Selecting the Right Criminal Justice School near Walnut Grove Alabama
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Walnut Grove Alabama. But after you have selected the kind of program you would like to work toward, just how do you undertake picking a school that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the school you choose must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will probably begin by looking for schools that are nearby your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other considerations that you should investigate before making your final selection. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the school are critical factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other qualifications that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when picking the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees offered along with the benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Walnut Grove AL
Similar to many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently needed for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the employment opportunities available in Walnut Grove AL. There are 4 degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it provides an overview of such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. More and more police departments are looking for candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree typically covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education makes available more options for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a specific aspect of criminal justice. Along with the options afforded with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for individuals with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered also. Typically requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for attaining any of the four degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are numerous specializations to select from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after enjoying numerous episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV shows. 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 select a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Enrolling in a program and a school that focuses on that specialty would clearly be the ideal decision toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be best to explore all of the degree options available from the various universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Walnut Grove AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the program you have chosen, investigate the degree program you are interested in as well as the college. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first prior to selecting a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Schools Online
Many prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they may just want the convenience of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There many colleges located within the United States that offer online degree programs similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for many Walnut Grove AL students, particularly those who continue to work part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online schools in many cases make them the only option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are often more affordable than on campus options. Tuition can be lower and costs for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just make certain, as with any school you are considering, 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 dedicated, and can learn in this kind of independent environment, then obtaining your degree online may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
By now you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you intend to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start looking for Walnut Grove AL area schools and fine tuning your options. Because there are so many schools to pick from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s important to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when reviewing schools. Obviously cost is a significant consideration and you will need to enroll in a school that fits within your academic budget. And we have already mentioned a few others also, such as reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may wish to ask the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have received one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. One of the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through an extensive screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to verify that the degree program and school you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it will also help in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Walnut Grove AL employers are looking for graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is significant as well. It’s especially critical if you are getting in the field with no relevant prior work history. Without any prior experience, Walnut Grove AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can find school rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Walnut Grove AL colleges you are reviewing. A lower percentage 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 imperative that the colleges have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you land that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help confirm that the college has a good reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a considerable network of contacts to assist students secure positions upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, among the first things you will probably consider when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will relocate or perhaps live on campus, the college you choose will have to be within driving distance of your Walnut Grove AL home. Of course attending classes online will remove the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to attend a school not in your state of residence, 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 school district or state.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Big classes allow for little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a couple of classes before making your ultimate decision. Speak with some of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, talk to 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 Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Walnut Grove AL, check that they are available 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 in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Walnut Grove AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Walnut Grove AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Walnut Grove area where your school campus will be located.
Walnut Grove, Alabama
Walnut Grove is a town in Etowah County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 698. From 1880 until the 1960 U.S. Census, with the exclusion of 1890 when no figure was reported, Walnut Grove had the distinction of being the least populated community wholly within Etowah County. It lost that distinction in 1970 to newly incorporated Ridgeville which has held the title since.
Walnut Grove was part of Blount County before it was included in Baine County (now Etowah) in 1866. Walnut Grove was settled by the Battles family in 1813, the Morton family, and the Carnes family (namesake of the Carnes Chapel area near the ghost town of Bennettsville off of US 278) in 1823. Around 1825, the town was known as "Thomas Crossroads", after landowner Jordan D. Thomas. In 1848, the town was named "Cornelius", after postmaster Harvey Cornelius. In 1849, it was renamed "Walnut Grove".
The first college preparatory school for males and females in northeast Alabama was established by act of Legislature in 1884. The Walnut Grove College ran for 15 years, and during the college's peak the town had grown to have 13 stores, including a drug store with a soda fountain. The Walnut Grove College closed in 1899 as high schools were being established in Etowah County.
Find the Best Criminal Justice College near Walnut Grove AL
Making sure that you enroll in the right criminal justice school near Walnut Grove AL is crucial to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the ideal criminal justice college predicated upon your career goals. As we have addressed 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 graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Good Schools For Criminal Justice. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are considering so that you can narrow down your options and make the right selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will receive the proper training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Alabama