How to Pick the Right Criminal Justice School near Taos New Mexico
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Taos New Mexico. But after you have decided on the kind of degree you would like to work toward, just how do you tackle picking a school that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career objectives? Naturally the institution you pick must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly begin by searching for schools that are nearby your residence and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are additional considerations that you need to examine before making your final decision. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college are significant factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online degree program will also be a part of your search process. We will discuss these and other qualifications that you might want to include in your vetting process when deciding on the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Taos NM
As with most other professions, degrees in criminal justice 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 Taos NM. There are four degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a 2 year degree, it offers an introduction to such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial court system. More and more police departments are looking for candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education makes available additional opportunities for such positions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional 2 years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a specific facet of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for those with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available also. Typically taking anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for earning any one of the four degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specializations to choose from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after enjoying countless 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 need to select a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Enrolling in a program and a school that focuses on that area would clearly be the best decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that case, it would be advisable to explore all of the degree options offered from the various universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Taos NM 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 selected, research the degree program you are interested in along with the college. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole 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 prior to choosing a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Schools Online
Many students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their vicinity, or they might just prefer the independence of earning an online degree. In either case, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous schools domiciled within the United States that provide online degree programs similar to the ones offered on campus. And for many Taos NM students, particularly those who continue working full or part-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online programs may make them the sole option. And as an added advantage, online schools are often lower in cost than on-campus alternatives. Tuition can be cheaper and expenses for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain, as with any college you are looking at, that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can learn in this kind of unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online may be the best alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
By now you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you intend to obtain your degree online or by going to classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin searching for Taos NM area schools and fine tuning your options. Since there are so many colleges to choose from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing schools. Obviously cost is a significant consideration and you will need to enroll in a college that is within your academic budget. And we have already addressed a few others as well, such as accreditation, reputation and location. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are examining prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Numerous criminal justice colleges have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. One of the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone a rigorous assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s essential to confirm that the 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 obtain a top notch education, it will also aid in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Taos NM employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As previously stated, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you choose is important as well. It’s especially crucial if you are going into the profession with no relevant previous work history. Without any previous experience, Taos NM employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can obtain school reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other factors contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be highly respected for a specific degree program that you might have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Taos NM colleges you are considering. A lower percentage may be a sign that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the colleges have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help verify that the school has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain jobs upon graduation.
Where 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 searching for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or perhaps board on campus, the college you choose will have to be within driving distance of your Taos NM residence. Certainly attending online classes will eliminate the need for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to attend a college not in your resident state, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Junior and community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, attending small classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes allow for little chance of getting one-on-one instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a few classes before making your final determination. Speak with several of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their experiences have been in the New Mexico criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Taos NM, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Taos NM?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Taos NM, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Taos area where your school campus will be located.
Taos, New Mexico
Taos /taʊs/ is a town in Taos County in the north-central region of New Mexico in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, incorporated in 1934. As of the 2010 census, its population was 5,716. Other nearby communities include Ranchos de Taos, Cañon, Taos Canyon, Ranchitos, El Prado, and Arroyo Seco. The town is close to Taos Pueblo, the Native American village and tribe from which it takes its name.
The Taos Pueblo, which borders the town of Taos on its north side, has been occupied for nearly a millennium. It is estimated that the pueblo was built between 1000 and 1450 A.D., with some later expansion, and the pueblo is considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States.
Located in a tributary valley off the Rio Grande, it is the most northern of the New Mexico pueblos. The pueblo, at some places five stories high, is a combination of many individual homes with common walls. There are over 1,900 Taos Puebloans living within the greater pueblo-area community. Many of them have modern homes near their fields and live there in summer months, only staying at their homes within the main North or South pueblo buildings during cooler weather. About 150 people live within the main pueblo buildings year-round. The Taos Pueblo was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.
Select the Ideal Criminal Justice Degree Program near Taos NM
Making certain that you pick the right criminal justice program near Taos NM is essential to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers care which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Attaining the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career begins with picking the right criminal justice college predicated upon your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s important that the school and degree program you pick both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Also, make sure 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 Best Online Criminal Justice Programs. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will be able to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are reviewing so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the proper education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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