Selecting the Right Criminal Justice College near Yonkers New York
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Yonkers New York. But after you have chosen the kind of program you would like to pursue, just how do you go about picking a school that will provide the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Of course the college you choose must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly start by searching for colleges that are close to your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional factors that you need to investigate before making your ultimate decision. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the school are significant factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online training program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other qualifications that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when picking the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees available along with the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Yonkers NY
Similar to most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly needed for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Yonkers NY. There are four degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a two year degree, it offers an introduction to such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial court system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree typically covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates additional opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional 2 years of classes in addition to attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a particular facet of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for those interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered also. Typically requiring 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 attaining any of the four degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors Offered
There are a number of specialties to pick from when deciding which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after viewing countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV programs. Or maybe you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you need to pick a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Choosing a program and a school that specializes in that area would clearly be the ideal decision toward that end. Maybe you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that scenario, it would be best to explore all of the degree options offered from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Yonkers NY area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the school you have selected, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the college. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has an excellent reputation in general does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first before selecting a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Classes Online
Many prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school 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 schools domiciled within the USA that provide online degree programs much like those offered on campus. And for a number of Yonkers NY students, particularly those who continue to work part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online schools in many cases make them the only option. And as an added advantage, online colleges are often lower in cost than traditional alternatives. Tuition can be cheaper and expenses for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure, as with any college you are considering, that the program you choose is accredited by an approved agency, 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 right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you intend to earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start searching for Yonkers NY area schools and narrowing down your options. Because there are a large number of colleges to pick from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing colleges. Clearly cost is an important factor and you will need to select a college that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already pointed out a few others also, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have obtained one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. One of the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges 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 make sure that the degree program and school you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. Along with helping guarantee that you get a quality education, it will also assist in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many Yonkers NY employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As previously stated, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is significant as well. It’s particularly critical if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior work history. With no previous experience, Yonkers NY employers will be considering the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can get school rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other aspects contributing to the academic programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation might still be well respected for a specific degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Yonkers NY schools you are looking at. A lower percentage may be an indicator 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 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 denotes the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help confirm that the college has a good reputation within the industry, but that it also has a considerable network of contacts to help students secure positions upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, among the first things you will probably look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or possibly board on campus, the school you choose will have to be within driving distance of your Yonkers NY home. Certainly attending online classes will eliminate the necessity 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, especially for state colleges and universities. Community and junior colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes offers the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Big classes allow for little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a few classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Speak with several of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the New York criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Yonkers NY, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Yonkers NY?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Yonkers NY, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Yonkers area where your school campus will be located.
Yonkers, New York
Yonkers (/ˈjɒŋkərz/) is a city in Westchester County, New York. It is the fourth most populous city in the U.S. state of New York, behind New York City, Buffalo, and Rochester. The population of Yonkers was 195,976 as enumerated in the 2010 United States Census and is estimated to have increased by 2.5% to 200,807 in 2016. It is an inner suburb of New York City, directly to the north of the Bronx and approximately two miles (3 km) north of the northernmost point in Manhattan.
Yonkers' downtown is centered on a plaza known as Getty Square, where the municipal government is located. The downtown area also houses significant local businesses and non-profits, and serves as a major retail hub for Yonkers and the northwest Bronx.
The city is home to several attractions, including the Untermyer Park and Gardens; Hudson River Museum; Saw Mill River daylighting, wherein a parking lot was removed to uncover a river; Science Barge; Sherwood House; and Yonkers Raceway, a harness racing track that has renovated its grounds and clubhouse and added legalized video slot machine gambling in 2006 in a "racino" called Empire City.
Enroll in the Right Criminal Justice School near Yonkers NY
Making sure that you pick the ideal criminal justice program near Yonkers NY is crucial to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers care which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Achieving the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the ideal criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you pick both are accredited and have excellent reputations. In addition, confirm 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 Colleges That Offer Criminal Justice Majors. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering in order to narrow down your choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the right decision, you will receive the appropriate education so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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