How to Select the Right Criminal Justice School near Dauphin Island Alabama
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Dauphin Island Alabama. But after you have chosen the kind of degree you would like to pursue, just how do you tackle selecting a school that will provide the right training to help you realize your career goals? Naturally the college you select must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will probably begin by looking for colleges that are nearby your residence and comparing the cost for each school. But there are additional points that you must evaluate prior to making your final decision. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are critical factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online training program will also be a part of your search process. We will deal with these and other criteria that you may wish to include in your vetting process when picking the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees available along with the advantages of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Dauphin Island AL
As with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly required for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the job opportunities available in Dauphin Island AL. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it offers an introduction to such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. More and more police departments are looking for candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree normally includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available more options for such positions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional 2 years of classes in addition to obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a particular facet of criminal justice. Along with the options afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for individuals interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered as well. Generally requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for earning any of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specializations to choose from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after viewing countless episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation shows. Or maybe you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Enrolling in a program and a school that focuses on that area would naturally be the ideal option toward that end. Possibly you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be a good idea to research all of the degree options offered from the numerous universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Dauphin Island AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the program you have selected, research the degree program you are interested in along with the college. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation in general does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is essential to decide on a major first before picking a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs Online
Some students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their region, or they might just prefer the convenience of earning an online degree. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There many colleges domiciled within the United States that offer degree programs online much like the ones offered on campus. And for a number of Dauphin Island AL students, particularly those who continue to work full or part-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online programs in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are frequently lower in cost than traditional alternatives. Tuition can be cheaper and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make certain, as with any school you are looking at, that the program you select is accredited by an approved organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can study in this type of independent environment, then obtaining your degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you intend to obtain your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start looking for Dauphin Island AL area schools and fine tuning your options. Since there are a large number of schools to select from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when assessing schools. Certainly cost is a significant consideration and you will need to enroll in a program that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already pointed out several others also, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those issues and more, below is a list of questions you might want to ask the colleges you are thinking about before making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have received one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. Among the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s important to make sure that the program and school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. Along with helping ensure that you receive a top notch education, it will also help in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Dauphin Island AL employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the School? As mentioned previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the college you select is important also. It’s especially crucial if you are entering the field with no relevant previous job history. With no previous experience, Dauphin Island AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can obtain school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other elements contributing to the educational programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be well respected for a specific degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Dauphin Island AL schools you are looking at. A low percentage may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit, 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 assistance program will help you get that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it also has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain positions after graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will probably consider when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or possibly board on campus, the school you pick will have to be within driving distance of your Dauphin Island AL residence. Of course attending online classes will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to go to a school outside of your resident state, you could be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community and junior colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the teachers. Big classes allow for little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a few classes prior to making your final decision. Speak with several of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Dauphin Island AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Dauphin Island AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Dauphin Island AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Dauphin Island area where your school campus will be located.
Dauphin Island, Alabama
Dauphin Island is a town in Mobile County, Alabama, United States, on a barrier island of the same name (split by the Katrina Cut), at the Gulf of Mexico. It incorporated in 1988. The population was 1,238 at the 2010 census. The town is included in the Mobile metropolitan area. The island (originally named "Massacre Island") was renamed for Louis XIV of France's great-grandson and heir, the dauphin, the future Louis XV of France. The name of the island is often mistaken as "Dolphin Island"; dauphin is "dolphin" in the French language.
The Gulf of Mexico is to the south of the island; the Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay are to the north. The island's eastern end helps define the mouth of Mobile Bay. The eastern, wider portion of the island is shaded by thick stands of pine trees and saw palmettos, but the narrow, western part of the island features scrub growth and few trees.
Dauphin Island is home to Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, The Estuarium public aquarium, the Dauphin Island Airport, boat ramps, a large public pier (that sits on dry land), historic sites, several restaurants, new condominium developments, and numerous private homes. Beaches attract tourism, and fishing is a popular activity in the waters around the island. The island is connected to the mainland by the Gordon Persons Bridge.
Select the Right Criminal Justice College near Dauphin Island AL
Making sure that you pick the right criminal justice college near Dauphin Island AL is essential to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care which school your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Attaining the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the ideal criminal justice school predicated upon your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you select both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, make certain that the college has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Certificate Online. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges 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 receive the proper training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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