How to Select the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Valley Center Kansas
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Valley Center Kansas. But after you have chosen the kind of program you would like to pursue, just how do you undertake choosing a college that will offer the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Of course the school you choose must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will probably start by searching for colleges that are close to your home and comparing the cost for each school. But there are other points that you should examine prior to making your ultimate selection. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the school are important factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online training program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other criteria that you may wish to include in your vetting process when selecting the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Valley Center KS
As with most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly needed for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Valley Center KS. There are four degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a 2 year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually addresses the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates more opportunities for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. 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 enables students to become experts in a specific aspect of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for students with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered as well. Typically taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for earning any one of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specializations to pick from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after enjoying countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation shows. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you must choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Choosing a program and a school that focuses on that area would certainly be the best decision toward that end. Possibly you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be advisable to investigate all of the degree alternatives offered from the numerous universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Valley Center KS area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the program you have decided on, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the college. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first before selecting a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Schools Online
Many students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their region, or they may just want the convenience of earning a degree online. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous colleges located within the USA that provide degree programs online similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for many Valley Center KS students, particularly 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 sole option. And as an added advantage, online schools are frequently lower in cost than on-campus options. Tuition can be cheaper and expenses for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain, as with any school you are considering, that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized organization, 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 earning your degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have undoubtedly 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. With those decisions made, it’s time to start searching for Valley Center KS area colleges and fine tuning your options. Considering that there are so many schools to pick from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating schools. Naturally cost is an important factor and you will need to select a program that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already mentioned 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 may wish to ask the colleges you are thinking about before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have earned one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. Among the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s important to verify that the degree program and school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a top notch education, it will also assist in acquiring student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of Valley Center KS employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As mentioned previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you choose is significant also. It’s particularly crucial if you are entering the profession with no relevant previous employment history. Without any previous experience, Valley Center KS employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can get school rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other factors contributing to the educational programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well respected for a particular degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Valley Center KS schools you are reviewing. A low rate might be a sign 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 essential that the schools have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help substantiate that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it also has a large network of contacts to assist students secure jobs after graduation.
How Far Away are the Campuses Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, among the initial things you will probably look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or possibly live on campus, the school you pick will need to be within driving distance of your Valley Center KS residence. Certainly attending classes online will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to attend a college outside of your resident state, you could be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Junior and community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, attending smaller classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Larger classes allow for little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a couple of classes prior to making your final determination. 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 may also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Kansas criminal justice field.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Valley Center KS, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Valley Center KS?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Valley Center KS, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Valley Center area where your school campus will be located.
Valley Center, Kansas
On the morning of July 17, 2007, a large explosion occurred at the Barton Solvents chemical plant in Valley Center, destroying the plant and forcing the temporary evacuation of the city. Cleanup began several weeks later, and the investigation was completed by mid-August.
Valley Center is located at 37°49′47″N 97°22′10″W / 37.82972°N 97.36944°W / 37.82972; -97.36944 (37.829719, -97.369341). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.95 square miles (18.00 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 6,822 people, 2,484 households, and 1,862 families residing in the city. The population density was 981.6 inhabitants per square mile (379.0/km2). There were 2,601 housing units at an average density of 374.2 per square mile (144.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.2% White, 0.8% African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 1.3% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.6% of the population.
Enroll in the Ideal Criminal Justice College near Valley Center KS
Making certain that you pick the right criminal justice program near Valley Center KS is crucial to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers value which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the right criminal justice school predicated upon your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s imperative that the school and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. In addition, confirm that the school has a job placement program with a strong track record for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Colleges With Criminal Justice Programs. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will be able to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the appropriate training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Kansas