and you will need to enroll in a college that is within your academic budget. And we have already discussed a few others as well, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are examining prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have acquired one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. Among the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s imperative to confirm that the program and school you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping assure that you receive a top notch education, it will also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of Pennington AL employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the School? As mentioned previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you choose is significant as well. It’s particularly critical if you are going into the field with no relevant prior job history. With no previous experience, Pennington AL employers will be considering the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can find college reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other elements contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a college 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 Placement Assistance Offered? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Pennington AL colleges you are considering. A lower percentage may 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 higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it also has a large network of contacts to help students in obtaining jobs after graduation.
How Far Away are the Colleges Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, one of the first 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 move or possibly board on campus, the college you pick will have to be within commuting distance of your Pennington AL residence. Certainly attending classes online will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to attend a college not in your state of residence, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community and junior 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 like to get lost in the crowd, attending smaller classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Bigger classes afford little chance of getting personalized instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a few classes prior to making your final decision. Talk to some of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Pennington AL, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Pennington AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Pennington AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Pennington area where your school campus will be located.
As of the census of 2000, there were 353 people, 142 households, and 103 families residing in the town. The population density was 188.6 people per square mile (72.9/km²). There were 197 housing units at an average density of 105.3 per square mile (40.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 64.31% White, 34.84% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.57% from other races.
There were 142 households out of which 35.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.2% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.8% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the town, the population was spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.6 males.
Enroll in the Ideal Criminal Justice School near Pennington AL
Making sure that you enroll in the right criminal justice program near Pennington AL is vital to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers respect which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career starts with picking the right criminal justice school predicated upon your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you decide on both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, make sure that the college 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 Criminal Justice Programs. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing in order to narrow down your choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will get the proper training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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