How to Pick the Right Criminal Justice School near Goodyear Arizona
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Goodyear Arizona. But once you have decided on the type of degree you would like to pursue, just how do you go about selecting a school that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the institution you choose must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will probably begin by looking for colleges that are nearby your home and comparing the cost for each school. But there are additional factors that you must investigate prior to making your final choice. For instance, the accreditation and reputation of the college are important factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your search process. We will deal with these and other qualifications that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors available along with the advantages of attending online schools.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Goodyear AZ
As with many other professions, criminal justice degrees 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 Goodyear AZ. There are four degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a 2 year degree, it offers an overview of such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates more opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional two years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a particular area of criminal justice. Along with the options offered with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for students interested in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered also. Generally requiring anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for obtaining any of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors Offered
There are a number of specializations to choose from when considering which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after watching numerous episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV shows. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being 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 job. Selecting a school and program that specializes in that specialty would clearly be the best decision toward that end. Possibly you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be best to investigate 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 Goodyear AZ 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, investigate the degree program you are interested in along with the college. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first before selecting a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Schools Online
Many students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they might just prefer the flexibility of earning a degree online. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous colleges located within the USA that provide online degree programs much like those offered on-campus. And for many Goodyear AZ students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online programs may make them the only option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are often lower in cost than on campus alternatives. Tuition may be cheaper and costs for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, as with any school you are looking at, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an approved agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can learn in this type of independent setting, then obtaining your degree online may be the best alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
At this point you have undoubtedly 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 begin looking for Goodyear AZ area schools 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 imperative to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when evaluating colleges. Clearly cost is an important factor and you will need to select a college that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed several others also, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you might want to ask the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? Numerous criminal justice colleges have obtained one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. Among 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 teachers and course of instruction. It’s imperative to make sure that the degree program and college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. Along with helping assure that you get a top notch education, it will also help in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Goodyear AZ employers have a preference for graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the college you select is significant as well. It’s especially crucial if you are going into the profession with no relevant prior job history. With no previous experience, Goodyear AZ employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can obtain school rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the academic programs. Bear in mind that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you might be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Goodyear AZ schools you are looking at. A low rate might be an indicator that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the course of study. It’s also important that the colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first crucial job after graduation that marks the start of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a substantial network of employers to assist students obtain positions after graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, among the first things you will probably look at when looking for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or perhaps board on campus, the school you enroll in will need to be within commuting distance of your Goodyear AZ residence. Naturally attending online classes will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you opt to go to a college not in your resident state, you might be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially 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 Big are the Classes? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the teachers. Large classes provide little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Speak with several of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Arizona criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Goodyear AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Goodyear AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Goodyear area where your school campus will be located.
Goodyear (O'odham: Valin Thak) is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is a suburb of Phoenix and at the 2010 census had a population of 65,275, the third fastest-growing city in Arizona between 1990 and 2000. The 2015 population estimate was 79,003.
In 2008, Goodyear won the All-America City Award, sponsored by the National Civic League. The city is named after the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. The company cultivated extensive farmland here to grow cotton for use in their tires.
Goodyear was established in 1917 with the purchase of 16,000 acres (65 km2) of land by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company to cultivate cotton for vehicle tire cords. World War II was important to Goodyear in the 1940s as the current Phoenix Goodyear Airport was built, but after the war, the economy suffered. Goodyear became a town on November 19, 1946. At the time, it had 151 homes and 250 apartments, a grocery store, a barber shop, beauty shop and a gas station.
Pick the Ideal Criminal Justice College near Goodyear AZ
Making certain that you pick the ideal criminal justice school near Goodyear AZ is crucial to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers respect which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Attaining the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the best criminal justice college based on your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the college and degree program you pick both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, confirm that the college has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Master Degrees. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing so that you can narrow down your options and make the best choice. And when you have made the right decision, you will receive the appropriate training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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