Choosing the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Andalusia Alabama
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Andalusia Alabama. But after you have chosen the kind of program you would like to pursue, just how do you undertake choosing a college that will offer the right training to help you realize your career objectives? Of course the school you pick must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly begin by searching for schools that are near your home and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional factors that you need to examine prior to making your ultimate selection. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are critical factors also. 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 similarly be a part of your search process. We will cover these and other criteria that you may wish to include in your vetting process when choosing the right 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 advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Andalusia AL
Similar to many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently needed for many positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities available in Andalusia AL. There are four degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a two year degree, it provides an introduction to such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. More and more police departments are seeking applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree typically covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education creates more opportunities 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 in addition to earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a specific aspect of criminal justice. In addition to the options offered with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for those interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered as well. Usually requiring anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for obtaining any one of the four degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specializations to select from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after enjoying numerous episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV shows. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you need to select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Enrolling in a school and program that focuses on that area would certainly be the best option toward that end. Maybe you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be advisable to investigate all of the degree alternatives available from the numerous universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Andalusia AL area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the college you have selected, research the degree program you are interested in along with the school. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation in general does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first prior to choosing a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Degree Programs Online
A number of students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they might just prefer the independence of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous schools located within the United States that offer degree programs online much like those offered on campus. And for a number of Andalusia AL students, especially those who continue working full or part-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online programs may make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are frequently more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Tuition may be lower 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 reviewing, that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can study in this type of independent setting, then earning your degree online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
At this point you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you intend to obtain your degree online or by going to classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin searching for Andalusia AL area schools and fine tuning your options. Since there are so many schools to choose from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when evaluating schools. Naturally cost is a significant factor and you will need to pick a program that is within your academic budget. And we have already pointed out a few others as well, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you might want to ask the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have earned 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 an extensive assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to confirm that the program and college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. In addition to helping ensure that you get a top notch education, it will also help in acquiring student loans or financial aid, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Andalusia AL employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As stated previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you attend is important also. It’s particularly critical if you are entering the field with no relevant previous employment history. Without any previous experience, Andalusia AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can find college reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other variables contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be highly respected for a specific degree program that you might have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Andalusia AL colleges you are reviewing. A low percentage might be a sign that students were unhappy 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 placement programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help substantiate that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a large network of employers to assist students in obtaining positions upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Campuses Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, one of the initial things you will probably look at when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps live on campus, the school you pick will have to be within commuting distance of your Andalusia AL home. Naturally attending online classes will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to attend a college not in your state of residence, you may be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, attending small classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the teachers. Large classes allow for little chance of receiving individualized instruction if needed. One method to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a few classes before making your final determination. Talk to several of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Andalusia AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Andalusia AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Andalusia AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Andalusia area where your school campus will be located.
Andalusia was first settled in 1841 after flooding of the Conecuh River and the surrounding lowlands forced citizens to move to higher ground. The county seat was moved from Montezuma to Andalusia in 1844. The new town was originally called "New Site" but was known as Andalusia by the time a post office was established in 1846.
Andalusia, likely got its name from Spanish explorers or settlers since the land where the town is located was part of Spanish Florida until Pinckney's Treaty in 1795. Prior to this treaty, the Spanish Empire claimed all land up to 32.22 degrees north, which would include present day Andalusia which is at 31.31 degrees north. Andalusia shares the name of Andalusia, a large southern autonomous community of Spain.
Andalusia is located slightly northwest of the center of Covington County at 31°18′N 86°29′W / 31.300°N 86.483°W / 31.300; -86.483 (31.309, -86.479). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.8 square miles (51.3 km2), of which 19.7 square miles (50.9 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 0.79%, is water.
Find the Ideal Criminal Justice College near Andalusia AL
Making certain that you pick the ideal criminal justice college near Andalusia AL is vital to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers care which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the right criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s imperative that the school and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. In addition, confirm that the school has a job placement program with a high success rate for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Best Criminal Justice Schools. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice schools you are reviewing so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the correct decision, you will receive the appropriate education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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