Picking the Right Criminal Justice College near Umatilla Oregon
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Umatilla Oregon. But after you have selected the type of program you would like to work toward, just how do you undertake selecting a school that will provide the right training to help you realize your career objectives? Naturally the college you choose must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt start by searching for schools that are near your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other issues that you should examine before making your final choice. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the college are significant factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online degree program will also be a part of your search process. We will cover these and other criteria that you might wish to utilize in your vetting process when choosing the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees offered along with the benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Umatilla OR
Similar to most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly needed for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the employment opportunities available in Umatilla OR. There are four degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a 2 year degree, it provides an overview of such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial court system. More and more police departments are looking for applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available more opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a particular area of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for students interested in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Typically requiring anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for earning any one of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors Offered
There are numerous specializations to select from when determining which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after watching countless episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation shows. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you must select a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Choosing a school and program that focuses on that area would clearly be the best option toward that end. Possibly you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be best to research all of the degree options available from the numerous colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Umatilla OR area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the college you have decided on, investigate the degree program you have an interest in as well as the college. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole 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 prior to selecting a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs Online
Many prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their area, 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 colleges domiciled within the United States that provide degree programs online similar to those offered on-campus. And for many Umatilla OR students, particularly those who continue working full or part-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges may make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are often lower in cost than on campus alternatives. Tuition can be lower and costs for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, as with any college you are reviewing, that the program you select is accredited by an approved agency, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can learn in this kind of independent environment, then obtaining your degree online might be the right option for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin searching for Umatilla OR area schools and fine tuning your options. Considering that there are so many colleges to pick from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating schools. Certainly cost is an important consideration and you will need to pick a school that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already discussed a few others also, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have received one or more accreditations from regional or national 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 verify that the program and college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it will also aid in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Umatilla OR employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As previously stated, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is significant as well. It’s particularly critical if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior employment history. Without any previous experience, Umatilla OR employers will be considering 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 college rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other aspects contributing to the academic programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation may still be well respected for a specific degree program that you might have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Umatilla OR schools you are reviewing. A lower percentage might be a sign that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out, 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 high placement rates. A job placement program will help you get that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help verify that the college has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a substantial network of employers to help students obtain jobs upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Colleges Located? As we mentioned at the opening of this article, one of the initial things you will most likely consider when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or possibly live on campus, the school you select will need to be within driving distance of your Umatilla OR home. Naturally attending classes online will eliminate the need for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to go to a college outside of your resident state, you may be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also usually charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classes? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, attending smaller classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Bigger classes afford little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a couple of classes before making your ultimate decision. Talk to some 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 inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the Oregon criminal justice field.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Umatilla OR, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And find out 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 Umatilla OR?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Umatilla OR, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Umatilla area where your school campus will be located.
Umatilla County, Oregon
Umatilla County /ˌjuːməˈtɪlə/ is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 75,889. The county seat is Pendleton, but the largest city is Hermiston. The county is named for the Umatilla River.
Umatilla County is part of the Hermiston-Pendleton, OR Micropolitan Statistical Area. Portland State University projects that 80% of all growth in the MSA will occur in the immediate Hermiston vicinity between 2016 and 2035. It is included in the eight-county definition of Eastern Oregon.
Umatilla County was created on September 27, 1862, out of a portion of Wasco County. Adjustments were made to the county's boundaries following the creation of Grant, Morrow, Union, and Wallowa Counties. This legislative act also designated Marshall Station as the temporary county seat. An 1865 election selected Umatilla City, now known as Umatilla, as the county seat. With the development of wheat farming, population shifted to the north and east parts of the county, and a subsequent election in 1868 moved the county seat again to Pendleton.
Find the Ideal Criminal Justice School near Umatilla OR
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice program near Umatilla OR is essential to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers respect 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 starts with choosing the ideal criminal justice college predicated upon your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s imperative that the school and degree program you select both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, make certain that the school has a job placement program with a high success rate for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Top Criminal Justice Programs. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at in order to narrow down your choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will get the appropriate training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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