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A Degree In Criminal Justice West Point NE

Choosing the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near West Point Nebraska

West Point NE SWAT teamSo you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near West Point Nebraska. But once you have chosen the kind of program you would like to work toward, just how do you go about choosing a college that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the college you select must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will no doubt begin by searching for schools that are near your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are other points that you should investigate prior to making your ultimate selection. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college are important 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 search process. We will cover these and other criteria that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors available along with the advantages of attending school online.

Criminal Justice Degrees near West Point NE

West Point NE police detective interviewing witness on phoneSimilar to many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently needed for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in West Point NE. There are 4 degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a 2 year degree, it offers an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial court system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates more opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become specialists in a particular aspect of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities provided with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for individuals with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered also. Usually requiring anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for obtaining any one of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.

Available Criminal Justice Majors

crime scene investigation body chalk outline in West Point NEThere are a number of specialties to pick from when deciding which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after enjoying countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV programs. Or maybe you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Selecting a program and a school that focuses on that area would clearly 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 advisable to investigate all of the degree options available from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the West Point NE area:

  • Law enforcement
  • Rehabilitation
  • Criminology
  • Homeland security
  • Forensic science
  • Social Work
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Pre-law Studies
  • Police science
  • Corrections

Prior to enrolling in the college you have selected, investigate the degree program you are interested in along with the college. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation in general does not mean that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is essential to decide on a major first before picking a college to enroll in.

Criminal Justice Colleges Online

woman earning criminal justice degree online in West Point NESome students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, or they may just want the convenience of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There many schools domiciled within the United States that provide online degree programs much like the ones offered on campus. And for many West Point NE students, particularly those who continue to work full or part-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 schools are often more affordable than traditional alternatives. Tuition may be cheaper and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain, just like for any college you are considering, that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can study in this kind of unsupervised setting, then obtaining your degree online may be the right option for you.

Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Schools

Questions to ask West Point NE criminal justice schoolsAt this point you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you want to earn your degree online or by attending classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start looking for West Point NE area schools and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are so many colleges to choose from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when assessing schools. Clearly cost is an important factor and you will need to pick a program that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed a few others also, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you may wish to ask the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.

Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Numerous criminal justice colleges have obtained 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 assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s essential to confirm 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 assure that you get a quality education, it will also aid in securing student loans or financial aid, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many West Point NE employers are looking for graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.

What is the Reputation of the Program? As previously stated, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is significant as well. It’s especially critical if you are going into the profession with no relevant prior employment history. Without any previous experience, West Point NE employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can obtain school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other factors contributing to the educational programs. Bear in mind that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation might still be highly regarded for a specific degree program that you might have an interest in.

What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation rates are for the West Point NE colleges you are looking at. A low rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the course of study. It’s also important that the colleges have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help verify that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it also has a large network of contacts to assist students secure jobs after graduation.

Where are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, one of the initial 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 possibly board on campus, the school you select will have to be within driving distance of your West Point NE residence. Certainly attending online classes will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to attend a college not in your state of residence, you may be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Junior and community colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.

How Big are the Classes? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, attending smaller classes provides the option for more interaction with the teachers. Bigger classes afford little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One method to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate determination. Speak with several of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Nebraska criminal justice profession.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Point NE, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near West Point NE?

If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near West Point NE, following is some interesting and useful background information about the West Point area where your school campus will be located.

West Point, Nebraska

West Point was first founded in the spring of 1857, when Omaha businessmen formed the Nebraska Settlement Association in order to find suitable townsites in the Elkhorn Valley. Uriah, John, and Andrew Bruner (three brothers originally from Pennsylvania), and William Sexauer chose the present location on a bend along a river, which they called New Philadelphia.[6] The name was soon changed to West Point because it was the westernmost outpost along the valley.[7]

West Point became the county seat of Cuming County on October 12, 1858 after winning the election over the community of DeWitt. A total of 19 votes were split between the two towns with West Point obtaining 12 votes. By the spring of 1859, over 4,000 Pawnee natives flooded the Elkhorn Valley during a hunting excursion and, displeased to find white settlers in the valley, burned several homesteads and killed livestock. The so-called Pawnee War ended near Battle Creek without a fight.

The Chicago & North Western ended railroad service in 1982 after flood damage and declining freight traffic levels resulted in the track being abandoned. Plans were made to revive railroad service from the newly formed Fremont & Elkhorn Valley Railroad, who purchased the abandoned C&NW track. However, the costs were too high to revive railroad service, and the tracks were removed in 1988.[citation needed]

Pick the Right Criminal Justice College near West Point NE

West Point NE mounted police officerMaking certain that you choose the right criminal justice college near West Point NE is vital to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers respect which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Attaining the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career begins with picking the optimal criminal justice college predicated upon your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential that the college and degree program you choose both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, make sure that the college has a job placement program with a strong track record for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in A Degree In 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 in order to narrow down your choices and make the best choice. And when you have made the right decision, you will get the appropriate education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.

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