How to Select the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near North Myrtle Beach South Carolina
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near North Myrtle Beach South Carolina. But once you have chosen the kind of degree you want to pursue, just how do you tackle selecting a school that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career objectives? Naturally the school you select must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt start by looking for colleges that are nearby your home and comparing the cost for each school. But there are other considerations that you must investigate before making your ultimate selection. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the school are important factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will discuss these and other criteria that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when choosing the ideal criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors offered as well as the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near North Myrtle Beach SC
As with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly needed for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the job opportunities available in North Myrtle Beach SC. There are four degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. More and more police departments are seeking applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree typically includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education creates more opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional two years of classes in addition to earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become specialists in a particular area of criminal justice. In addition to the options provided with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for individuals interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available as well. Typically taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for earning any of the four degrees will depend on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are a number of specialties to select from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after viewing numerous episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV programs. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you must choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Choosing a program and a school that focuses on that area would certainly be the ideal option toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be best to investigate all of the degree alternatives available from the various universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the North Myrtle Beach SC area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the school you have chosen, research the degree program you are interested 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 equally highly respected. That’s why it is essential to choose a major first before selecting a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Schools
Many students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their vicinity, or they might just want the independence of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There many colleges domiciled within the USA that offer online degree programs much like the ones offered on campus. And for many North Myrtle Beach SC students, especially those who continue to work full or part-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online programs in many cases make them the only option. And as an added advantage, online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional alternatives. Tuition may be cheaper and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just verify, just like for any school you are looking at, that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can study in this type of unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
At this point you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin looking for North Myrtle Beach SC area schools and fine tuning your options. Since there are so many colleges to pick from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when assessing colleges. Naturally cost is an important consideration and you will need to choose a school that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already mentioned a few others also, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you might want to ask the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. Among the most highly regarded 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 make sure that the degree program and college you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. Along with helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it will also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of North Myrtle Beach SC employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As mentioned previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you choose is significant as well. It’s particularly crucial if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior work history. With no previous experience, North Myrtle Beach SC employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can obtain college reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other variables contributing to the academic programs. Bear 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 be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the North Myrtle Beach SC colleges you are reviewing. A lower percentage may be an indicator that students were unhappy with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the colleges have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you land that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a large network of employers to help students obtain positions upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools 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 choose will need to be within commuting distance of your North Myrtle Beach SC residence. Certainly attending classes online 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, particularly for state universities and colleges. Community colleges also usually 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, going to small classes offers the option for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes afford little chance of getting one-on-one instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a few classes before making your ultimate determination. Talk to several of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You may also want to inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the South Carolina criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s important to make sure that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near North Myrtle Beach SC, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near North Myrtle Beach SC?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near North Myrtle Beach SC, following is some interesting and useful background information about the North Myrtle Beach area where your school campus will be located.
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
North Myrtle Beach is a city in Horry County, South Carolina, United States. It was created in 1968 from four existing municipalities north of Myrtle Beach, and serves as one of the primary tourist towns along the Grand Strand. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,752, and in 2016 the estimated population was 16,032. The Myrtle Beach–Conway–North Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Area had a combined population of 449,295 as of 2016.
North Myrtle Beach is located in eastern Horry County at 33°49′20″N 78°40′52″W / 33.82222°N 78.68111°W / 33.82222; -78.68111 (33.822216, -78.680974). It is bordered to the southwest by Atlantic Beach and Briarcliffe Acres and to the northeast by Little River. Via U.S. Route 17, it is 15 miles (24 km) northeast of Myrtle Beach and 57 miles (92 km) southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina. Via South Carolina Highway 9 it is 67 miles (108 km) southeast of Interstate 95 near Dillon, South Carolina.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.7 square miles (45.8 km2), of which 17.1 square miles (44.3 km2) are land and 0.62 square miles (1.6 km2), or 3.39%, are water.
Find the Ideal Criminal Justice Degree Program near North Myrtle Beach SC
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice college near North Myrtle Beach SC is vital to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers care which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the right criminal justice college based on your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s imperative that the college and degree program you choose both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, make certain 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 Criminal Justice Masters Programs Online. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will be able to analyze and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing so that you can narrow down your options and make the best selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will receive the proper education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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