Selecting the Right Criminal Justice College near Graysville Alabama
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Graysville Alabama. But after you have decided on the type of degree you want to work toward, just how do you undertake selecting a school that will offer the proper training to help you achieve your career goals? Of course the school you select must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will probably begin by looking for schools that are close to your home and comparing the cost for each school. But there are additional considerations that you need to examine prior to making your ultimate choice. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the school are significant factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online training program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will discuss these and other criteria that you might wish to utilize in your vetting process when choosing the ideal criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees available along with the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Graysville AL
As with 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 advances, so increases the job opportunities available in Graysville AL. There are 4 degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally covers the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education creates additional options for such professions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional 2 years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a particular facet of criminal justice. In addition to the options offered with the lesser 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 finish, 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 course load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specialties to pick from when considering which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after watching numerous episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation shows. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you must pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Choosing a program and a school that specializes in that specialty would clearly be the best decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that situation, it would be advisable to investigate all of the degree alternatives offered from the numerous universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Graysville AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the school you have selected, investigate the degree program you have an interest in as well as the school. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is essential to decide on a major first prior to selecting a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs
Many prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their region, or they might just want the convenience of earning an online degree. In either case, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of schools domiciled within the United States that offer online degree programs similar to those offered on campus. And for many Graysville AL students, especially those who continue working full or part-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges may make them the sole option. And as an additional advantage, online colleges are often lower in cost than on-campus options. Tuition may be lower and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, as with any college you are considering, that the program you choose 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 learn in this type of independent environment, then obtaining your degree online may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
By now you have undoubtedly come to a decision 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 looking for Graysville AL area colleges and narrowing down your options. Because there are numerous colleges to select from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when evaluating colleges. Clearly cost is an important consideration and you will need to select a program that fits within your academic budget. And we have already pointed out a few others also, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you may wish to ask the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? A large number of criminal justice colleges have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. One of 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 an extensive screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s important to make sure that the program and school you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it will also aid in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Graysville AL employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the School? As mentioned previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is significant also. It’s particularly critical if you are entering the profession with no relevant prior work history. Without any previous experience, Graysville AL employers will be considering the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can get school reviews and rankings, 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 may still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you might be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Graysville AL schools you are looking at. A lower percentage may be an indicator that students were unhappy with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the colleges have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help validate that the college has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a sizable network of contacts to assist students in obtaining positions after graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, among the first things you will probably look at when searching for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or possibly live on campus, the school you select will have to be within driving distance of your Graysville AL home. Certainly attending online classes will remove the need for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to attend a school not in your resident state, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Junior and community colleges also often charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes offers the option for more interaction with the teachers. Larger classes provide little chance of getting one-on-one instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a couple of classes before making your final decision. Speak with some of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Graysville AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Graysville AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Graysville AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Graysville area where your school campus will be located.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, this city was called Gin Town. Because it had the only cotton gin for miles around, the community grew. It incorporated as Graysville initially in 1897. As the town grew, the need for businesses and houses of worship grew as well. One street over from this site, the Union Church was established in the early 1900s. All people of all denominations met and worshiped there as it was the only church for miles around. In 1927, the town charter was revoked on the grounds of "inactivity."
This city was reincorporated on November 17, 1945. The first meeting of the town council took place at the old school house on January 16, 1946. Later that year, the original city council established the Graysville Water Works system. In 1949, the city council established the Graysville Gas Board which eventually became the Graysville Municipal Gas System. During the 1950s and 1960s, the local coal mines and steel mills attracted families from all over Alabama. As a result of this growth, Graysville established the City’s first series of home developments and subdivisions. During the 1980s and 1990s, Graysville expanded its city limits by annexing multiple acres in what was then unincorporated in Jefferson County.
Graysville is located at 33°37′37″N 86°57′44″W / 33.62694°N 86.96222°W / 33.62694; -86.96222 (33.626955, -86.962255). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.3 square miles (16 km2), all land.
Select the Best Criminal Justice College near Graysville AL
Making certain that you pick the right criminal justice school near Graysville AL is essential to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers care which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the ideal criminal justice college predicated upon your career objectives. 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. In addition, make certain 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 Major Classes. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze 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 best decision, you will get the proper training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Alabama