Picking the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Westwego Louisiana
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Westwego Louisiana. But after you have chosen the type of degree you would like to work toward, just how do you tackle choosing a college that will provide the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the institution you pick must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will probably begin by looking for colleges that are near your home and comparing the cost for each school. But there are other factors that you need to investigate before making your ultimate selection. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the school are critical factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will cover these and other criteria that you may want to include in your vetting process when choosing the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors available along with the advantages of attending online schools.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Westwego LA
Similar to most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly required for many positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Westwego LA. There are four degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally 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 looking for candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally covers the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available more opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a particular facet of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities provided with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And finally, for individuals interested in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available also. Usually requiring anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for attaining any one of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are a number of specializations to choose from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after watching countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV shows. Or maybe you have always wanted to be 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 position. Enrolling in a school and program that focuses on that area would clearly be the ideal option toward that end. Possibly you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that scenario, it would be best to investigate all of the degree alternatives available from the various colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Westwego LA area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the program you have chosen, investigate the degree program you are interested in along with the school. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has an excellent reputation in general does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first prior to selecting a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Classes Online
A number of prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their region, or they may just want the independence of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous schools located within the USA that provide degree programs online similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for many Westwego LA students, particularly 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 added benefit, online schools are frequently more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Tuition can be lower 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, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can study in this kind of independent environment, then earning your degree online may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you intend to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin searching for Westwego LA area schools and fine tuning your options. Since there are a large number of schools to select from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when analyzing colleges. Certainly cost is a significant factor and you will need to choose a college that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already discussed several others also, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you focus on those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you might want to ask the schools you are thinking about before making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have acquired one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. One of the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools 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 verify that the program and college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. In addition to helping assure that you get an excellent education, it will also assist in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Westwego LA employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As mentioned previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you choose is important also. It’s especially critical if you are going into the field with no relevant prior work history. Without any previous experience, Westwego LA employers will be considering the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can get college reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other variables contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Westwego LA schools you are considering. A low rate might be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the schools have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first crucial job after graduation that marks the start of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help validate that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a considerable network of employers to assist students in obtaining positions after graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, one of the initial things you will most likely look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps live on campus, the college you pick will need to be within driving distance of your Westwego LA residence. Of course attending online classes will eliminate the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to attend a school outside of your resident state, you could be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Junior and community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, attending smaller classes offers the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Large classes provide little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One method to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate determination. Talk to some of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Louisiana criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Westwego LA, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Westwego LA?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Westwego LA, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Westwego area where your school campus will be located.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.2 km²), of which 3.1 square miles (8.3 km²) is land and 0.5 square mile (1.0 km²) (10.64%) is water.
One story states generally that Westwego was so named because it was a major crossing point on the Mississippi river during the great westward movement of the late 19th century. When travelers were asked their destination, they would often reply "west we go". Another more specific tale, recounted in John Churchill Chase's Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children is that the name was the specific outcome of an 1871 meeting of a railroad board of directors in New York, where planning was undertaken to use the site as an eastern terminus ("...west we go from there"). There has been further speculation that this use of "Westwego" as a place name may have been influenced by the board members' familiarity with the name of Oswego, New York.
The area of Westwego, Louisiana was inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years before Europeans settled here. These indigenous people created huge shells middens that can still be seen in the vicinity today. The French first developed the area in 1719 when French Minister of State LeBlanc started a plantation and a port along the Mississippi River. The port became an important site in the history of the transatlantic slave trade. The estate was later owned by the Zeringue family, who turned it into bustling sugar plantation, known as Seven Oaks. Planter Camille Zeringue built a canal at the plantation that played a prominent role in the community's history for decades. Other antebellum plantations in the area included the Whitehouse Plantation, Magnolia Lane, and the LaBranche Plantation among others. After Camille Zeringue's death, Seven Oaks was owned by Pablo Sala, who divided the property along the canal into lots, which he sold for $40 each. Many of these lots were purchased by displaced hurricane victims from Cheniere Caminada whose homes were destroyed in the great unnamed 1893 storm. With the addition of these families, who were mostly fisherman and trappers, the community of Salaville was born.
Select the Ideal Criminal Justice College near Westwego LA
Making sure that you choose the right criminal justice program near Westwego LA is essential to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing 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 possible success in your criminal justice career begins with picking the optimal 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 pick both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, verify that the school has a job placement program with a strong track record for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Associates In Criminal Justice. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice schools you are reviewing in order to narrow down your options and make the best choice. And when you have made the right decision, you will get the appropriate training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Louisiana