Picking the Right Criminal Justice College near Wellington Kansas
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Wellington Kansas. But once you have chosen the type of degree you would like to work toward, just how do you undertake picking a school that will provide the proper training to help you realize your career goals? Of course the school you select must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly begin by searching for schools that are near your residence and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other factors that you should examine prior to making your ultimate decision. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are critical factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online training program will also be a part of your search process. We will cover these and other qualifications that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when picking the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors available as well as the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Wellington KS
Just like with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently needed for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the job opportunities available in Wellington KS. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a 2 year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. A growing number of police departments are seeking 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 creates additional opportunities for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional two years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a specific facet of criminal justice. Along with the options offered with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for individuals with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered also. Typically requiring anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for obtaining any one of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specializations to pick from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after viewing countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV shows. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you must choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Choosing a school and program that specializes in that specialty would certainly be the best option toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be a good idea to investigate all of the degree options available from the various colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Wellington KS area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the program you have chosen, investigate the degree program you are interested in as well as the college. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is essential to decide on a major first before picking a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Schools
Some prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their region, or they may just prefer the independence of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous schools located within the United States that provide online degree programs much like those offered on campus. And for a number of Wellington KS students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online programs may make them the only option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are frequently lower in cost than on-campus alternatives. Tuition may be lower and costs for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure, just like for any school you are looking at, that the program you select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can study in this type of independent environment, then earning your degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
At this point you have no doubt decided 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. With those decisions made, it’s time to start looking for Wellington KS area schools and narrowing down your options. Because there are numerous schools to pick from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing colleges. Clearly cost is an important factor and you will need to select a college that fits within your academic budget. And we have already discussed several others also, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Numerous criminal justice colleges have earned one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. One of the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s essential to make sure that the degree program and college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. Along with helping guarantee that you receive an excellent education, it will also aid in acquiring student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Wellington KS employers have a preference for graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As stated previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the school you choose is important also. It’s especially critical if you are getting in the field with no relevant prior employment history. With no previous experience, Wellington KS employers will be considering the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can obtain college rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other elements contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be highly respected for a specific degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Wellington KS colleges you are reviewing. A lower rate may be an indicator 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 imperative that the colleges have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help substantiate that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a large network of contacts to assist students secure jobs after graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we touched on at the beginning of this article, one of the initial 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 perhaps board on campus, the school you pick will have to be within commuting distance of your Wellington KS home. Naturally attending online classes will eliminate the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to attend a school not in your state of residence, you could be required to pay 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 like to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes provides the option 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 audit a few classes before making your final determination. Talk to several of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the Kansas criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Wellington KS, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Wellington KS?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Wellington KS, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Wellington area where your school campus will be located.
Wellington was platted in 1871 and named for the Duke of Wellington. It was designated as the Sumner County seat in 1872, winning out over Sumner City according to the Wellington library. Cattle herders coming up the Chisholm Trail helped to build the early town's economy.
In 1887, the Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway built a north-south branch line from Herington through Wellington to Caldwell. Creditors foreclosed on it 1891 and the railroad was taken over by Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, which shut down in 1980 and reorganized as Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas Railroad, merged in 1988 with Missouri Pacific Railroad, merged in 1997 with Union Pacific Railroad. Most locals still refer to this railroad as the "Rock Island".
Wellington is located at 37°16′2″N 97°24′0″W / 37.26722°N 97.40000°W / 37.26722; -97.40000 (37.267289, -97.400061), at an elevation of 1230 feet. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.19 square miles (21.21 km2), of which, 7.61 square miles (19.71 km2) is land and 0.58 square miles (1.50 km2) is water.
Select the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Wellington KS
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice school near Wellington KS is crucial to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers value which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Achieving the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the best criminal justice college 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. Also, verify that the school has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Best Degrees For Law Enforcement. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are looking at in order to narrow down your choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the right decision, you will get the proper training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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