Choosing the Right Criminal Justice College near Benson Arizona
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Benson Arizona. But after you have decided on the type of program you would like to work toward, just how do you go about picking a college that will offer the right training to help you realize your career objectives? Of course the college you select must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will no doubt begin by looking for schools that are nearby your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other issues that you should evaluate before making your final decision. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the school are critical factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will deal with these and other qualifications that you might wish to utilize in your vetting process when choosing the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees offered along with the benefits of attending online schools.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Benson AZ
As with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly required for various careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Benson AZ. There are four degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a 2 year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. More and more police departments are looking for applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available additional opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes in addition to attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a particular aspect of criminal justice. Along with the options provided with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for those interested in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered also. Usually taking anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for earning any one of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specialties to choose from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after watching countless episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV shows. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you need to select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Selecting a school and program that focuses on that specialty would obviously be the ideal decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be a good idea to research 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 Benson AZ 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. Even if a criminal justice school 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 extremely important to choose a major first before choosing a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Classes
Some prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, or they might just prefer the convenience of earning an online degree. In either case, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of colleges located within the USA that offer online degree programs much like the ones offered on-campus. And for a number of Benson AZ students, particularly those who continue working full or part-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online programs in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional advantage, online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition can be cheaper and costs for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure, as with any college you are looking at, that the program you enroll in 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 might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
By now you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you want to earn your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start looking for Benson AZ area schools and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are numerous schools to pick from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when analyzing schools. Certainly cost is a significant consideration and you will need to pick a college that is within your academic budget. And we have already pointed out a few others as well, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might want to ask the schools you are examining prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. Among the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through an extensive assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to confirm that the degree program and school you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. Along with helping assure that you receive an excellent education, it will also help in acquiring student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Benson AZ employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As stated previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is significant also. It’s especially crucial if you are entering the profession with no relevant prior work history. Without any prior experience, Benson AZ employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can find college rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other variables contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be well respected for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Benson AZ schools you are considering. A low rate may be an indication that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the course of study. It’s also imperative that the colleges have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you land that first crucial job after graduation that marks the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a substantial network of employers to assist students obtain positions after graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, one of the initial things you will probably look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will relocate or perhaps board on campus, the school you select will need to be within commuting distance of your Benson AZ home. Certainly attending online classes will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to attend a college not in 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 state or school district.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, going to small classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the teachers. Bigger classes afford little chance of getting one-on-one instruction if needed. One way to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a few classes before making your final determination. Speak with several of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You may also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Arizona criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s important to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Benson AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And ask 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 Benson AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Benson AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Benson area where your school campus will be located.
Benson is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, 45 miles (72 km) east-southeast of Tucson. It was founded as a rail terminal for the area, and still serves as such. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 5,105.
The city was founded in 1880 when the Southern Pacific Railroad came through. It was named after Judge William S. Benson, a friend of Charles Crocker, president of the Southern Pacific. The railroad, coming overland from California, chose the Benson site to cross the San Pedro River. Benson then served as a rail junction point to obtain ore and refined metal by wagon, in turn shipping rail freight back to the mines at Tombstone, Fairbank, Contention City and Bisbee. For example, the railhead in Benson was about 25 miles (40 km) from Tombstone, and was the closest rail connection to it until 1882, when a feeder line was laid from Benson to Contention City.
The railhead in Benson was founded about a mile from a traditional crossing of the upper San Pedro River (known also as the Middle Crossing), used by the Southern Emigrant Trail and San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line. It was the site of the San Pedro Station of the Butterfield Overland Mail and a wagon depot, the San Pedro River Station, run since 1871 by William Ohnesorgen. In 1878 he had erected a toll bridge over which mining supplies were transported to the new mining camps such as Fairbank and Tombstone. Two years later this bridge marked the location of the railroad bridge that became the terminal site of Benson.
Pick the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Benson AZ
Making sure that you select the right criminal justice school near Benson AZ is vital to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers care which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the best criminal justice school based on your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you pick 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 graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in The Best Criminal Justice Colleges. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at in order to narrow down your options and make the best choice. And when you have made the right decision, you will get the appropriate training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Arizona