How to Pick the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Woodward Iowa
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Woodward Iowa. But once you have selected the type of degree you would like to pursue, just how do you tackle choosing a college that will offer the right training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the institution you pick must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly begin by looking for colleges that are close to your residence and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are other issues that you need to investigate before making your ultimate selection. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the college are significant factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online degree program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will discuss these and other qualifications that you may want to utilize in your vetting process when deciding on the ideal criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Woodward IA
As with most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently required for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Woodward IA. There are four degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it offers an overview of such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education creates more options 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 earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a specific facet of criminal justice. Along with the options afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for students interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available as well. Usually taking anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more rigorous 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.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specialties to choose from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after enjoying numerous episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you must choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Choosing a program and a school that specializes in that area would naturally be the ideal decision toward that end. Possibly you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that scenario, it would be advisable to investigate all of the degree options available from the numerous universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Woodward IA area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the school you have chosen, research the degree program you are interested in along with the college. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is essential to choose a major first prior to picking a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs
Some prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, or they might just prefer the independence of earning an online degree. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of colleges domiciled within the USA that offer degree programs online similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for a number of Woodward IA students, particularly those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online schools may make them the sole option. And as an added advantage, online schools are often lower in cost than on-campus options. Tuition may be lower and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, as with any school you are reviewing, that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can learn in this kind of independent environment, then obtaining your degree online might be the ideal alternative for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
At this point you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you want to obtain your degree online or by going to classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin looking for Woodward IA area colleges and fine tuning your options. Since there are so many colleges to choose from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating colleges. Certainly cost is a significant consideration and you will need to pick a school that fits within your academic budget. And we have already mentioned several others as well, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you may wish to ask the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national 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 screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s essential to verify that the program and college you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it will also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of Woodward IA employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As previously mentioned, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you select is significant as well. It’s particularly crucial if you are entering the field with no relevant prior job history. Without any prior experience, Woodward IA employers will be considering the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can obtain school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other aspects contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be highly regarded for a specific degree program that you might have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Woodward IA schools you are reviewing. A low percentage might be a sign that students were dissatisfied 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 colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a large network of employers to help students in obtaining jobs after graduation.
How Far Away are the Colleges 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 possibly board on campus, the college you pick will have to be within commuting distance of your Woodward IA home. Of course attending classes online will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to attend a college outside of your resident state, you may be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Junior and community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, attending small classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the teachers. Large classes afford little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to audit a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate determination. Talk to several of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Iowa criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Woodward IA, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Woodward IA?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Woodward IA, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Woodward area where your school campus will be located.
Woodward is a city in Dallas County, Iowa, United States. The population was 1,024 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Des Moines–West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area. Woodward is also home to the Woodward-Granger Community School District's middle school and high school, the elementary school being located in Granger.
"The town of Woodward was born when the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Co rconstructed its lines through the community the depot was constructed. The original name for the town was decided upon as Colton, another town had already adopted the name so the name was changed to Woodward. The City was incorporated in August 1883. The first Council meeting was on December 18, 1883 called to order by Mayor W.S. Craft."
An F-2 tornado struck Woodward, the city of Ames, and several other small Iowan communities on November 12, 2005, devastating many homes in the southeast and east parts of town. There were no casualties in Woodward, although there was one in Stratford. Discovery Channel's series Destroyed In Seconds showed the natural disaster in one of its episodes. During the first season of Dirty Jobs they visited a pig farmer from Woodward in the episode.
Find the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Woodward IA
Making certain that you pick the ideal criminal justice college near Woodward IA is essential to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers respect which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the best criminal justice school based on your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the college and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, make sure 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 Best Online Schools For Criminal Justice Degrees. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing in order to narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will receive the proper education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Iowa