Picking the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Jackson Alabama
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Jackson Alabama. But after you have decided on the type of degree you want to pursue, just how do you tackle selecting a college that will provide the right training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the school you pick must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly start by searching for colleges that are near your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional considerations that you should investigate prior to making your ultimate selection. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are significant factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then locating 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 wish to utilize in your vetting process when picking the ideal 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 online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Jackson AL
Just like with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently required for many positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the employment opportunities available in Jackson AL. There are four degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a two year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for 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 extensively. The more comprehensive education creates additional 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 makes it possible for students to become specialists in a particular aspect of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And finally, for individuals with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available as well. Usually 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 earning any of the four degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are many specialties to choose from when considering which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after watching countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to choose a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Selecting a school and program that specializes in that area would certainly be the best decision toward that end. Possibly you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be best to investigate all of the degree alternatives offered from the numerous universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Jackson AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the college you have selected, investigate the degree program you are interested in as well as the college. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first before picking a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Degree Programs Online
Many prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their vicinity, or they may just want the convenience of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of colleges located within the United States that provide degree programs online similar to those offered on campus. And for many Jackson AL students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online programs in many cases make them the sole option. And as an added benefit, online schools are often more affordable than on campus alternatives. Tuition can be cheaper and expenditures for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure, as with any school you are considering, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can study in this type of unsupervised environment, then obtaining your degree online might be the best alternative for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
By now you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start looking for Jackson AL area schools and narrowing down your options. Since there are so many schools to choose from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when reviewing colleges. Obviously cost is an important factor and you will need to choose a college that is within your academic budget. And we have already mentioned a few others also, such as accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are examining prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Numerous criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. One of 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 course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to make sure that the degree program and college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. Along with helping assure that you get an excellent education, it will also help in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many Jackson AL employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you select is important also. It’s particularly crucial if you are going into the profession with no relevant previous employment history. With no prior experience, Jackson AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can obtain college rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other aspects contributing to the academic programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be well regarded for a specific degree program that you might be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Jackson AL schools you are reviewing. A lower percentage may be an indicator that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the schools have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you land that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it also has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain jobs after graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we mentioned at the opening of this article, one of the initial things you will probably consider when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or possibly live on campus, the college you enroll in will need to be within commuting distance of your Jackson AL home. Naturally attending online classes will eliminate the need for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to go to a college outside of your resident state, you may be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Junior and community colleges also often charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, going to small classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes provide little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One way to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a few classes before making your final determination. Speak with some of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Jackson AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Jackson AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Jackson AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Jackson area where your school campus will be located.
Alvin Neill Jackson (December 26, 1935 – August 19, 2019), affectionately referred to as "Little" Al Jackson, was a left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1959 to 1969. His 43 wins with the New York Mets were the franchise record until Tom Seaver eased past the mark in 1969.
Listed at 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m), 169 pounds (77 kg), Jackson was born in Waco, Texas, and attended Wiley College. He was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1955 but his first regular major league experience came as a member of the inaugural 1962 New York Mets. As a starting pitcher, he posted an 8–20 record that year. The 40–120 record of those 1962 Mets continues to be the most losses by a Major League team in a single season since the 19th Century. On August 14, 1962, Jackson pitched a complete game 3–1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies in 4 hours 35 minutes – the longest complete game in terms of playing time in Major League history.
After three more seasons of sixteen or more losses with the Mets, including a second 8–20 campaign, Jackson was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ken Boyer. In 1966, his first year in St. Louis, Jackson had his best season in the majors. He was sixth in the National League in earned run average and ninth in complete games. Unfortunately for Jackson, he also lost fifteen games and, the next year, was used more as a relief pitcher. Those 15 losses gave him a five-year streak of at least 15 losses—the record since 1900 is six. Despite going 9–4 in 1967, he did not see action in the 1967 World Series. Still, as a member of the world champion Cardinals, he earned a World Series ring.
Find the Ideal Criminal Justice Degree Program near Jackson AL
Making certain that you choose the ideal criminal justice school near Jackson AL is crucial to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers respect which school your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Attaining the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the best criminal justice school predicated upon your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s imperative that the school and degree program you choose both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Also, verify that the school has a job placement 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 analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the right decision, you will receive the appropriate training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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