Picking the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Enterprise Alabama
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Enterprise Alabama. But after you have selected the kind of degree you would like to pursue, just how do you undertake choosing a school that will offer the proper training to help you realize your career goals? Of course the college you select must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will probably begin by searching for schools that are close to your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are other factors that you must evaluate before making your final decision. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the college are important factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your search process. We will discuss 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 degrees and majors offered as well as the benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Enterprise AL
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 obtained advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Enterprise AL. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a 2 year degree, it offers an overview of such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial court system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education makes available more options for such positions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional 2 years of classes in addition to obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a specific facet of criminal justice. In addition to the options offered with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for students with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available as well. Usually requiring anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for obtaining any of the four degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors Offered
There are numerous specialties to choose from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after viewing numerous episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being 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 prepare and qualify you for that job. Selecting a school and program that focuses on that specialty would certainly be the best decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that scenario, it would be best to explore all of the degree alternatives available from the various universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Enterprise AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the school you have decided on, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the college. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first before picking a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Schools
Many prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they may just prefer the independence of earning an online degree. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of colleges domiciled within the USA that offer degree programs online much like the ones offered on campus. And for a number of Enterprise AL students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online schools may make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are often more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Tuition can be lower and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, just like for any school you are looking at, that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized organization, such as 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 obtaining your degree online might be the best alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you want to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin searching for Enterprise AL area colleges and fine tuning your options. Since there are a large number of colleges to pick from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating colleges. Naturally cost is a significant consideration and you will need to choose a program that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already discussed a few others as well, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? Numerous criminal justice schools have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional 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 degree program and school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it will also help in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Enterprise AL employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As previously stated, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you choose is important as well. It’s particularly critical if you are entering the field with no relevant prior employment history. With no prior experience, Enterprise AL employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can obtain school rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the educational programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be highly regarded for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Enterprise AL schools you are considering. A lower percentage might be an indicator that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the course of study. It’s also essential 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 denotes the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a sizable network of employers to assist students in obtaining jobs after graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we discussed at the beginning 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 decided that you will move or possibly board on campus, the college you choose will have to be within commuting distance of your Enterprise AL residence. Naturally attending online classes will eliminate the need for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to go to 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 they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, attending smaller classes offers the option for more interaction with the teachers. Big classes afford little chance of receiving individualized instruction if needed. One method to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a few classes prior to making your final determination. Speak with several of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Enterprise AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Enterprise AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Enterprise AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Enterprise area where your school campus will be located.
Enterprise is a city in the southeastern part of Coffee County and the southwestern part of Dale County in the southeastern part of Alabama in the Southern United States. The population was 26,562 at the 2010 census. Enterprise is the primary city of the Enterprise Micropolitan Statistical Area (with the portion of the city located in Dale County part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area), and is also part of the Dothan-Enterprise-Ozark Combined Statistical Area.
Enterprise is famous for the Boll Weevil Monument, a large monument of a woman holding a boll weevil, which is located in the middle of Main Street. The city erected the statue because the destruction of the cotton crop by the boll weevil had led to agricultural diversity, starting with peanuts and more prosperity than had ever come from cotton alone. It is said to be the only statue to an insect pest in the world. Enterprise is right outside Fort Rucker, an Army base which is the home of Army Aviation.
The founder of Enterprise, John Henry Carmichael, first settled there in 1881. Carmichael opened a store, which attracted more settlers to the area, and by the next year a post office was relocated from the settlement of Drake Eye to the north to Enterprise. In 1896, with 250 people having settled there, the city of Enterprise incorporated. Soon afterward, the Alabama Midland Railway came to Enterprise, bringing with it opportunities for commerce and growth. By 1906, ten years after the city incorporated, its population had grown to 3,750.
Select the Right Criminal Justice School near Enterprise AL
Making certain that you choose the right criminal justice program near Enterprise AL is essential to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers respect which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Achieving the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing 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 choose both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, confirm that the school has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Best Criminal Justice Programs. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at in order to narrow down your options and make the right selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will receive the proper education so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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