How to Choose the Right Criminal Justice School near Waleska Georgia
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Waleska Georgia. But once you have decided on the kind of program you want to work toward, just how do you undertake picking a college that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the school you choose must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will probably begin by searching for schools that are close to your home and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are other considerations that you should examine before making your ultimate choice. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the college are important factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online training program will also be a part of your search process. We will address these and other qualifications that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors offered as well as the benefits of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Waleska GA
As with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly required for a number of careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Waleska GA. There are 4 degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a 2 year degree, it offers an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. A growing number of police departments are looking for applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree typically addresses the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available additional options for such professions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional 2 years of classes in addition to earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a specific facet of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for those with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered also. Usually 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 earning any one of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors Offered
There are numerous specializations to pick from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after enjoying countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation shows. Or quite possibly you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you must pick a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Enrolling in a school and program that specializes in that specialty 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 case, it would be advisable to explore all of the degree alternatives offered from the various colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Waleska GA 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 are interested in as well as the school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to decide on a major first prior to choosing a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Schools
A number of students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they might just prefer the independence of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of colleges domiciled within the USA that provide online degree programs much like the ones offered on campus. And for a number of Waleska GA students, especially those who continue working full or part-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online programs in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional advantage, online schools are often lower in cost than traditional alternatives. Tuition may be lower 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 choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can study in this type of unsupervised setting, then earning your degree online might be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
By now you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you intend to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin searching for Waleska GA area schools and fine tuning your options. Considering that there are a large number of schools to select from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s important to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating colleges. Obviously cost is an important consideration and you will need to enroll in a college that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already pointed out several others also, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may wish to ask the schools you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Numerous criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. 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 screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to confirm that the program and college you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping assure that you get a quality education, it will also help in acquiring student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Waleska GA employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you select is significant as well. It’s particularly crucial if you are getting in the field with no relevant previous work history. Without any prior experience, Waleska GA 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 get school reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other aspects contributing to the academic programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation may still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Waleska GA schools you are looking at. A lower rate might be a sign that students were disappointed with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the course of study. It’s also important that the colleges have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that marks 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 field, but that it additionally has a sizable network of contacts to help students secure jobs after graduation.
How Far Away are the Colleges Located? As we touched on at the beginning of this article, among the initial things you will most likely consider when looking for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or perhaps board on campus, the school you select will have to be within commuting distance of your Waleska GA home. Naturally attending online classes will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you opt to attend a school outside of your state of residence, you may be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also often charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the teachers. Bigger classes afford little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to audit a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate determination. Speak with some of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Georgia criminal justice field.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Waleska GA, make sure 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 protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Waleska GA?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Waleska GA, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Waleska area where your school campus will be located.
The first white settlement in the Waleska area began in the early 1830s. Among these first pioneer settlers were the Reinhardt, Heard and Rhyne families, who moved into the region looking for fresh, fertile farm land. At first, these settlers lived among the Cherokee population already established in the area, but by 1838 all of the Cherokee had been forced westward to Oklahoma in the U.S. government relocation movement known as the Trail of Tears.
Early settler Lewis W. Reinhardt established a church in 1834 in the settlement known as Reinhardt Chapel and befriended many of the native Cherokee population. When the Trail of Tears forced the movement of Warluskee, the daughter of a local Cherokee chief and friend of Reinhardt's, westward, he named this settlement in her honor (see Funk Heritage Center below).
In 1883, Augustus M. Reinhardt, an Atlanta lawyer, former Confederate captain, and son of one of the founders of Waleska, along with his brother-in-law, former Civil War Lieutenant-Colonel John J. A. Sharp, founded Reinhardt Academy in Waleska for the impoverished children of Cherokee County. This school eventually became Reinhardt University.
Pick the Best Criminal Justice School near Waleska GA
Making certain that you choose the ideal criminal justice school near Waleska GA is essential to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers care which school 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 choosing the optimal criminal justice school predicated upon your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s important that the school and degree program you choose both are accredited and have excellent reputations. In addition, make certain that the school has a job placement program with a high success rate for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Schools With Criminal Justice Programs. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice schools you are reviewing so that you can narrow down your options and make the right choice. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will receive the appropriate training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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