How to Pick the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Marana Arizona
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Marana Arizona. But after you have selected the type of program you would like to work toward, just how do you go about picking a school that will provide the right training to help you realize your career goals? Naturally the institution you choose must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will probably start by looking for colleges that are near your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other considerations that you need to evaluate before making your final decision. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are important factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will deal with these and other criteria that you might wish to include in your vetting process when selecting the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors available along with the benefits of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Marana AZ
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 obtained advances, so increases the employment opportunities available in Marana AZ. There are four degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a 2 year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. More and more police departments are looking for candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally includes the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available more opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional 2 years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become specialists in a particular area of criminal justice. In addition to the options provided with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for students interested in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered as well. Typically requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for earning any of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specialties to choose from when considering which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after viewing countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you need to choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Selecting a school and program that specializes in that specialty would obviously be the best option toward that end. Possibly you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that scenario, it would be advisable to explore all of the degree options available from the numerous colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Marana AZ 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 have an interest in along with the school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first before choosing a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Degree Programs Online
Many students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their vicinity, or they might just prefer the flexibility of earning an online degree. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of schools domiciled within the USA that offer degree programs online similar to the ones offered on campus. And for a number of Marana AZ students, especially those who continue working part or full-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online programs in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are often more affordable than on campus alternatives. Tuition may be cheaper and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just verify, as with any college you are looking at, that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can learn in this kind of independent setting, then earning your degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
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 attending classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin looking for Marana AZ area colleges and fine tuning your options. Since there are numerous schools to pick from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s important to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when analyzing schools. Certainly cost is an important consideration and you will need to select a school that fits within your academic budget. And we have already addressed several others as well, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those issues and more, below is a list of questions you might want to ask the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Numerous criminal justice schools have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. Among the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s essential to verify that the degree program and school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it will also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Marana AZ employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As previously stated, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you enroll in is significant also. It’s especially crucial if you are going into the field with no relevant previous work history. With no prior experience, Marana AZ 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 consider the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other aspects contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation might still be highly regarded for a particular degree program that you might be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Marana AZ schools you are considering. A low rate might be an indicator that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the course of study. It’s also essential that the schools have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you land that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help affirm that the college has a good reputation within the industry, but that it also has a substantial network of contacts to assist students secure jobs upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Campuses Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, among the first things you will most likely consider when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or possibly board on campus, the college you select will have to be within driving distance of your Marana AZ residence. Certainly attending online classes will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to go to a college outside of your state of residence, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, attending small classes offers the option for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes provide little chance of getting personalized instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to audit a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Speak with some 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 ask what their experiences have been in the Arizona criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Marana AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And find out 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 Marana AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Marana AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Marana area where your school campus will be located.
Marana is a town in Pima County, Arizona, located northwest of Tucson, with a small portion in Pinal County. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 34,961. Marana was the fourth fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona of any size from 1990 to 2000.
According to historian David Leighton, the first member of the Anway family in the Tucson area was Charles B. Anway, who arrived as a result of contracting tuberculosis. In 1919, brother William and his two children Louis and Ila arrived in town but they decided to settle in an area northwest of Tucson called Postvale, Arizona. In 1920, William who had been widowed for many years married Orpha Ralston, who was a member for many years in the Postvale Co-operative Women's Club. This club was involved in getting the local post office renamed from Postvale to the area's first known name Marana and in time the town name became Marana.
The southern portion of Marana has grown considerably since the early 1990s with the addition of businesses and some housing, much of it due to annexation of existing unincorporated areas. In 1992, the Marana Town Council voted to annex an area of unincorporated Pima County that was located to the southeast of the town limits. The area selected was a narrow corridor of land that snaked its way south along Interstate 10, then to the east along Ina Road, and then south along Thornydale Road. These areas were mainly high density commercial businesses and shopping centers, including large retailers such as Super KMart (now closed), Costco Wholesale, Target, and Home Depot. The areas were selected by Marana to be annexed, by their own admission, for their sales tax revenue. The large residential areas behind these commercial areas were not annexed. As a result, the city of Tucson filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona in and for the County of Pima (City of Tucson v Town of Marana) claiming that Marana illegally annexed the unincorporated areas in violation of existing state laws. However, on April 4, 1994, Judge Lina Rodriguez ruled in favor of Marana, allowing the annexation to stand. Following this suit, the Arizona State annexation laws were changed, forbidding municipalities from annexing small strips of land without taking large surrounding parcels as well. A "strip annexation" is no longer allowed under Arizona law.
Pick the Best Criminal Justice School near Marana AZ
Making sure that you select the right criminal justice school near Marana AZ is essential to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers value which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Achieving the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the optimal criminal justice college predicated upon your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important that the school and degree program you choose both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, make certain that the school has a job placement program with a high success rate for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in BS In Criminal Justice. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your options and make the best selection. And when you have made the right decision, you will get the appropriate education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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