How to Choose the Right Criminal Justice College near Sulphur Louisiana
So you have decided to earn a criminal justice degree near Sulphur Louisiana. But after you have selected the kind of program you want to work toward, just how do you undertake choosing a school that will offer the proper training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the school you pick must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly start by looking for schools that are nearby your residence and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are other considerations that you must investigate prior to making your ultimate choice. For example, 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 as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating 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 deciding on the best criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees offered as well as the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Sulphur LA
Similar to most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently required for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Sulphur LA. There are four degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a two year degree, it offers an introduction to such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial court system. More and more police departments are looking for candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education makes available additional options for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional 2 years of classes after earning 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 opportunities provided with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for students with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Usually taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for attaining any of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specializations to pick from when deciding 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 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 degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Choosing a school and program that specializes in that specialty 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 best to explore all of the degree options available from the various colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Sulphur 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 decided on, investigate the degree program you have an interest in as well as the school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first before selecting a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Schools Online
Some students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their region, or they might just prefer the flexibility of earning an online degree. In either case, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There many colleges located within the United States that offer online degree programs similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for a number of Sulphur LA students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online programs in many cases make them the sole option. And as an added advantage, online colleges are often more affordable than on campus options. Tuition can be lower and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain, as with any school you are looking at, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an approved organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can study in this kind of unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online may be the best alternative for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly decided 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. With those decisions made, it’s time to start looking for Sulphur LA area schools and fine tuning your options. Because there are a large number of colleges to pick from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s important to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when analyzing colleges. Naturally cost is an important consideration and you will need to select a program that is within your academic budget. And we have already discussed a few others as well, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may wish to ask the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. 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 an extensive screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to verify that the program and school you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping assure that you obtain a quality education, it will also help in acquiring student loans or financial aid, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many Sulphur LA employers have a preference for graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you choose is important also. It’s particularly crucial if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior employment history. With no previous experience, Sulphur LA employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can obtain school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other factors contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Sulphur LA colleges you are considering. A low rate 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 curriculum. It’s also essential that the schools have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first pivotal 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 also has a sizable network of employers to assist students in obtaining jobs upon graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, one of the initial things you will most likely consider when searching 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 school you select will have to be within commuting distance of your Sulphur LA residence. Of course attending online classes will remove the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to go to a college not in your state of residence, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community and junior colleges also tend to 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 small classes provides the option for more interaction with the teachers. 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 ultimate determination. Speak with several of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Louisiana criminal justice field.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sulphur LA, make sure they are available 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 procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Sulphur LA?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Sulphur LA, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Sulphur area where your school campus will be located.
Sulphur is named for the sulfur mines that were operated in the area in the 1900s. In 1867, Professor Eugene W. Hilgard, an experienced geologist who was prospecting for oil and other minerals, conducted exploratory borings in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana and discovered sulfur in the caprock of a salt dome. However, the sulfur was beneath several hundred feet of muck and quicksand containing deadly hydrogen sulfide gas, which made mining extremely hazardous. Repeated unsuccessful attempts to sink conventional mining shafts in the 1870s and 1880s resulted in the loss of many lives.
In 1890, the German immigrant Herman Frasch invented and patented the Frasch Process of mining sulfur, using concentric pipes to pump superheated water into the ground, liquefy the mineral, and force the liquid to the surface with compressed air. The first molten sulfur was brought to the surface on Christmas Eve of 1894. Sulfur soon began to be mined on an industrial scale, with the molten mineral allowed to solidify and dry in enormous vats 100 by 400 feet, then blasted and hauled by rail to the Sabine River for shipment. Frasch's invention greatly facilitated sulfur mining, and the Union Sulphur Company, a joint venture of Dr. Frasch and the American Sulphur Company that owned the land, sparked a period of booming growth in the decades that followed. The elementary school on South Huntington Street in downtown Sulphur is named after Frasch.
With the addition of the Cities Service (Citgo) oil refinery in 1943, the areas of Maplewood and Hollywood were developed to house refinery workers. The Sulphur area is still mostly dependent on the oil refineries and petrochemical plants for employment.
Pick the Best Criminal Justice College near Sulphur LA
Making certain that you choose the ideal criminal justice program near Sulphur LA is crucial to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Attaining the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career starts with picking the ideal criminal justice school predicated upon your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential that the college and degree program you pick both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, verify that the school 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 Degree Online. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to analyze and compare the criminal justice colleges you are looking at so that you can narrow down your options and make the right choice. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will receive the appropriate education so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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