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Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs Stafford CT

Picking the Right Criminal Justice College near Stafford Connecticut

Stafford CT SWAT teamSo you have decided to earn a criminal justice degree near Stafford Connecticut. But once you have decided on the kind of program you would like to work toward, just how do you undertake choosing a college that will offer the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the college you pick must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will probably begin by searching for schools that are near your residence and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are additional issues that you must investigate before making your final selection. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college are important factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will discuss these and other criteria that you may wish to include in your vetting process when choosing the ideal 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 advantages of attending online schools.

Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Stafford CT

Stafford CT police detective interviewing witness on phoneAs with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently required for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the job opportunities available in Stafford CT. There are four degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a 2 year degree, it offers an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial court system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education creates more 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 in addition to obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a specific area of criminal justice. Along with the options provided with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And finally, for students with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered as well. Typically requiring anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for attaining any of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.

Available Criminal Justice Majors

crime scene investigation body chalk outline in Stafford CTThere are numerous specialties to choose from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after viewing countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you must pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Selecting a school and program that specializes in that area would certainly be the ideal option toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that case, it would be best to explore 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 Stafford CT area:

  • Law enforcement
  • Rehabilitation
  • Criminology
  • Homeland security
  • Forensic science
  • Social Work
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Pre-law Studies
  • Police science
  • Corrections

Before enrolling in the school you have chosen, research the degree program you have an interest in along with the college. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation in general does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first prior to picking a school to enroll in.

Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs

woman earning criminal justice degree online in Stafford CTA number of prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their region, or they might just want the flexibility of earning a degree online. In either case, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of schools domiciled within the USA that provide online degree programs much like those offered on campus. And for a number of Stafford CT students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online programs may make them the sole option. And as an additional advantage, online colleges are often lower in cost than on-campus alternatives. Tuition may be cheaper and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just make sure, just like for any school you are reviewing, that the program you select is accredited by an approved agency, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can study in this type of unsupervised setting, then obtaining your degree online may be the best option for you.

Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs

Questions to ask Stafford CT criminal justice schoolsAt this point you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you intend to earn your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin looking for Stafford CT area schools and fine tuning your options. Since there are so many schools to choose from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing schools. Certainly cost is a significant consideration and you will need to select a school that fits within your academic budget. And we have already pointed out a few others as well, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you focus on those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you may wish to ask the colleges you are examining prior to making your final decision.

Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges 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 undergone an extensive assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to verify that the degree program and school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it will also assist in securing student loans or financial aid, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Stafford CT employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.

What is the School’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the school you select is important also. It’s particularly crucial if you are going into the profession with no relevant prior employment history. With no previous experience, Stafford CT employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can obtain school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They examine 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 outstanding reputation might still be highly regarded for a particular degree program that you may have an interest in.

Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Stafford CT colleges you are reviewing. A lower percentage may be a sign that students were unhappy with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the schools have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first crucial job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help affirm that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a considerable network of employers to assist students secure jobs after graduation.

How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will most likely look at when searching for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or possibly board on campus, the college you pick will have to be within commuting distance of your Stafford CT residence. Of course attending online classes will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you opt to attend a college outside of your resident state, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Junior and community colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.

How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes allow for little chance of getting one-on-one instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a few classes prior to making your final decision. Talk to several of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Connecticut criminal justice profession.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s important to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Stafford CT, make certain 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 policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Stafford CT?

If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Stafford CT, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Stafford area where your school campus will be located.

Stafford, Connecticut

Stafford is a town in Tolland County, Connecticut, United States, settled in 1719. The population was 12,192 at the 2010 census. The community consists of the downtown area of Stafford Springs and the more rural villages of Crystal Lake, Ellithorpe, Hydeville, Orcuttsville, Staffordville, Stafford Hollow, Village Hill, and West Stafford. The town most likely derives its name from Staffordshire, in England.[1]

The Colonial Town of Stafford began as a rural agricultural community in the eastern part of Hartford County. It became part of Tolland County upon the latter's formation on 13 October 1785. The easy availability of water power from the tributaries of the Willimantic River led to industrialization, and this abundance of power helped generate local population growth. By the mid-19th century, Stafford was connected by railroad to markets across New England, and before the State Highway projects of the 1920s and 1930s, the town had a trolley connection to Rockville, CT.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 58.8 sq mi (152.2 km2), of which, 58.0 sq mi (150.1 km2) of it is land and 0.81 sq mi (2.1 km2) of it (1.38%) is water; it is the 3rd largest town in Connecticut based on area.

Choose the Right Criminal Justice School near Stafford CT

Stafford CT mounted police officerMaking certain that you select the right criminal justice college near Stafford CT is essential to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Attaining the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the ideal criminal justice college predicated upon your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you select both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Also, confirm that the college has a job placement program with a strong track record for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Online Criminal Justice Degree Programs. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your options and make the right selection. And when you have made the correct decision, you will get the proper training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.

Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Connecticut

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