How to Choose the Right Criminal Justice College near Sterling Connecticut
So you have decided to earn a criminal justice degree near Sterling Connecticut. But once you have selected the kind of program you want to pursue, just how do you undertake choosing a college that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career objectives? Naturally the institution you select must offer 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 home and comparing the cost for each school. But there are additional points that you need to evaluate prior to making your final selection. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are important factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your search process. We will address these and other qualifications that you may want to utilize in your vetting process when picking the best 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 benefits of attending online schools.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Sterling CT
Just like with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly required for many positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Sterling CT. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a 2 year degree, it offers an overview of such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally covers the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education creates more options for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional two years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a particular area of criminal justice. Along with the options provided with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for students interested in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available as well. Typically taking 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 obtaining any one of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are numerous specialties to select from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after enjoying countless episodes of the assorted 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 need to choose a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Choosing a program and a school that specializes in that specialty would clearly be the ideal option toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that case, it would be advisable to explore all of the degree options offered from the numerous colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Sterling CT area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the school you have decided on, research the degree program you have an interest in along with the school. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has an outstanding reputation in general does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is extremely important to decide on a major first before picking a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs
Many students may not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their area, or they might just want the convenience of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of colleges located within the USA that offer degree programs online similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for many Sterling CT students, especially those who continue to work part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online programs in many cases make them the only option. And as an added benefit, online colleges are frequently lower in cost than traditional alternatives. Tuition can be lower and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just make certain, just like for any school you are looking at, that the program you choose is accredited by an approved organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can study in this kind of unsupervised setting, then obtaining your degree online may be the ideal alternative for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
At this point you have no doubt decided 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 looking for Sterling CT area colleges and narrowing down your options. Because there are a large number of colleges to pick from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing colleges. Certainly cost is an important factor and you will need to enroll in a school that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed a few others as well, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those issues and more, below is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional 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 screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to verify that the program and school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a top notch education, it will also aid in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Also, many Sterling CT employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the college you attend is significant as well. It’s especially crucial if you are getting in the field with no relevant prior employment history. With no prior experience, Sterling CT 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 college rankings and reviews, including 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 educational programs. Keep in mind that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be highly regarded for a specific degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Sterling CT schools you are looking at. A low rate might be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a substantial network of contacts to assist students in obtaining positions after graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, among the initial things you will probably consider when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or perhaps live on campus, the college you choose will have to be within driving distance of your Sterling CT home. Of course attending classes online will eliminate the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you opt to attend a school not in your resident state, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. 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 prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes afford little chance of getting personalized instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a few classes prior to making your final decision. Speak with some of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Connecticut criminal justice field.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sterling CT, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Sterling CT?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Sterling CT, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Sterling area where your school campus will be located.
The town was named after John Sterling, an early settler. Sterling was incorporated in 1794 following approval of the CT Assembly, and was carved from northern part of the Town of Voluntown. Le Comte de Rochambeau, Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, marched through and camped in the town during the American Revolutionary War on his way from landing at Narragansett Bay to join George Washington's forces on the Hudson River in 1781. A cotton mill was first established in Sterling in 1800.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 27.3 square miles (71 km2), of which, 27.2 square miles (70 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.29%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,099 people, 1,116 households, and 835 families residing in the town. Sterling's population increased 23.6% between 2000 and 2010, making it the third fastest-growing municipality in Connecticut that decade. The population density was 113.8 people per square mile (43.9/km²). There were 1,193 housing units at an average density of 43.8 per square mile (16.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.19% White, 0.71% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 2.42% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.32% of the population.
Enroll in the Ideal Criminal Justice School near Sterling CT
Making sure that you pick the right criminal justice college near Sterling CT is essential to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers respect which school your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Attaining the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the optimal criminal justice school based on your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s important that the school and degree program you choose both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, make certain that the school 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 Colleges That Have Criminal Justice. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing in order to narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the correct decision, you will get the appropriate education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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