How to Pick the Right Criminal Justice College near Winnfield Louisiana
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Winnfield Louisiana. But once you have decided on the type of degree you want to pursue, just how do you undertake selecting a school that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the school you pick must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will probably 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 prior to making your ultimate selection. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are important factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your search process. We will cover these and other criteria that you might want to include in your vetting process when deciding on the ideal 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 benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Winnfield LA
Similar to many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently required for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Winnfield LA. There are four degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a 2 year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial court system. More and more police departments are looking for applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually addresses the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates additional options for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional two years of classes in addition to obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a specific aspect of criminal justice. Along with the options offered with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for students interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available as well. Generally taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for attaining any of the four degrees will depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors Offered
There are numerous specializations to choose from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after watching countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV shows. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you need to 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 obviously be the ideal decision toward that end. Possibly you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that situation, it would be a good idea to research all of the degree options offered from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Winnfield 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 in general does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first prior to choosing a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Colleges
Some prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their area, or they might just want the independence of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of schools located within the USA that provide degree programs online similar to those offered on campus. And for many Winnfield LA students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online schools in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional advantage, online colleges are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Tuition may be cheaper and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just verify, just like for any college you are reviewing, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an approved agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can learn in this kind of unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online may be the best alternative for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin searching for Winnfield LA area schools and fine tuning your options. Because there are numerous colleges to choose from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when analyzing schools. Certainly cost is an important factor and you will need to select a school that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already mentioned a few others as well, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have acquired one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. One of the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone a rigorous assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to make sure that the degree program and school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. Along with helping assure that you obtain a quality education, it will also assist in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, a number of Winnfield LA employers are looking for graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the Program? As previously mentioned, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you attend is significant as well. It’s especially crucial if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior work history. With no prior experience, Winnfield LA employers will be evaluating 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 find school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be highly regarded for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Winnfield LA schools you are considering. A lower percentage may be an indicator that students were disappointed with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the course of study. It’s also essential that the colleges have job assistance programs with high 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 high placement rate will not only help affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a sizable network of contacts to help students in obtaining jobs upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we touched on at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will probably consider when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps board on campus, the school you pick will need to be within driving distance of your Winnfield LA home. Of course attending online classes will remove the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to attend a college not in your resident state, you may be charged 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 Big are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the option for more interaction with the teachers. Big classes provide little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to audit a few classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Talk to some of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the Louisiana criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Winnfield LA, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Winnfield LA?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Winnfield LA, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Winnfield area where your school campus will be located.
Winnfield is a small city in the parish seat of Winn Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 5,749 at the 2000 census, and 4,840 in 2010. Three governors of the state of Louisiana were from Winnfield.
When Winn Parish was officially formed by the state legislature in 1852, Winnfield was established as the parish seat. During the Civil War, the area around Winnfield was the site of some minor skirmishes. Confederate forces defeated a Union detachment sent to destroy the Cary Salt Works in the area.
Three Louisiana governors were Winnfield natives and grew up here: Huey Long, Oscar K. Allen and Earl Long. Huey Long became governor, U.S. Senator. He was assassinated in 1935. Oscar K. Allen was elected governor in 1932. Earl Long, "the Louisiana Longshot," served in a variety of state positions, said to be more than other Louisianan, including elective office. He was elected governor in 1939, 1948 and 1956. He was elected to Congress in 1960 but died before he could assume office.
Select the Ideal Criminal Justice College near Winnfield LA
Making sure that you pick the ideal criminal justice school near Winnfield LA is crucial 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 to your benefit to care also. Attaining the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the right criminal justice college predicated upon your career goals. As we have covered in this article, it’s imperative that the college and degree program you select both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Also, verify that the college has a job assistance program with a high success rate for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Top Criminal Justice Colleges. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your options and make the best selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the proper training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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