Selecting the Right Criminal Justice College near Rainsville Alabama
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Rainsville Alabama. But after you have chosen the type of degree you want to pursue, just how do you tackle choosing a college that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Naturally the school you choose must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt begin by looking for schools that are nearby your residence and comparing the cost for each school. But there are other issues that you should evaluate before making your final choice. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the school are significant factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online degree program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will cover these and other criteria that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the best criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors offered along with the benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Rainsville AL
As with most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly needed for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Rainsville AL. There are four degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a 2 year degree, it offers an overview of such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually addresses the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available additional options for such positions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become specialists in a particular facet of criminal justice. Along with the options offered with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for those interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Usually taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for attaining any of the four degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specializations to select from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after viewing countless episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation shows. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you must pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Choosing a program and a school that focuses on that area would naturally be the best decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that scenario, it would be a good idea to investigate all of the degree options available from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Rainsville 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, research the degree program you have an interest in along with the school. Even if 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 extremely important to choose a major first before choosing a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs
A number of prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they might just want the convenience of earning a degree online. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of schools located within the United States that provide online degree programs similar to those offered on campus. And for a number of Rainsville AL students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online schools in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are often more affordable than on campus options. Tuition can be lower and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just verify, as with any college you are reviewing, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can study in this kind of unsupervised setting, then earning your degree online may be the best alternative for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
By now you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you intend to earn your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start searching for Rainsville AL area colleges and narrowing down your options. Because there are a large number of colleges to pick from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when reviewing schools. Clearly cost is an important factor and you will need to choose a program that fits within your academic budget. And we have already discussed a few others as well, such as reputation, location and accreditation. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might want to ask the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. One of the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone a rigorous screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to verify that the 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 assure that you obtain an excellent education, it will also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Rainsville AL employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the School? As previously mentioned, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you choose is important as well. It’s particularly crucial if you are getting in the field with no relevant prior job history. Without any previous experience, Rainsville AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can obtain school reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They examine 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 might still be highly regarded for a specific degree program that you may be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Rainsville AL schools you are reviewing. A low rate might be a sign that students were dissatisfied 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 essential that the colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you land that first crucial job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help substantiate that the college has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a considerable network of employers to help students in obtaining jobs after graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we touched on at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will probably consider when looking for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will relocate or perhaps board on campus, the school you pick will need to be within driving distance of your Rainsville AL home. Of course attending classes online will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to go to a college not in your state of residence, you could be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also tend to 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, attending small classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the teachers. Bigger classes afford little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to audit a few classes prior to making your ultimate determination. Talk to some of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rainsville AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Rainsville AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Rainsville AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Rainsville area where your school campus will be located.
Rainsville is a city in DeKalb County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 4,948, up from 4,499 in 2000. Rainsville is located on top of Sand Mountain, a southern extension of the Cumberland Plateau.
An EF5 tornado struck the city on April 27, 2011, leaving 25 fatalities. It initially touched down 10 miles (16 km) to the southwest in Lakeview, causing structural damage to small buildings and snapping trees. It grew in intensity, and the path width increased from around fifty yards to a half a mile, as the rotation entered the Rainsville and Sylvania communities. Damage included houses that were completely removed from foundations and debris scattered for about one mile, trees debarked, and a few mobile homes were destroyed with debris strewn for about a mile downstream. In Sylvania, some of these houses removed from foundations contained anchor bolts and foundation straps.
Rainsville is located northwest of the center of DeKalb County at 34°29′32″N 85°50′43″W / 34.49222°N 85.84528°W / 34.49222; -85.84528 (34.492258, -85.845316). It is bordered to the northeast by Sylvania, to the northwest by Powell, to the southwest by Shiloh, and to the southeast by Pine Ridge.
Choose the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Rainsville AL
Making certain that you enroll in the right criminal justice program near Rainsville AL is essential to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers care which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Achieving the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the best criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have covered in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you select both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, 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 Criminal Justice College Majors. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing in order to narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the right decision, you will receive the appropriate training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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