How to Select the Right Criminal Justice College near Daleville Alabama
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Daleville Alabama. But once you have chosen the type of program you would like to pursue, just how do you go about selecting a school that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Of course the institution you select must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly start by looking for colleges that are near your residence and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other points that you need to examine prior to making your final selection. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the school are significant 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 reputable online degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will discuss these and other qualifications that you may want to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors available along with the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Daleville AL
Similar to many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently needed for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the job opportunities available in Daleville AL. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it offers an overview of such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree typically addresses the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates additional options for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional 2 years of classes in addition to attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a specific aspect of criminal justice. Along with the options provided with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for individuals interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available also. Generally taking anywhere from 4 to 7 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 4 degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specialties to select from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after viewing numerous episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you must pick a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Selecting a program and a school that specializes in that specialty would naturally be the ideal option toward that end. Possibly you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be a good idea to research 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 Daleville 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 chosen, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation in general does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first before picking a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs Online
A number of prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their region, or they might just want the flexibility of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous schools located within the United States that provide degree programs online similar to those offered on campus. And for many Daleville AL students, especially 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 sole option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are often more affordable than on campus alternatives. Tuition can be lower and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make sure, just like for any school you are looking at, that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can learn in this type of unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you intend to earn your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start searching for Daleville AL area colleges and narrowing down your options. Because there are so many schools to pick from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating colleges. Clearly cost is an important factor and you will need to pick a program that fits within your academic budget. And we have already pointed out a few others also, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may wish to ask the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. Among the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone an extensive screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s important to verify that the degree program and school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a top notch education, it will also assist in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Daleville AL employers have a preference for graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As mentioned previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the school you select is significant as well. It’s particularly critical if you are going into the field with no relevant prior job history. With no prior experience, Daleville 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 school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other aspects contributing to the educational programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation might still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Daleville AL colleges you are considering. A low rate might be an indicator that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the course of study. It’s also imperative that the colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it also has a large network of employers to assist students obtain positions after graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, among the initial things you will probably look at when looking for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps live on campus, the college you select will need to be within commuting distance of your Daleville AL home. Of course attending classes online will eliminate the need for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to go to a school not in your state of residence, you might be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, going to small classes offers the option for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes allow for little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to audit a couple of classes before making your final determination. Talk to some of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Daleville AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Daleville AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Daleville AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Daleville area where your school campus will be located.
Daleville is a city in Dale County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 5,295, up from 4,653 in 2000. It is part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area. The city's nickname is "Gateway to Fort Rucker", as this U.S. Army post is located just north of town. Cairns Army Airfield is located to the south of Daleville on the road to nearby Clayhatchee.
Daleville, originally known as "Dale's Court House", was founded in 1827 by veterans of the Creek Indian War who had settled in Dale County following that conflict. It was established as the original county seat of Dale County in 1827 but lost that honor when Coffee County split from Dale in 1841, at which time the seat was moved first to Newton, and then later to Ozark in 1870, where it remains today.
Residents of the town formed portions of two regiments of the Confederate States Army during the U.S. Civil War: the 15th Alabama Infantry, famed for charging the 20th Maine on Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg, and the 33rd Alabama Infantry. In the latter regiment, Company "G", called the "Daleville Blues", was recruited entirely from Daleville. Several men from this company were killed in a freak train derailment on November 4, 1862 near Cleveland, Tennessee; the remainder would fight with the rest of the 33rd in the Confederate Army of Tennessee until the final surrender in 1865.
Pick the Best Criminal Justice Degree Program near Daleville AL
Making certain that you choose the ideal criminal justice college near Daleville AL is essential to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers respect which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Achieving the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the ideal criminal justice college predicated upon your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important that the school and degree program you select both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, confirm that the school has a job placement program with a strong track record for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Best Online Criminal Justice Programs. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate 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 appropriate training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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