Selecting the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Russell Springs Kentucky
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Russell Springs Kentucky. But after you have decided on the kind of program you want to work toward, just how do you go about selecting a college that will offer the proper training to help you achieve your career goals? Of course the college you choose must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will probably start by searching for schools that are nearby your residence and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other points that you need to evaluate before making your ultimate decision. 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 rather than sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online training program will also be a part of your search process. We will deal with these and other qualifications that you may wish to include in your vetting process when picking the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees offered along with the benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Russell Springs KY
As with most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly needed for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Russell Springs KY. There are 4 degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a 2 year degree, it provides an overview of such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial court 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 topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education creates additional options for such occupations 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 attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a specific facet of criminal justice. Along with the options afforded with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for students interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered as well. Generally requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for earning any of the 4 degrees will depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are a number of specializations to choose from when considering which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after watching numerous episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV shows. Or maybe you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Selecting a school and program that focuses on that area would naturally be the best option toward that end. Possibly you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that case, it would be a good idea to investigate all of the degree alternatives available from the various colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Russell Springs KY 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. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is essential to decide on a major first prior to picking a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Colleges Online
Some students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their region, or they might just want the independence of earning a degree online. In either case, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There many colleges domiciled within the USA that offer degree programs online much like those offered on-campus. And for many Russell Springs KY students, especially those who continue to work full or part-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online programs in many cases make them the only option. And as an added advantage, online colleges are often lower in cost than on campus options. Tuition may be cheaper and expenses for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just verify, just like for any school you are reviewing, that the program you choose is accredited by an approved agency, for example 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 right option for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
At this point you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, 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 Russell Springs KY area colleges and fine tuning your options. Since there are so many colleges to select from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing schools. Certainly cost is a significant consideration and you will need to choose a school that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already pointed out a few others as well, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you might wish to ask the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? Numerous criminal justice schools have earned one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. 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 undergone a rigorous assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to verify that the degree program and college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it will also assist in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many Russell Springs KY employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you choose is important as well. It’s especially crucial if you are getting in the field with no relevant prior work history. With no prior experience, Russell Springs KY employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can get school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the educational programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be well regarded for a specific degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Russell Springs KY schools you are considering. A lower rate might be an indication 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 schools have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you land that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help confirm that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it also has a large network of employers to assist students secure positions upon graduation.
Where are the Schools Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will most likely look at when looking for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will relocate or possibly board on campus, the college you select will have to be within driving distance of your Russell Springs KY residence. Of course 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 opt to go to a school not in your state of residence, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also often charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, going to small classes provides the option for more interaction with the teachers. Large classes provide little chance of receiving individualized instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Talk to some of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Kentucky criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Russell Springs KY, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Russell Springs KY?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Russell Springs KY, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Russell Springs area where your school campus will be located.
Russell Springs, Kentucky
Russell Springs is a home rule-class city in Russell County, Kentucky, in the United States. The city is the gateway to Lake Cumberland, one of the largest man-made lakes in the region, created by Wolf Creek Dam. It is the largest city in the county, having a population of 2,399 during the year 2000 U.S. Census.
The present city grew out of a resort centered on a local chalybeate spring. Rennick relates that Samuel Patterson was generally credited with settling the site and that the community was known as Big Boiling Springs by 1850. The post office was established in 1855 as "Russell Springs" after the county, but was discontinued in 1865 and reopened as Kimble (after local businessman George Kimble) in 1888. The community restored the name Russell Springs in 1901 and incorporated in 1936.
Russell Springs is located at 37°3′17″N 85°4′52″W / 37.05472°N 85.08111°W / 37.05472; -85.08111 (37.054853, -85.081162). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.6 square miles (12 km2), all land.
Select the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Russell Springs KY
Making certain that you select the ideal criminal justice program near Russell Springs KY is essential to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers value which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Attaining the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the optimal criminal justice school predicated upon your career objectives. As we have addressed in this article, it’s imperative that the college and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, verify that the college 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 Top Online Colleges For Criminal Justice. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are looking at in order to narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the proper education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Kentucky