How to Select the Right Criminal Justice College near Winslow Arkansas
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Winslow Arkansas. But after you have decided on the kind of program you want to work toward, just how do you go about selecting a school that will offer the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the institution you choose must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will probably start by looking for colleges that are nearby your home and comparing the cost for each college. But there are other points that you must examine before making your final decision. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are important factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online training program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will deal with these and other qualifications that you might wish to utilize in your vetting process when deciding on the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors available along with the advantages of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Winslow AR
As with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly needed for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Winslow AR. There are 4 degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it offers an introduction to such areas as corrections, law enforcement 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 typically covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education makes available additional opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. 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 specialists in a particular area of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for those with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Typically taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for earning any of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specialties to select from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after watching countless 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 objective, you must choose a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Choosing a program and a school that specializes in that area would certainly be the best decision toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that situation, it would be advisable to explore 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 Winslow AR 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 selected, research the degree program you have an interest in as well as the school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation in general does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first prior to choosing a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Schools
Some prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their vicinity, or they might just want the independence of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of colleges located within the USA that offer online degree programs similar to those offered on-campus. And for many Winslow AR students, particularly those who continue working full or part-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online programs in many cases make them the sole option. And as an added benefit, online schools are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition may be cheaper and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, just like for 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 motivated, and can study in this type of independent environment, then obtaining your degree online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
At this point you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin looking for Winslow AR area schools and fine tuning your options. Since there are a large number of schools to pick from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing colleges. Clearly cost is a significant consideration and you will need to enroll in a program that is within your academic budget. And we have already mentioned a few others as well, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you may wish to ask the colleges you are examining prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? A large number of criminal justice colleges have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. One of 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 assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to verify that the degree program and school you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. In addition to helping assure that you receive a top notch education, it will also help in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, a number of Winslow AR employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is important also. It’s particularly crucial if you are going into the field with no relevant previous job history. With no prior experience, Winslow AR employers will be considering the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can obtain college rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other factors contributing to the academic programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation may still be highly regarded for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Winslow AR colleges you are looking at. A low percentage might be an indicator that students were unhappy with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the course of study. It’s also imperative that the schools have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you land that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A high 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 employers to assist students in obtaining jobs after graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we touched on at the beginning of this article, among the first things you will most likely 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 have to be within commuting distance of your Winslow AR residence. Certainly attending online classes will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to attend a college not in 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 tend to charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, attending smaller classes provides the option for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes afford little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to audit a couple of classes before making your ultimate decision. Speak with some of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Arkansas criminal justice field.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Winslow AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Winslow AR?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Winslow AR, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Winslow area where your school campus will be located.
Winslow (formerly Summit Home) is a city in Washington County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 391 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Area.
A stagecoach stop for many years, the community now known as Winslow first received a post office on December 11, 1876, known as Summit Home. The town grew significantly upon completion of the Winslow Tunnel, which allowed the St. Louis – San Francisco Railway (Frisco) to run through the steep Boston Mountains of south Washington County. The town was renamed to Winslow on August 3, 1881 in honor of Edward F. Winslow, president of the Frisco Railroad. The town became a somewhat resort town for its picturesque peaks at the end of the 19th century, drawing many wealthy from the Fort Smith area to summer there. It was incorporated on February 17, 1905.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), all land. Winslow is 12 miles (19 km) east of Devil's Den State Park, along Arkansas Highway 74.
Pick the Best Criminal Justice School near Winslow AR
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice program near Winslow AR is vital to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Achieving the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the best criminal justice school based on your career goals. As we have covered in this article, it’s important 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 high success rate for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Master Degrees. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are reviewing in order to narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the correct decision, you will get the proper education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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