Selecting the Right Criminal Justice School near Duncan Arizona
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Duncan Arizona. But after you have selected the kind of degree you want to work toward, just how do you undertake choosing a college that will offer the proper training to help you achieve your career goals? Of course the college you choose must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly begin by looking for schools that are close to your home and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are other factors that you should evaluate before making your ultimate selection. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the school are significant factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online training program will also 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 picking 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 benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Duncan AZ
As with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently required for many positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Duncan AZ. There are four degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement 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 typically covers the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available more options for such professions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve 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 area of criminal justice. In addition to the options provided with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for individuals with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available also. 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 one of the four degrees will depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specializations to pick from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after watching countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation shows. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you must choose a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Choosing a program and a school that focuses on that area would naturally be the ideal decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be a good idea to explore all of the degree alternatives offered from the numerous colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Duncan AZ 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, investigate the degree program you have an interest in along with the school. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is essential to decide on a major first prior to choosing a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Schools
Many prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, or they might just want the convenience of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous colleges domiciled within the USA that provide online degree programs much like those offered on campus. And for many Duncan AZ students, especially those who continue working full or part-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online schools may make them the only option. And as an additional advantage, online colleges are frequently lower in cost than traditional options. Tuition can be cheaper and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make certain, as with any school you are looking at, that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can study in this type of independent setting, then earning your degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
By now you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you intend to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start looking for Duncan AZ area colleges and narrowing down your options. Since there are so many colleges to pick from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing schools. Naturally cost is a significant consideration and you will need to select a school that fits within your academic budget. And we have already addressed several others also, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you focus on those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you may want to ask the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have received one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. 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 assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s essential to confirm that the degree program and college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it will also aid in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Duncan AZ employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the School? As previously stated, together with accreditation the reputation of the school you choose is significant also. It’s especially crucial if you are entering the profession with no relevant previous work history. With no previous experience, Duncan AZ employers will be considering the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can find college rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the educational programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation may still be highly regarded for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Duncan AZ schools you are reviewing. A lower rate might be a sign that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out, 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 obtain that first crucial job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it also has a substantial network of contacts to assist students secure jobs upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Colleges Located? As we mentioned at the opening of this article, one of the first things you will most likely consider when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or perhaps board on campus, the school you select will need to be within commuting distance of your Duncan AZ 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 go to a college not in your resident state, you may be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, attending small classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the teachers. Bigger classes provide little chance of getting 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. Talk to several of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Arizona criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. 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 Duncan AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Duncan AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Duncan AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Duncan area where your school campus will be located.
Duncan is in the Gila River valley, 4 miles (6 km) west of the Arizona-New Mexico border. The town limits are on both sides of the Gila, but the primary portion of the town and the entire downtown area lie on the south side of the river. Duncan was founded in the mid 19th century, and the land was added to the United States as a part of the Mexican Cession. The town of Duncan has been destroyed twice by flood and once by fire.
The town and area are primarily populated by ranchers and miners (especially from the Freeport-McMoran copper mines in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico). Surrounding smaller towns such as Franklin and York in Arizona and Virden, New Mexico, use Duncan public works and public schools. The Duncan area along the Gila River is renowned for Native American artifacts such as arrow heads, pottery, burial sites, cave paintings and other remnants of the Anasazi and other pre-historic cultures, as well as artifacts from garrison camps of the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, but grew up near Duncan on the Lazy B ranch, which straddles the border between Arizona and New Mexico. The Day family ran the ranch for many years until selling it; it continues to be run as a ranch. O'Connor later wrote a book titled Lazy B: Growing up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest about her childhood experiences on the ranch with her brother H. Alan Day.
Find the Best Criminal Justice College near Duncan AZ
Making sure that you choose the right criminal justice school near Duncan AZ is vital to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers respect which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the ideal criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the college and degree program you select both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, make certain 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 Criminal Justice Degrees. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice schools you are reviewing in order to narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the correct decision, you will receive the proper training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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