How to Select the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Pike Road Alabama
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Pike Road Alabama. But after you have chosen the kind of program you want to pursue, just how do you undertake selecting a college that will offer the right training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the college you select must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will probably start by looking for colleges that are close to your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional points that you must investigate before making your ultimate choice. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are significant factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other qualifications that you may want to utilize in your vetting process when choosing the best criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the advantages of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Pike Road AL
Similar to most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly required for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Pike Road AL. There are 4 degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a 2 year degree, it provides an overview of such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. More and more police departments are looking for candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education makes available additional options 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 obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a particular area of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for individuals interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered also. Usually taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for attaining any one of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are a number of specializations to choose from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after watching countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV programs. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you need to select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Enrolling in a program and a school that focuses on that specialty would obviously be the ideal option 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 options available from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Pike Road 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 have an interest in along with the school. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation in general does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to decide on a major first before choosing a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Colleges
Many prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their vicinity, or they might just want the independence 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 degree programs online much like the ones offered on campus. And for many Pike Road AL students, particularly those who continue working full or part-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online programs in many cases make them the only option. And as an additional advantage, online schools are often more affordable than on-campus options. Tuition may be cheaper and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure, as with any college you are considering, 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 dedicated, and can learn in this type of unsupervised setting, then obtaining your degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
At this point you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin looking for Pike Road AL area colleges and narrowing down your options. Since there are numerous schools to select from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when evaluating colleges. Naturally cost is a significant factor and you will need to pick a college that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already discussed several others also, such as reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have received one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. 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 an extensive screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to make sure that the program and school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it will also assist in securing student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Pike Road AL employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As stated previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the college you attend is important as well. It’s particularly crucial if you are entering the field with no relevant prior employment history. With no previous experience, Pike Road AL employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can find school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other elements contributing to the academic programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be highly respected for a specific degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Pike Road AL colleges you are considering. A lower rate may be an indicator that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the course of study. It’s also important that the schools have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help verify that the school has a good reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a large network of contacts to assist students secure positions 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 searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps board on campus, the college you choose will have to be within driving distance of your Pike Road AL residence. Of course attending online classes will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to attend a school not in your resident state, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also usually charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes provides the option for more interaction with the teachers. Big classes provide little chance of receiving individualized instruction if needed. One method to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Speak with some of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You may also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pike Road AL, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Pike Road AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Pike Road AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Pike Road area where your school campus will be located.
Pike Road, Alabama
Pike Road is a town in Montgomery County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2000 census, the population of the town was 310. The 2010 census indicated a population of 5,406. It is part of the Montgomery metropolitan area.
The current town council members are: Chris Dunn, Angie Bradsher, Betsy Atkins, Leroy Tolliver and Rob Steindorff. The Pike Road Town Council meets at 7:00 p.m. on the second Monday of each month as well as the fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:00 a.m. Meetings are held in the council chamber at Pike Road Town Hall (9575 Vaughn Road).
By the time of the 2010 census, there were 5,406 people residing in Pike Road with the town now having 1,933 households, and 1606 families. The town's population grew almost 20-fold since the 2000 census, making it one of the fastest growing incorporated places in Alabama with a population of over 5,000 in 2010. Population is 8,777 as of 2016.
Enroll in the Best Criminal Justice School near Pike Road AL
Making sure that you pick the ideal criminal justice school near Pike Road AL is essential to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers respect which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Attaining the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the ideal criminal justice college predicated upon your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s imperative that the college and degree program you decide on both are accredited and have excellent reputations. In addition, verify that the college 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 Law Enforcement Degree. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing in order to narrow down your options and make the right selection. And when you have made the right 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 Alabama