How to Choose the Right Criminal Justice School near Shannon Mississippi
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Shannon Mississippi. But once you have selected the type of degree you want to pursue, just how do you tackle selecting a school that will provide the right training to help you realize your career goals? Naturally the school you choose must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will no doubt begin by searching for colleges that are nearby your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are other factors that you must investigate before making your final choice. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college are critical factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other criteria that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when picking the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors available as well as the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Shannon MS
Just like with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly required for various careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Shannon MS. There are 4 degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as law enforcement, corrections 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 includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education creates additional options for such occupations 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 obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a specific area of criminal justice. In addition to the options offered with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for individuals interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Usually taking anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for obtaining any of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specialties to select from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after enjoying numerous episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV programs. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you need to pick a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Enrolling in a school and program that focuses on that area would clearly be the ideal decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be advisable to explore all of the degree alternatives available from the numerous universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Shannon MS area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the program you have decided on, investigate the degree program you are interested in as well as the college. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has a good reputation in general 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 before selecting a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Schools
Many prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their region, or they may just want the flexibility of earning a degree online. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There a large number of colleges domiciled within the United States that provide degree programs online much like those offered on campus. And for many Shannon MS students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online programs in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional advantage, online colleges are frequently lower in cost than on campus alternatives. Tuition may be lower and expenses for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, just like for any college you are looking at, 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 type of independent setting, then obtaining your degree online might be the best option for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you want to obtain your degree online or by going to classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin looking for Shannon MS area schools and fine tuning your options. Because there are a large number of colleges to choose from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when analyzing schools. Certainly cost is an important factor and you will need to choose a college that fits within your academic budget. And we have already mentioned a few others as well, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might want to ask the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. 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 screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s imperative to confirm that the degree program and school you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it will also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Shannon MS employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As mentioned previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you select is significant as well. It’s particularly crucial if you are entering the profession with no relevant prior job history. Without any prior experience, Shannon MS employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can find school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the core curriculum, 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 could still be well respected for a particular degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Shannon MS schools you are reviewing. A lower rate may be an indication 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 colleges have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the start of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help validate that the college has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a substantial network of employers to help students secure positions upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Colleges Located? As we touched on at the opening 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 perhaps board on campus, the school you select will need to be within commuting distance of your Shannon MS residence. Naturally attending classes online will remove 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 college outside of your state of residence, you might be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community and junior colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, going to small classes offers the opportunity for more interaction with the instructors. Bigger classes afford little chance of getting personalized instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a couple of classes before making your final decision. Speak with several of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You may also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Mississippi criminal justice field.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Shannon MS, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Shannon MS?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Shannon MS, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Shannon area where your school campus will be located.
The town is named for Samuel Shannon, who purchased land at that location from Chickasaw Chief Itawamba in the early 1800s, then built a cabin and a farm. More settlers arrived following the Treaty of Pontotoc, which ceding Chickasaw land in exchange for financial compensation.
The original townsite was north of the present location, and was moved when the Mobile and Ohio Railroad was constructed through the community in the 1850s. Shannon was incorporated in 1860 and a post office was established. Shannon was originally part of Itawamba County, but became part of Lee county after that county formed in 1866.
From 1998 until 2007, Shannon was home to Rumors, the gay bar featured in the Kevin Smith/Malcolm Ingram film Small Town Gay Bar. In 2013, after a hiatus, local businesspeople tried to reopen the bar. The town refused. This refusal led to a lawsuit claiming the town had refused the application out of concern of having a gay bar in its jurisdiction.
Pick the Ideal Criminal Justice College near Shannon MS
Making certain that you pick the right criminal justice program near Shannon MS is vital to your obtaining the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers care which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the ideal criminal justice college predicated upon your career objectives. As we have addressed 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 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 Bachelor Of Science In Criminal Justice. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your options and make the right choice. And when you have made the correct decision, you will get the proper training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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