Choosing the Right Criminal Justice College near Shreveport Louisiana
So you have decided to earn a criminal justice degree near Shreveport Louisiana. But after you have chosen the type of program you would like to work toward, just how do you undertake picking a college that will offer the right training to help you realize your career objectives? Of course the college you pick must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will probably begin by searching for colleges that are nearby your residence and comparing the cost for each school. But there are other factors that you should investigate prior to making your final decision. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the school are critical factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online training program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will cover these and other qualifications that you might wish to include in your vetting process when deciding on the best criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors offered as well as the benefits of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Shreveport LA
Just like with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently required for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Shreveport LA. There are 4 degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a two year degree, it provides an overview of such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. A growing number of police departments are seeking applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree typically includes the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education makes available additional opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional two years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become specialists in a specific aspect of criminal justice. Along with the options afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And finally, for students interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Generally taking anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for attaining any of the four degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specialties to choose from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after watching countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation shows. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you must pick a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Enrolling in a program and a school that specializes in that area would certainly 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 case, it would be advisable to investigate all of the degree options offered from the numerous colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Shreveport LA area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the college you have chosen, investigate the degree program you are interested in as well as the college. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first prior to picking a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Colleges Online
Some prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their vicinity, or they may just want the flexibility of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There many schools domiciled within the United States that provide degree programs online much like the ones offered on-campus. And for a number of Shreveport LA students, especially those who continue to work part or full-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges may make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are often more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Tuition can be lower and expenses for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, just like for any college you are reviewing, 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 motivated, and can study in this type of independent environment, then earning your degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
By now you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you want to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start looking for Shreveport LA area colleges and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are numerous colleges to choose from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing schools. Clearly cost is a significant factor and you will need to select a college that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already discussed several others as well, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those issues and more, below is a list of questions you might want to ask the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice colleges have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. One of the most respected 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 imperative to confirm that the degree program and college you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. Along with helping assure that you obtain a quality education, it will also aid in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Shreveport LA employers prefer graduates of colleges 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 especially crucial if you are going into the field with no relevant prior job history. Without any previous experience, Shreveport LA employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can obtain school reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the educational programs. Bear in mind that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation might 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 percentages are for the Shreveport LA schools you are reviewing. A lower percentage may be a sign that students were unhappy 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 important that the schools have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help verify that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a considerable network of contacts to help students obtain jobs upon graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we mentioned at the opening of this article, among the initial things you will most likely look at when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or possibly board on campus, the school you select will have to be within commuting distance of your Shreveport LA home. Of course attending online classes will remove the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to attend a school outside of your state of residence, you may be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also often charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes allow for little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One way to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a couple of classes before making your final decision. Talk to several of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Louisiana criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Shreveport LA, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Shreveport LA?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Shreveport LA, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Shreveport area where your school campus will be located.
Shreveport (/ˈʃriːvpɔːrt/ SHREEV-port) is a city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is the most populous city in the Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan area. Shreveport ranks third in Louisiana after New Orleans and Baton Rouge and 126th in the U.S. The bulk of the city is in Caddo Parish, of which it is the parish seat. Shreveport extends along the west bank of the Red River (most notably at Wright Island, the Charles and Marie Hamel Memorial Park, and Bagley Island) into neighboring Bossier Parish. Shreveport and Bossier City are separated by the Red River. The population of Shreveport was 199,311 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. The United States Census Bureau's 2017 estimate for the city's population decreased to 192,036.
Shreveport was founded in 1836 by the Shreve Town Company, a corporation established to develop a town at the juncture of the newly navigable Red River and the Texas Trail, an overland route into the newly independent Republic of Texas. Prior to Texas becoming independent, this trail entered Mexico. The city grew throughout the 20th century and, after the discovery of oil in Louisiana, became a national center for the oil industry. Standard Oil of Louisiana (absorbed by Standard Oil of New Jersey and now part of ExxonMobil) and United Gas Corporation (now part of Pennzoil) were headquartered in the city.
Shreveport is the educational, commercial and cultural center of the Ark-La-Tex region, where Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas meet. It is the location of Centenary College of Louisiana, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Louisiana Tech University Shreveport, Southern University at Shreveport, and Louisiana Baptist University. Its neighboring city Bossier is the location of Bossier Parish Community College. Companies with significant operations or headquarters in Shreveport are AT&T, Chase Bank, Regions Financial Corporation and APS Payroll.
Select the Ideal Criminal Justice College near Shreveport LA
Making certain that you select the ideal criminal justice school near Shreveport LA is vital to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers respect which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Attaining the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the optimal criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s imperative that the college and degree program you pick both have excellent reputations and are accredited. In addition, confirm that the college has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in BS Degree In Criminal Justice. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the correct decision, you will receive the proper education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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