How to Choose the Right Criminal Justice College near York Springs Pennsylvania
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near York Springs Pennsylvania. But after you have chosen the kind of program you want to work toward, just how do you undertake picking a school that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the institution you choose must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly start by searching for schools that are nearby your residence and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are other factors that you must investigate before making your ultimate decision. For instance, the accreditation and reputation of the school are significant factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online degree program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will cover these and other criteria that you might want to include in your vetting process when selecting the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the advantages of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near York Springs PA
As with most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly required for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in York Springs PA. There are four degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a 2 year degree, it offers an introduction to such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. More and more police departments are seeking applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education makes available more opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional two years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a specific aspect of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for those with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered as well. Typically taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for obtaining any of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are numerous specialties to choose from when deciding which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after viewing countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be 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 prepare and qualify you for that position. Selecting a school and program that specializes in that area would clearly be the best option toward that end. Possibly you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that case, it would be best to investigate all of the degree options available from the numerous colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the York Springs PA area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the school you have selected, research the degree program you have an interest in along with the school. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first before choosing a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Schools Online
Some students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they might just prefer the independence of earning a degree online. In either case, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous colleges located within the United States that provide degree programs online much like the ones offered on campus. And for many York Springs PA students, particularly those who continue to work part or full-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges in many cases make them the only option. And as an additional advantage, online schools are frequently more affordable than on campus alternatives. Tuition can be cheaper and costs for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just make certain, as with any school you are looking at, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an acknowledged organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can learn in this type of unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online might be the ideal alternative for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you want to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin searching for York Springs PA area schools and narrowing down your options. Because there are a large number of schools to pick from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s imperative to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing schools. Obviously cost is a significant factor and you will need to choose a school that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already pointed out several others also, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you might want to ask the schools you are examining prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? A large number of criminal justice colleges have earned 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 screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s important to confirm that the degree program and college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. Along with helping confirm that you receive a top notch education, it will also assist in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many York Springs PA employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you choose is significant as well. It’s especially crucial if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior work history. Without any prior experience, York Springs PA employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can obtain school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other elements contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be highly respected for a specific degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation rates are for the York Springs PA colleges you are reviewing. A low rate may be an indication that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a substantial network of contacts to assist students secure jobs upon graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, among 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 live on campus, the college you pick will need to be within driving distance of your York Springs PA home. Of course attending classes online will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, attending small classes provides the option for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes provide little chance of getting personalized instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a few classes prior to making your final determination. Speak with some of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Pennsylvania criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near York Springs PA, make certain 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near York Springs PA?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near York Springs PA, following is some interesting and useful background information about the York Springs area where your school campus will be located.
York Springs, Pennsylvania
York Springs was of course platted as Petersburg within Latimore Township. York Sulphur Springs, the first summer resort in Adams County, was patronized by people from Philadelphia and Baltimore who came to the resort by stage coach. General George Washington and his wife Martha visited the area in the summer of 1799. The water was regarded as medicinal but unpalatable. Analysis claimed 20 parts Epsom salts, 6 parts gypsum, 4 parts common salt, and the balance sulfur. The hotel was destroyed by fire on January 8, 1896. The Springs' popularity decreased with the construction of the railroad and the resort buildings disappeared.
York Springs' previous names were York Sulphur Springs and Petersburg. To completely end confusion with Littlestown, when Petersburg became a borough in 1868 it was named York Sulphur Springs, later shortened to York Springs.
York Springs is located at 40°0′25″N 77°6′51″W / 40.00694°N 77.11417°W / 40.00694; -77.11417 (40.006865, -77.114066). Main Street in the borough is Pennsylvania Route 94, which runs north to Mount Holly Springs and south to Hanover. U.S. Route 15 passes just to the southeast of the borough.
Pick the Right Criminal Justice School near York Springs PA
Making sure that you choose the right criminal justice school near York Springs PA is essential to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Attaining the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career starts with picking the ideal criminal justice college predicated upon your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you pick both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, verify that the school 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 Criminal Justice Colleges. 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 options and make the best choice. And when you have made the best decision, you will receive the proper training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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