How to Choose the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Summit Mississippi
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Summit Mississippi. But once you have selected the type of degree you want to work toward, just how do you tackle selecting a school that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Naturally the institution you pick must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will no doubt begin by searching for schools that are close to your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are additional factors that you need to examine before making your final decision. For instance, the accreditation and reputation of the college are significant factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online degree program will also be a part of your search process. We will address these and other qualifications that you might wish to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the best criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees offered as well as the benefits of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Summit MS
Similar to many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently needed for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Summit MS. There are four degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. A growing number of police departments are seeking applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education makes available additional opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional 2 years of classes in addition to earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a specific area of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for students interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered also. Generally taking anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for obtaining any of the four degrees will depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specialties to pick from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after enjoying countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV programs. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you need to pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Choosing a school and program that focuses on that area would obviously be the best option toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that situation, it would be a good idea to investigate all of the degree options offered from the numerous universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Summit MS area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the college you have selected, research the degree program you have an interest in along with the college. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation in general does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first before choosing a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Colleges
Some students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, or they might just prefer the flexibility of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of colleges domiciled within the USA that provide online degree programs similar to the ones offered on campus. And for a number of Summit MS students, especially those who continue working full or part-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online schools may make them the only option. And as an added benefit, online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition may be lower and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just make certain, just like for any college you are reviewing, that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can learn in this type of unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
At this point you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start looking for Summit MS area colleges and narrowing down your options. Since there are so many colleges to pick from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing schools. Certainly cost is a significant factor and you will need to pick a college that fits within your academic budget. And we have already pointed out several others also, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those issues and more, below is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from national or regional 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 an extensive assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s essential to make sure that the degree program and college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it will also aid in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, a number of Summit MS employers are looking for graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As previously stated, together with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is significant also. It’s especially critical if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior job history. Without any prior experience, Summit MS employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can get school reviews and rankings, such as 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. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be highly regarded for a specific degree program that you may have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Summit MS colleges you are reviewing. A low rate might be a sign 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 assistance programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you land that first crucial job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help verify that the college has a good reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a large network of employers to help students in obtaining positions upon graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we touched on at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will probably look at when looking for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps board on campus, the college you choose will have to be within driving distance of your Summit MS home. Certainly attending online classes will remove the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to attend a school not in your state of residence, you may be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes provide little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a couple of classes prior to making your final decision. Talk to several of the students and ask 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 backgrounds have been in the Mississippi criminal justice field.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Summit MS, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Summit MS?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Summit MS, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Summit area where your school campus will be located.
The town originated as a railroad town and was named Summit because it was thought to be the highest point on the Illinois Central Railroad between New Orleans and Jackson, Tennessee, though nearby Brookhaven actually has that distinction.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,428 people, 589 households, and 394 families residing in the town. The population density was 848.9 people per square mile (328.2/km²). There were 658 housing units at an average density of 391.2 per square mile (151.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 32.63% White, 66.18% African American, 0.07% Asian, 0.14% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.42% of the population.
There were 589 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.5% were married couples living together, 24.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.1% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.03.
Pick the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Summit MS
Making certain that you select the ideal criminal justice college near Summit MS is vital to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers value which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the best criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s imperative that the college and degree program you decide on both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, make certain that the school 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 Courses. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will be able to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are looking at in order to narrow down your choices and make the right selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the proper education so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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