Picking the Right Criminal Justice College near Yankton South Dakota
So you have decided to attain a criminal justice degree near Yankton South Dakota. But once you have selected the type of program you would like to pursue, just how do you go about choosing a college that will provide the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Of course the college you pick must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly begin by looking for schools that are near your home and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional factors that you must examine prior to making your final selection. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are critical factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online degree program will similarly be a part of your search process. We will deal with these and other qualifications that you may want to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the ideal criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors offered as well as the advantages of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Yankton SD
As with most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly needed for various careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Yankton SD. There are 4 degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. A growing number of police departments are seeking applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive 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 allows students to become specialists in a specific area of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities afforded with the lesser degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And finally, for students interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered also. Typically requiring anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for earning any of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specialties to choose from when deciding which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after viewing numerous episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV shows. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you must pick a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Choosing a school and program that focuses on that area would certainly be the ideal option toward that end. Maybe 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 offered from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Yankton SD area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the school you have decided on, research the degree program you have an interest in along with 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 regarded. That’s why it is essential to choose a major first before picking a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Colleges Online
A number of students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their vicinity, or they may just prefer the convenience of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There many colleges located within the United States that provide online degree programs much like those offered on-campus. And for many Yankton SD students, particularly those who continue to work part or full-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online programs may make them the only option. And as an added benefit, online schools are frequently more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Tuition may be lower and costs for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make sure, just like for any college you are reviewing, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an acknowledged agency, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can learn in this kind of unsupervised environment, then obtaining your degree online may be the best alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you want to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start searching for Yankton SD area schools and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are numerous schools to pick from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing colleges. Naturally cost is an important consideration and you will need to pick a program that is within your academic budget. And we have already pointed out a few others as well, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you focus on those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may wish to ask the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. Among the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone a rigorous screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s essential to verify that the degree program and school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. In addition to helping assure that you receive a top notch education, it will also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Yankton SD employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As previously mentioned, together with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is important also. It’s especially critical if you are going into the profession with no relevant previous job history. With no prior experience, Yankton SD employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing 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 consider the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other factors contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well respected for a particular degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Yankton SD schools you are reviewing. A lower percentage may be an indicator 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 schools have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you land that first crucial job after graduation that marks the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a substantial network of employers to assist students secure positions upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, among the first things you will most likely look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or possibly live on campus, the school you select will need to be within driving distance of your Yankton SD home. Certainly attending online classes will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to attend a college outside of your resident state, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Junior and community colleges also usually 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 smaller classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Bigger classes provide little chance of receiving individualized instruction if needed. One method to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate determination. Talk to some of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the South Dakota criminal justice field.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Yankton SD, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Yankton SD?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Yankton SD, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Yankton area where your school campus will be located.
Yankton, South Dakota
Yankton is a city in, and the county seat of, Yankton County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 14,454 at the 2010 census. Yankton is the principal city of the Yankton Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the entirety of Yankton County, and which had an estimated population of 22,662 as of July 1, 2017. Yankton was the first capital of Dakota Territory. It is named for the Yankton tribe of Nakota (Sioux) Native Americans; Yankton is derived from the Nakota word I-hank-ton-wan ("the end village").
Yankton is located on the Missouri River just downstream of the Gavins Point Dam and Lewis and Clark Lake and just upstream of the confluence with the James River. The United States National Park Service's headquarters for the Missouri National Recreational River are located in the city. The Human Services Center was established as a psychiatric hospital in 1882 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Yankton is commonly referred to as the "River City", due to its proximity to the Missouri River and the importance that the river played in the city's settlement and development. Yankton has also earned the nickname, "Mother City of the Dakotas", due to the early important role it played in the creation and development of the Dakota Territory, which later became the 39th and 40th U.S. states of North and South Dakota.
Pick the Ideal Criminal Justice School near Yankton SD
Making sure that you select the ideal criminal justice program near Yankton SD is crucial to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers value which school your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the best criminal justice school predicated upon your career objectives. As we have addressed in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you choose both have excellent reputations and are accredited. In addition, verify 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 Best Colleges For Criminal Justice. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are considering so that you can narrow down your options and make the best selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will get the proper education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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