How to Pick the Right Criminal Justice School near Washington Maine
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Washington Maine. But once you have decided on the kind of program you want to pursue, just how do you go about picking a school that will provide the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the institution you choose must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will probably begin by looking for colleges that are close to your home and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional factors that you must examine before making your ultimate decision. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the school are critical factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other criteria that you might wish to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees offered along with the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Washington ME
As with most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly required for many positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Washington ME. There are four degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a two year degree, it offers an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree normally includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available 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 after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a specific aspect of criminal justice. Along with the options offered with the lower 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 as well. Usually taking 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 one of the four degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are many specialties to choose from when considering 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 dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you need to choose a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Enrolling in a program and a school that focuses on that area would obviously be the best option toward that end. Perhaps 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 numerous universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Washington ME area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the college you have chosen, research the degree program you have an interest in as well as the school. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation in general 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 Degree Programs Online
A number of students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their vicinity, or they might just prefer the flexibility of earning a degree online. In either case, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of schools domiciled within the United States that provide online degree programs much like the ones offered on campus. And for many Washington ME students, especially those who continue to work 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 frequently lower in cost than on campus options. Tuition may be lower and expenditures for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure, as with any school you are reviewing, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an approved agency, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can study in this kind of independent environment, then obtaining your degree online may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
At this point you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you want to earn your degree online or by attending classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin searching for Washington ME area colleges and fine tuning your options. Considering that there are so many colleges to select from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when assessing colleges. Obviously cost is a significant consideration and you will need to pick a school that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed 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 might want to ask the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Program 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). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have gone through an extensive screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s imperative to make sure that the degree program and school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping ensure that you get a top notch education, it will also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many Washington ME employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As stated previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is important also. It’s especially crucial if you are entering the field with no relevant prior work history. With no previous experience, Washington ME employers will be weighing 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 get school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other aspects contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be well respected for a specific degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Washington ME colleges you are reviewing. A lower percentage may be an indication 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 get that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help verify that the college has a good reputation within the industry, but that it also has a substantial network of employers to assist students in obtaining jobs after graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the opening 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 determined that you will relocate or possibly board on campus, the college you choose will need to be within driving distance of your Washington ME residence. Of course attending online classes will eliminate the need for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you opt to attend a college outside of your resident state, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community and junior colleges also usually charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the option for more interaction with the teachers. Larger classes provide little chance of getting one-on-one instruction if needed. One method to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a couple of classes prior to making your final decision. Talk to some of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Maine criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Washington ME, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. 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 Washington ME?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Washington ME, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Washington area where your school campus will be located.
Give me liberty, or give me death!
He is credited with having swung the balance in convincing the convention to pass a resolution delivering Virginian troops for the Revolutionary War. Among the delegates to the convention were future U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.
The speech was not published until The Port Folio printed a version of it in 1816. The version of the speech that is known today first appeared in print in Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry, a biography of Henry by William Wirt in 1817. There is debate among historians as to whether and to what extent Henry or Wirt should be credited with authorship of the speech and its famous closing words.
Whatever the exact words of Henry were, there can be no doubt of their impact. According to Edmund Randolph, the convention sat in silence for several minutes afterwards. Thomas Marshall told his son John Marshall, who later became Chief Justice of the United States, that the speech was "one of the most bold, vehement, and animated pieces of eloquence that had ever been delivered."Edward Carrington, who was listening outside a window of the church, requested that he be buried on that spot. In 1810, he got his wish. And the drafter of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, George Mason, said, "Every word he says not only engages but commands the attention, and your passions are no longer your own when he addresses them." More immediately, the resolution, declaring the United Colonies to be independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain, passed, and Henry was named chairman of the committee assigned to build a militia. Britain's royal governor, Lord Dunmore, reacted by seizing the gunpowder in the public magazine at Williamsburg—Virginia's equivalent of the battles of Lexington and Concord. Whatever the exact words of Henry were, "scholars, understandably, are troubled by the way Wirt brought into print Henry's classic Liberty or Death speech," wrote historian Bernard Mayo. "Yet . . . its expressions. . . seemed to have burned themselves into men's memories. Certainly its spirit is that of the fiery orator who in 1775 so powerfully influenced Virginians and events leading to American independence."
Choose the Right Criminal Justice College near Washington ME
Making sure that you pick the right criminal justice college near Washington ME is essential to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the right criminal justice school based on your career objectives. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential that the college and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. In addition, make sure that the college has a job assistance program with a high success rate for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Online Colleges For Criminal Justice. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to assess and compare the criminal justice schools you are reviewing so that you can narrow down your options and make the right selection. And when you have made the correct decision, you will receive the proper education so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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