Picking the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Tok Alaska
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Tok Alaska. But after you have decided on the kind of degree you would like to pursue, just how do you undertake picking a school that will provide the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the institution you pick must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly begin by searching for schools that are close to your home and comparing the cost for each school. But there are other considerations that you must examine before making your final choice. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college are important factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will deal with these and other criteria that you might want to include in your vetting process when picking the best criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Tok AK
As with most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently required for various careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Tok AK. There are 4 degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a 2 year degree, it offers an overview of such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree normally covers the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education creates more opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become specialists in a specific area of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities provided with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And finally, for students interested in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available also. Typically requiring anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for attaining any of the 4 degrees will depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are numerous specialties to select from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after watching numerous episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you must select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Selecting a school and program that specializes in that specialty would naturally be the ideal option toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that case, it would be advisable to investigate 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 Tok AK area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the school you have selected, research the degree program you are interested in along with the college. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is essential to decide on a major first before choosing a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs
Many prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their vicinity, or they may just want the independence of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of schools domiciled within the United States that offer degree programs online similar to the ones offered on campus. And for many Tok AK students, especially those who continue to work full or part-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online programs in many cases make them the only option. And as an added benefit, online schools are frequently lower in cost than traditional alternatives. Tuition can be cheaper and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just verify, just like for any school you are reviewing, that the program you select is accredited by an approved organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can learn in this kind of unsupervised setting, then obtaining your degree online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
At this point you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you intend to earn your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start looking for Tok AK area colleges and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are a large number of schools to pick from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating schools. Certainly cost is a significant factor and you will need to pick a program that fits within your academic budget. And we have already addressed a few others also, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those issues and more, below is a list of questions you might want to ask the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have acquired one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. One of 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 assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to verify that the degree program and college you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it will also assist in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Tok AK employers have a preference for graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As previously mentioned, together with accreditation the reputation of the college you choose is significant as well. It’s particularly critical if you are entering the profession with no relevant prior work history. Without any previous experience, Tok AK employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can find school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other elements contributing to the academic programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be well respected for a particular degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Tok AK colleges you are looking at. A low percentage may be a sign that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the colleges have job assistance programs with higher 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 high placement rate will not only help affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a substantial network of employers to help students in obtaining positions upon graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, one of the first things you will most likely look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or possibly live on campus, the school you choose will have to be within commuting distance of your Tok AK residence. Of course attending classes online will remove the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you opt to go to 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 they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, attending small classes offers the opportunity for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes provide little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a couple of classes before making your ultimate determination. Talk to some of the students and ask 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 experiences have been in the Alaska criminal justice field.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Tok AK, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Tok AK?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Tok AK, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Tok area where your school campus will be located.
Tok lies on a large, flat alluvial plain of the Tanana Valley between the Tanana River and the Alaska Range at an important junction of the Alaska Highway (Alaska Route 2) with the Glenn Highway (Alaska Route 1). According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 132.3 square miles (343 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,393 people, 534 households, and 372 families residing in the census designated place (CDP). The population density was 10.5 people per square mile (6.1/km²). There were 748 housing units at an average density of 5.7 per square mile (2.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 78.03% White, 0.14% Black or African American, 12.85% Native American, 0.43% Asian, 0.93% from other races, and 7.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.08% of the population.
There were 534 households out of which 39.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.7% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.3% were non-families. 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.12.
Find the Right Criminal Justice College near Tok AK
Making sure that you enroll in the right criminal justice college near Tok AK 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 also. Attaining the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career starts with picking the right criminal justice college based on your career goals. 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. Additionally, verify 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 Universities That Offer 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 choices and make the right choice. 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.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Alaska