Selecting the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Hodges Alabama
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Hodges Alabama. But after you have decided on the kind of degree you want to work toward, just how do you go about choosing a college that will offer the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the school you choose must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly begin by looking for schools that are close to your home and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional considerations that you should examine before making your ultimate selection. For instance, the accreditation and reputation of the school are critical factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online degree program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will address these and other qualifications that you may want to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the best criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors offered along with the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Hodges AL
As with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently required for many positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Hodges AL. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a two year degree, it provides an introduction to such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education makes available additional opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional 2 years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become specialists in a specific area of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for those interested in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available as well. Typically taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for attaining any of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specialties to choose from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after watching numerous episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV programs. Or maybe you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you need to select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Selecting a school and program that focuses on that area would naturally be the best decision toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be a good idea to investigate all of the degree alternatives available from the numerous universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Hodges AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the college you have selected, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the school. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. 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 college in their region, or they might just want the flexibility of earning a degree online. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous colleges domiciled within the United States that offer degree programs online similar to those offered on campus. And for a number of Hodges AL students, particularly those who continue to work full or part-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online schools may make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are frequently lower in cost than on campus alternatives. Tuition can be lower and expenditures for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just verify, just like for any school you are reviewing, that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can learn in this type of independent setting, then obtaining your degree online may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin looking for Hodges 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 checklist of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating schools. Certainly cost is a significant factor and you will need to choose a college that fits within your academic budget. And we have already addressed a few others also, such as reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you might want to ask the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. Among the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through a rigorous screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s essential to verify that the program and college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping confirm that you get a top notch education, it will also aid in securing student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Hodges AL employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the school you enroll in is important also. It’s especially crucial if you are entering the field with no relevant prior employment history. Without any previous experience, Hodges AL employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can get school rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other factors contributing to the academic programs. Bear in mind that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation might still be highly respected for a specific degree program that you might have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Hodges AL colleges you are considering. A lower percentage may be a sign that students were disappointed with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help affirm that the college has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a sizable network of employers to assist students secure jobs after graduation.
How Far Away 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 perhaps live on campus, the college you select will need to be within driving distance of your Hodges AL residence. Naturally attending classes online will eliminate the need for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to attend a school outside of your resident state, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes provides the option for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes provide little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a couple of classes before making your ultimate decision. Speak with several of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Hodges AL, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Hodges AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Hodges AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Hodges area where your school campus will be located.
A community known as "Reid Brake" was established at what is now Hodges in the 1880s. The current town was established in 1907 as a stop along the Illinois Central Railroad and named for a prominent local family. The town incorporated in 1913, and reincorporated in 1919.
Hodges is located in southern Franklin County at 34°19′49″N 87°55′39″W / 34.33028°N 87.92750°W / 34.33028; -87.92750 (34.330242, -87.927394). The southern border of the town follows the Marion County line. Alabama State Route 172 passes through the town, leading northwest 9 miles (14 km) to Vina and southeast 7 miles (11 km) to Hackleburg. Alabama State Route 187 leads northeast from the center of Hodges 13 miles (21 km) to Belgreen.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.1 square miles (10.7 km2), of which 0.01 square miles (0.02 km2), or 0.15%, is water. The town sits on the Tennessee Valley Divide, with the east side draining to Bear Creek, a north-flowing tributary of the Tennessee River, and the west side draining via Skirum Branch to Bull Mountain Creek, a west-flowing tributary of the Tombigbee River. 2 miles (3 km) north of Hodges is Rock Bridge Canyon Park, on bluffs overlooking Bear Creek.
Select the Best Criminal Justice Degree Program near Hodges AL
Making sure that you select the ideal criminal justice college near Hodges AL is vital to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers value which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the best criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. In addition, verify 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 Online Schools For Criminal Justice Degrees. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice schools you are reviewing so that you can narrow down your choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will get the proper education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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