Choosing the Right Criminal Justice College near Clanton Alabama
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Clanton Alabama. But after you have selected the kind of degree you want to pursue, just how do you undertake selecting a school that will provide the right training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the institution you select must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt start by searching for schools that are close to your home and comparing the cost for each school. But there are additional issues that you must examine prior to making your ultimate selection. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are important factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online degree program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will deal with these and other criteria that you may wish to include in your vetting process when picking the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors offered along with the benefits of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Clanton AL
As with most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently needed for a number of careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Clanton AL. There are 4 degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a two year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available additional opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional 2 years of classes after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become specialists in a particular facet of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for those interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available as well. Typically taking 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 attaining any of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are numerous specialties to select from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after enjoying countless episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV programs. Or maybe you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Choosing a program and a school that specializes in that specialty would certainly be the ideal option toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be a good idea to explore all of the degree options available from the numerous colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Clanton 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 decided on, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the college. Even if a criminal justice school 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 essential to choose a major first prior to picking a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Classes Online
Many prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their vicinity, or they may just want the flexibility of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous colleges located within the United States that offer degree programs online much like those offered on-campus. And for many Clanton AL students, especially those who continue to work full or part-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online schools may make them the only option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are often more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Tuition can be cheaper and expenditures for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced also. Just verify, as with any college you are considering, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can study in this kind of independent setting, then earning your degree online may be the best option for you.
What 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 obtain your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin looking for Clanton AL area colleges and fine tuning your options. Considering that there are numerous colleges to pick from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing colleges. Obviously cost is an important consideration and you will need to enroll in a school that fits within your academic budget. And we have already addressed 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 wish to ask the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have received one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. Among the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s imperative to make sure that the degree program and school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it will also assist in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Clanton AL employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As previously mentioned, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is significant as well. It’s especially crucial if you are going into the profession with no relevant previous work history. Without any prior experience, Clanton AL employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of school 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 factors contributing to the educational programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well regarded for a specific degree program that you might be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Clanton AL colleges you are reviewing. A low rate might be an indicator that students were disappointed with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the course of study. It’s also important that the colleges have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you get that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help substantiate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a considerable network of contacts to help students obtain positions upon graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we mentioned at the opening of this article, among the first things you will probably consider when searching for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or perhaps live on campus, the school you choose will need to be within driving distance of your Clanton AL residence. Certainly 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 go to a college outside of your state of residence, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community and junior colleges also tend to 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, attending smaller classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Bigger classes allow for little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a few classes before making your ultimate decision. Speak with some of the students and find out 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 backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Clanton AL, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Clanton AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Clanton AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Clanton area where your school campus will be located.
Clanton is a city in Chilton County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Birmingham–Hoover–Cullman Combined Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 8,619. The city is the county seat of Chilton County. Clanton is near the site of the geographic center of the U.S state of Alabama.
The town was founded by Alfred Baker in 1868, when Chilton County was formed. Prior to establishment in 1868, the Town of Clanton was known as the community of "Goose Pond". Baker County was renamed to Chilton County and the community of "Goose Pond" became the Town of Clanton. Clanton was named in honor of General James H. Clanton, a brigadier in the Confederate States Army, and was incorporated on April 23, 1873. Baker was also elected first mayor of the town.
Nearby Lay Lake Dam and Mitchell Dam became Alabama Power's first two dams in the state, bringing economic improvements to the area. Immigrants played a part in starting the county's peach industry more than a century ago. Today, the peach industry is the number one industry in Chilton County, not only bringing fame to the county, but also millions of dollars to the local economy. The city of Clanton constructed a water tower in the form of a peach in 1993, becoming a landmark for travelers along Interstate 65.
Enroll in the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Clanton AL
Making certain that you pick the right criminal justice school near Clanton AL is vital to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers care which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the ideal criminal justice school predicated upon your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the college and degree program you decide on both are accredited and have excellent reputations. In addition, confirm that the college has a job assistance program with a high success rate for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Courses Online. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing in order to narrow down your choices and make the best choice. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will receive the proper education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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