How to Select the Right Criminal Justice College near Troy Alabama
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Troy Alabama. But after you have selected the type of degree you want to pursue, just how do you undertake picking a college that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the college you choose must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt start by searching for schools that are nearby your residence and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other considerations that you need to evaluate before making your ultimate decision. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are critical factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online degree program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will address these and other qualifications that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when selecting 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 along with the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Troy AL
As with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently required for various careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Troy AL. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it provides an introduction to such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial court system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree typically addresses the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education makes available more opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a particular area of criminal justice. In addition to the options offered with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for individuals with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered also. Generally taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for earning any one of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors Offered
There are a number of specializations to select from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after watching countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV programs. Or perhaps 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 prepare and qualify you for that job. Selecting a program and a school that specializes in that area would obviously be the best decision toward that end. Possibly you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be advisable to explore all of the degree options offered from the numerous colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Troy 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 as well as the college. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has an outstanding reputation in general does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first before picking a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Classes Online
Many students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their vicinity, or they might just prefer the flexibility of earning an online degree. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous schools located within the United States that provide online degree programs similar to those offered on-campus. And for many Troy AL students, especially those who continue to work full or part-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges in many cases make them the sole option. And as an added advantage, online colleges are often lower in cost than traditional options. Tuition can be cheaper and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just verify, as with any school you are considering, that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can learn in this type of independent setting, then obtaining your degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
At this point you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you want to earn your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin searching for Troy AL area schools and fine tuning your options. Because there are so many schools to select from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when evaluating schools. Naturally cost is a significant consideration and you will need to pick a program that fits within your academic budget. And we have already mentioned a few others also, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might wish to ask the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have obtained one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. Among 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 a rigorous assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to make sure that the degree program and school you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it will also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, a number of Troy AL employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As previously mentioned, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you enroll in is important also. It’s particularly crucial if you are entering the profession with no relevant previous job history. Without any previous experience, Troy AL employers will be considering the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can find school reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They examine 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 excellent reputation might still be well respected for a particular degree program that you might be interested in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Troy AL colleges you are reviewing. A low rate may be an indicator that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the colleges have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you get that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a considerable network of employers to help students obtain jobs 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 most likely look at when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or possibly board on campus, the school you select will have to be within commuting distance of your Troy AL residence. Naturally attending online classes will eliminate the necessity 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 could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community and junior colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes allow for little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One way to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a couple of classes prior to making your final determination. Talk to several of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Troy AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Troy AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Troy AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Troy area where your school campus will be located.
Between the years of 1763 and 1783, the area where Troy sits was part of the colony of British West Florida. After 1783 the region fell under the jurisdiction of the newly created United States of America.
As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,033. The 2016 estimated population was 19,191. The City of Troy is considered one of the fastest growing cities in Alabama. Troy is a college town and is home to Troy University, the third-largest university in total enrollment in the state of Alabama.
For many centuries, the area in and around Troy was settled by different tribes of Native Americans, but became primarily known for its Muskogee Creek presence. Most Creek tribes lived along rivers or streams at that time. Near the Troy area, many Native Americans settled around the Conecuh River and the Pea River.
Enroll in the Best Criminal Justice College near Troy AL
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice program near Troy AL is crucial to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers respect which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the ideal criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you decide on both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, make certain 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 Criminal Justice Major Description. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at in order to narrow down your options and make the right choice. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will receive the proper training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Alabama