How to Select the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Roanoke Alabama
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Roanoke Alabama. But after you have chosen the type of program you would like to pursue, just how do you undertake selecting a school that will provide the right training to help you realize your career goals? Naturally the institution you select must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt start by looking for schools that are close to your home and comparing the cost for each college. But there are other issues that you should investigate before making your ultimate selection. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the college are important factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online degree program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will address these and other qualifications that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when choosing the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors offered along with the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Roanoke AL
As with most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently needed for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities available in Roanoke AL. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it offers an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. More and more police departments are looking for candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually addresses the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates more opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. 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 experts in a particular aspect of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for students with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered as well. Generally taking anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for earning any one of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specializations to select from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after viewing numerous episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV shows. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you must select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Enrolling in a program and a school that specializes in that area would obviously be the ideal decision toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that case, it would be best to research all of the degree alternatives offered from the various universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Roanoke AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the college you have decided on, research the degree program you have an interest in as well as the school. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first before picking a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Colleges Online
Many students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their vicinity, or they might just want the flexibility of earning an online degree. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous schools domiciled within the United States that provide degree programs online similar to those offered on-campus. And for many Roanoke AL students, especially those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online programs may make them the sole option. And as an added advantage, online schools are often lower in cost than traditional alternatives. Tuition may be cheaper and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just verify, just like for any college you are looking at, that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can study in this kind of independent environment, then obtaining your degree online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
At this point you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you want to earn your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin searching for Roanoke AL area schools and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are a large number of schools to pick from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating schools. Clearly cost is an important factor and you will need to choose a school that fits within your academic budget. And we have already addressed a few others also, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Numerous criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from national or regional 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 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 guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it will also help in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Roanoke AL employers have a preference for graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the Program? As previously stated, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you choose is important also. It’s especially crucial if you are getting in the field with no relevant prior work history. Without any previous experience, Roanoke AL employers will be considering the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can get school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other aspects contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be well regarded for a specific degree program that you might be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Roanoke AL schools you are reviewing. A lower rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also essential that the colleges have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job placement 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 verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a sizable network of contacts to help students in obtaining jobs after graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will probably consider when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or possibly live on campus, the school you enroll in will need to be within commuting distance of your Roanoke AL residence. Naturally attending classes online will eliminate the need for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to go to a college not in your resident state, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Junior and community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, going to small classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes afford little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a few classes prior to 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 styles are. You may 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 crucial to verify that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Roanoke AL, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Roanoke AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Roanoke AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Roanoke area where your school campus will be located.
This was an area of historic occupation by the Creek before treaties to persuade the Native Americans to cede their land, followed by forced migration under the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The area was part of a broad part of upland developed as cotton plantations worked by enslaved African Americans. The area is still quite rural.
Initially called High Pine in the 1830s after a nearby creek, it was allegedly burned during an Indian uprising in 1836. Renamed Chulafinee in 1840, it was later renamed again for the hometown of one of the early settlers, Roanoke, Virginia. The city was officially incorporated in December 1890.
Roanoke has three schools served by Roanoke City Schools: Knight Enloe Elementary (K-3), Handley Middle School (4-8), and Handley High School (9-12). On December 1, 2011, the Handley Tigers won the AHSAA Football Class 3A State Championship.
Find the Ideal Criminal Justice Degree Program near Roanoke AL
Making sure that you pick the ideal criminal justice program near Roanoke AL is essential to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers value which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the optimal criminal justice school predicated upon your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important that the school and degree program you select both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, verify that the college has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Certificate. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at so that you can narrow down your choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the right decision, you will get the proper training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Alabama