Choosing the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Mobile Alabama
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Mobile Alabama. But after you have decided on the type of degree you would like to pursue, just how do you go about picking a college that will provide the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Of course the college you choose must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will probably start by looking for colleges that are nearby your home and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are other issues that you must evaluate prior to making your final decision. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are significant factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer as opposed to 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 might wish to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the ideal criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Mobile AL
Just like with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly needed 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 Mobile AL. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a two year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree normally addresses 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 after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a particular area of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities provided with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for students interested in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available as well. Generally requiring anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for attaining any one of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specializations to select from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after viewing numerous episodes of the different crime scene investigation shows. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to select a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Choosing a school and program that specializes in that area would clearly be the ideal option toward that end. Possibly you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that case, it would be advisable to explore all of the degree options available from the numerous universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Mobile 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, investigate the degree program you are interested in along with the college. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is essential to choose a major first before choosing a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Colleges
Many prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their vicinity, or they may just want the flexibility of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There many colleges domiciled within the USA that offer online degree programs similar to those offered on campus. And for many Mobile AL students, particularly those who continue to work part or full-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are often more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Tuition may be lower and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure, as with any school you are considering, that the program you enroll in 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 type of unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online might be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you want to obtain your degree online or by going to classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin looking for Mobile AL area colleges and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are so many schools to pick from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing colleges. Naturally cost is an important factor and you will need to choose a school that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already pointed out several others as well, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might want to ask the colleges you are examining prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? Numerous 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). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through a rigorous screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s important to confirm that the program and school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it will also aid in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, a number of Mobile AL employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As previously stated, together with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is significant also. It’s particularly critical if you are entering the field with no relevant previous employment history. With no previous experience, Mobile 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 obtain school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other aspects contributing to the academic programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be well respected for a particular degree program that you may have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Mobile AL colleges you are considering. A lower percentage may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out, 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 placement program will help you obtain that first crucial job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it also has a sizable network of contacts to assist students in obtaining jobs upon graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, among the first things you will most likely consider when looking for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or possibly live on campus, the college you choose will have to be within commuting distance of your Mobile AL residence. Of course attending classes online will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to bear 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 colleges and universities. Junior and community colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes allow for little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a few classes before making your ultimate determination. Talk to several of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, speak with 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 Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Mobile AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Mobile AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Mobile AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Mobile area where your school campus will be located.
Mobile (/moʊˈbiːl/ moh-BEEL; French pronunciation: [mɔ.bil]) is the county seat of Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 as of the 2010 United States Census, making it the third most populous city in Alabama, the most populous in Mobile County, and the largest municipality on the Gulf Coast between New Orleans, Louisiana, and St. Petersburg, Florida.
Alabama's only saltwater port, Mobile is located on the Mobile River at the head of the Mobile Bay and the north-central Gulf Coast. The Port of Mobile has always played a key role in the economic health of the city, beginning with the settlement as an important trading center between the French colonists and Native Americans, down to its current role as the 12th-largest port in the United States.
Mobile is the principal municipality of the Mobile metropolitan area. This region of 412,992 residents is composed solely of Mobile County; it is the third-largest metropolitan statistical area in the state. Mobile is the largest city in the Mobile-Daphne−Fairhope CSA, with a total population of 604,726, the second largest in the state. As of 2011[update], the population within a 60-mile (100 km) radius of Mobile is 1,262,907.
Pick the Best Criminal Justice College near Mobile AL
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice college near Mobile AL is essential to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers care which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the ideal criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you select both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Also, make sure that the school has a job placement program with a strong track record for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Colleges That Offer Criminal Justice Degrees. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will be able to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your choices and make the best choice. And when you have made the correct decision, you will receive the appropriate education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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