How to Choose the Right Criminal Justice School near Richmond Kentucky
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Richmond Kentucky. But after you have selected the type of degree you want to work toward, just how do you go about selecting a college that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the school you pick must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will no doubt start by looking for colleges that are nearby your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are additional considerations that you need to investigate prior to making your final choice. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are critical factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will cover these and other criteria that you may want to include in your vetting process when deciding on the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors offered along with the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Richmond KY
As with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly required 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 Richmond KY. There are 4 degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. A growing number of police departments are seeking applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education creates more opportunities for such positions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes in addition to attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a particular aspect of criminal justice. In addition to the options afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for those interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available as well. Usually taking anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for obtaining any of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors Offered
There are many specializations to choose from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after watching numerous episodes of the different crime scene investigation shows. Or maybe you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you need to choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Enrolling in a school and program that specializes in that specialty would obviously be the best decision toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that case, it would be a good idea to explore all of the degree alternatives offered from the numerous colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Richmond KY area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the college you have chosen, research the degree program you are interested in along with the college. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first prior to selecting a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Colleges
Many prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they may just want the convenience of earning an online degree. In either case, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous schools located within the United States that provide degree programs online much like the ones offered on campus. And for a number of Richmond KY students, especially those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online programs in many cases make them the only option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are often lower in cost than on-campus alternatives. Tuition can be lower and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just verify, just like for any school you are reviewing, that the program you select 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 learn in this type of unsupervised setting, then obtaining your degree online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
At this point you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you want to obtain your degree online or by going to classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start searching for Richmond KY area schools and narrowing down your options. Because there are numerous schools to choose from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing schools. Certainly cost is a significant consideration and you will need to enroll in a program that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed a few others as well, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have obtained 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 screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s imperative to confirm that the degree program and school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it will also assist in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Richmond KY employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As stated previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is significant also. It’s particularly critical if you are getting in the field with no relevant prior work history. Without any previous experience, Richmond KY employers will be considering 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 college rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other elements contributing to the academic programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation may still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Richmond KY colleges you are looking at. A low percentage might be an indicator that students were disappointed 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 schools have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you obtain that first crucial job after graduation that marks the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help confirm that the college has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a substantial network of contacts to assist students in obtaining jobs upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, among the first things you will probably look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will relocate or perhaps board on campus, the school you choose will need to be within commuting distance of your Richmond KY home. Certainly attending classes online will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you opt to go to a school not in your state of residence, you may be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also usually charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the option for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes allow for little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One way to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Speak with some of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Kentucky criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Richmond KY, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Richmond KY?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Richmond KY, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Richmond area where your school campus will be located.
Richmond is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Madison County, Kentucky, United States. It is named after Richmond, Virginia, and is the home of Eastern Kentucky University. The population was 33,533 in 2015. Richmond is the third-largest city in the Bluegrass region (after Louisville and Lexington) and the state's sixth-largest city. Richmond serves as the center for work and shopping for south-central Kentucky. Richmond is the principal city of the Richmond–Berea Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Madison and Rockcastle counties.
The City of Richmond was founded in 1798 by Colonel John Miller from Virginia, a British American who had served with the rebels in the Revolutionary War. According to tradition, Miller was attracted to the area by the good spring water and friendly Native Americans. That year, the Kentucky legislature approved moving the county seat from Milford to land owned by Colonel Miller. The residents of Milford adamantly opposed the move, which led to a fist fight between Dave Kennedy (representing Milford) and William Kearly (representing Richmond). The county approved the move in March 1798. On July 4, 1798, the new town was named Richmond in honor of Miller's Virginia birthplace. Richmond was incorporated in 1809.
Kentucky was a border state during the Civil War and stayed in the Union. On August 30, 1862, during the Civil War, the Union and Confederate Armies clashed in the Battle of Richmond. Troops under Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith routed the soldiers of Union General William Nelson. Out of Nelson's 6,500 men, only 1,200 escaped; the rest were all captured. One historian called this battle "the nearest thing to a Cannae ever scored by any general, North or South, in the course of the whole war." [page needed]
Find the Right Criminal Justice College near Richmond KY
Making sure that you choose the right criminal justice school near Richmond KY is vital to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Attaining the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career starts 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 pick both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, make sure that the school has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Graduate Degrees. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are looking at in order to narrow down your options and make the right choice. And when you have made the correct decision, you will receive the appropriate training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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