Selecting the Right Criminal Justice School near Wasilla Alaska
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Wasilla Alaska. But after you have decided on the type of degree you want to work toward, just how do you go about choosing a school that will provide the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the institution you pick must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will no doubt begin by searching for schools that are nearby your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are other considerations that you must evaluate before making your final choice. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college 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 training program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will address these and other criteria that you may want to include in your vetting process when selecting the best criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees offered along with the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Wasilla AK
As with most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly required for a number of careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Wasilla AK. There are four degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a two year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally covers the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education makes available additional options for such professions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional 2 years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become specialists in a particular aspect of criminal justice. Along with the options provided with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for students interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered as well. Generally taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, 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 depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specializations to choose from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after enjoying numerous episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV programs. Or maybe you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to select a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Enrolling in a school and program that specializes in that specialty would obviously be the best decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that scenario, it would be advisable to research all of the degree alternatives offered from the various universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Wasilla AK area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the program you have selected, investigate the degree program you have an interest in as well as the college. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first before picking a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs
A number of prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their region, or they might just want the independence of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of schools domiciled within the USA that offer online degree programs similar to the ones offered on campus. And for a number of Wasilla AK students, particularly those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges may make them the sole option. And as an added advantage, online colleges are frequently more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Tuition can be lower and expenses for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make certain, as with any school you are looking at, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an approved organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can study in this kind of unsupervised environment, then obtaining your degree online might be the ideal alternative for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
At this point you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you want to earn your degree online or by attending classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin looking for Wasilla AK area schools and fine tuning your options. Considering that there are so many colleges to select from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing schools. Naturally cost is an important consideration and you will need to choose a college that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already mentioned several others as well, such as reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have acquired one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. 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 undergone an extensive screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to make sure that the degree program and college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. Along with helping assure that you get an excellent education, it will also aid in acquiring student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, a number of Wasilla AK employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As previously stated, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you select is significant also. It’s particularly critical if you are getting in the field with no relevant prior work history. Without any previous experience, Wasilla AK employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can obtain school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other elements contributing to the educational programs. Bear in mind that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well respected for a particular degree program that you may have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Wasilla AK schools you are reviewing. A low percentage may be an indicator that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a large network of contacts to assist students in obtaining positions after graduation.
How Far Away are the Colleges Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, among the initial things you will most likely consider when searching 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 choose will need to be within commuting distance of your Wasilla AK home. Certainly attending online classes will remove the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to go to a college not in your resident state, you might be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, attending small classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes provide little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a few classes before making your ultimate determination. Speak with some of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Alaska criminal justice field.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Wasilla AK, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Wasilla AK?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Wasilla AK, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Wasilla area where your school campus will be located.
Wasilla is a city in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, United States and the sixth-largest city in Alaska. It is located on the northern point of Cook Inlet in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley of the southcentral part of the state. The city's population was 7,831 at the 2010 census, up from 5,469 in 2000. Estimates in 2016 put the population at roughly 9,748. Wasilla is the largest city in the borough and a part of the Anchorage metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 396,142 in 2013.
Established at the intersection of the Alaska Railroad and Old Carle Wagon Road, the city prospered at the expense of the nearby mining town of Knik. Historically entrepreneurial, the economic base shifted in the 1970s from small-scale agriculture and recreation to support for workers employed in Anchorage or on Alaska's North Slope oilfields and related infrastructure. The George Parks Highway turned the town into a commuter suburb of Anchorage. Several state and federal agencies have offices in Wasilla, including the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and Divisions of Public Assistance, Social Services.
Wasilla gained international attention when Sarah Palin, who served as Mayor of Wasilla before her election as Governor of Alaska, was chosen by John McCain as his running mate for Vice President of the United States in the 2008 United States presidential election.
Choose the Right Criminal Justice College near Wasilla AK
Making certain that you select the ideal criminal justice college near Wasilla AK is essential to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers value which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the right criminal justice college predicated upon your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you pick both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, make sure 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 Online Criminal Justice Bachelors Degree. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to analyze and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering in order to narrow down your options 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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