How to Pick the Right Criminal Justice College near Sunflower Mississippi
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Sunflower Mississippi. But after you have selected the kind of program you want to pursue, just how do you go about picking a college that will provide the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the college you select must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly start by looking for colleges that are close to your residence and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are other factors that you need to evaluate prior to making your ultimate selection. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college are important factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of 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 address these and other criteria that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when choosing the best criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Sunflower MS
Similar to most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly required for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the employment opportunities available in Sunflower MS. There are 4 degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it offers 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 normally includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education creates additional opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes in addition to earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a specific area of criminal justice. In addition to the options offered with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for individuals interested in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered also. Typically taking anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for obtaining any of the four degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are numerous specialties to select from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after enjoying numerous episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you must pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Choosing a school and program that focuses on that specialty would obviously be the best decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that scenario, it would be a good idea to investigate all of the degree alternatives available from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Sunflower MS 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 have an interest in along with the college. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first before choosing a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Colleges
A number of students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, or they may just want the independence of earning a degree online. In either case, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of schools domiciled within the USA that offer online degree programs similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for a number of Sunflower MS students, especially those who continue to work full or part-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges may make them the only option. And as an added benefit, online schools are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition can be lower and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure, as with any school you are looking at, that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized 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 independent environment, then earning your degree online might be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
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 Sunflower MS area colleges and narrowing down your options. Since there are so many schools to choose from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when evaluating colleges. Naturally cost is a significant consideration and you will need to pick a school that fits within your academic budget. And we have already discussed a few others also, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you may wish to ask the colleges you are examining before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Numerous criminal justice colleges have acquired one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. Among the most respected 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 course of instruction and teachers. It’s essential to make sure that the degree program and college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it will also aid in securing student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Sunflower MS employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As previously stated, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is important also. It’s particularly crucial if you are going into the profession with no relevant prior employment history. With no prior experience, Sunflower MS 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 college reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other elements contributing to the academic programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation might still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Sunflower MS colleges you are looking at. A low percentage may be an indicator that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important 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 an excellent reputation within the field, but that it also has a sizable network of contacts to help students obtain jobs after graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we touched on at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will most likely consider when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will relocate or possibly board on campus, the college you choose will need to be within commuting distance of your Sunflower MS home. Certainly attending online classes will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you opt to attend a college not in your state of residence, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to small classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Big classes provide little chance of receiving individualized instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a couple of classes prior to making your final determination. Speak with some of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Mississippi criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to make sure that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sunflower MS, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Sunflower MS?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Sunflower MS, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Sunflower area where your school campus will be located.
Sunflower County, Mississippi
Sunflower Country was created in 1844. The land mass encompassed most of Sunflower and Leflore Counties as we know them today. The first seat of government was Clayton, located near Fort Pemberton. Later the county seat was moved to McNutt, also in the Leflore County of today. When Sunflower and Leflore Counties were separated in 1871, the new county seat for Sunflower County was moved to Johnsonville. This village was located where the north end of Mound Bayou empties into the Sunflower River. In 1882 the county seat was moved to Eureka, which was later renamed Indianola.
After the U.S. Civil War, across several decades African Americans migrated to Sunflower County to work in the Mississippi Delta. In 1870, 3,243 black people lived in Sunflower County. This increased to 12,070 in 1900, making up 75% of the residents in Sunflower County. Between 1900 and 1920, the black population almost tripled.
Many African Americans who had migrated to the North from the 1940s to 1970 in the Great Migration struggled with the loss of jobs in their regions following industrial restructuring. In the 1980s and 1990s, they began to send their children to the Mississippi Delta to live with relatives, thinking social conditions were better than in the inner cities. Gangs and drug trade activity were transported to the Mississippi Delta from northern inner cities. As a result of this trend, crack cocaine began to be distributed in Sunflower County.[page needed]
Enroll in the Best Criminal Justice School near Sunflower MS
Making certain that you pick the ideal criminal justice college near Sunflower MS is essential to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers respect which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Achieving the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the ideal criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you pick both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, make sure that the college has a job assistance program with a high success rate for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Online Schools. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate and compare the criminal justice schools you are reviewing in order to narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the correct decision, you will get the appropriate training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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