How to Choose the Right Criminal Justice College near Petersburg Alaska
So you have decided to earn a criminal justice degree near Petersburg Alaska. But once you have selected the kind of program you want to pursue, just how do you tackle choosing a college that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career goals? Of course the institution you select must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will probably start by searching for schools that are nearby your home and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are other issues that you need to evaluate prior to making your ultimate decision. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are critical factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online training program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will deal with these and other qualifications that you may want 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 degrees and majors available along with the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Petersburg AK
As with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly needed for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Petersburg AK. There are four degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it provides an overview of such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial court system. More and more police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree typically includes the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education creates additional opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional 2 years of classes in addition to earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become specialists in a particular facet of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for those with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available as well. Generally taking anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for attaining any one of the four degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specialties to choose from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after enjoying numerous episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV programs. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you must pick a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Enrolling in a school and program that specializes in that area would obviously be the best decision 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 best to explore all of the degree options offered from the various universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Petersburg AK area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the program you have selected, research the degree program you have an interest in as well as the school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to decide on a major first before choosing a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Schools Online
Some prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their region, or they may just want the convenience of earning an online degree. In either case, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous colleges domiciled within the USA that provide degree programs online similar to the ones offered on campus. And for a number of Petersburg AK students, particularly those who continue working full or part-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online schools in many cases make them the only option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are often more affordable than on-campus options. Tuition can be cheaper and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure, just like for any college you are looking at, that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can study in this kind of independent environment, then earning your degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
By now you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you want to obtain your degree online or by going to classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start searching for Petersburg AK area colleges and fine tuning your options. Because there are so many colleges to pick from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing colleges. Certainly cost is a significant factor and you will need to select a school that is within your academic budget. And we have already pointed out a few others also, such as reputation, location and accreditation. To help you address those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are examining before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. 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 confirm that the program and school you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. In addition to helping assure that you obtain a quality education, it will also aid in securing student loans or financial aid, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Petersburg AK employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As previously stated, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you select is significant as well. It’s particularly critical if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior work history. Without any prior experience, Petersburg AK employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can find college rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other elements contributing to the educational programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation might still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Petersburg AK schools you are looking at. A low rate may be an indicator 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 schools have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the starting point 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 additionally has a substantial network of contacts to help students secure jobs upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, among the initial things you will most likely look at when searching for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps board on campus, the school you enroll in will need to be within driving distance of your Petersburg AK home. Certainly attending classes online will remove the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to go to a school not in your state of residence, you may be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community and junior colleges also often 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, attending smaller classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes provide little chance of getting personalized instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a couple of classes before making your ultimate determination. Speak with some of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the Alaska criminal justice field.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Petersburg AK, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Petersburg AK?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Petersburg AK, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Petersburg area where your school campus will be located.
Petersburg (Tlingit: Gantiyaakw Séedi "Steamboat Channel") is a census-designated place (CDP) in Petersburg Borough, Alaska, United States. The population was 2,948 at the 2010 census, down from 3,224 in 2000.
The borough encompasses Petersburg and Kupreanof, plus mostly uninhabited areas stretching to the Canadian–American border and the southern boundary of the City and Borough of Juneau. While the city of Petersburg ceased to exist as a separate administrative entity (the borough assembly created a service area to assume operation of the former city's services), the tiny city of Kupreanof remains separate within the borough.
Tlingits from Kupreanof Island had long used a summer fish camp at the north end of Mitkof Island. Earlier cultures of indigenous people also used the island: remnants of fish traps and some petroglyphs have been carbon-dated back some 1,000 years.
Select the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Petersburg AK
Making sure that you select the right criminal justice program near Petersburg AK is crucial to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers care which school your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career starts with picking the optimal criminal justice college based on your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you decide on both are accredited and have excellent reputations. In addition, make sure that the college has a job assistance program with a high success rate for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Best 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 considering so that you can narrow down your options and make the best selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the appropriate education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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