How to Choose the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Wartburg Tennessee
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Wartburg Tennessee. But after you have chosen the kind of degree you would like to work toward, just how do you tackle selecting a college that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the school you select must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will probably begin by searching for colleges that are near your residence and comparing the cost for each school. But there are other points that you should investigate before making your final selection. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the school are critical factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your search process. We will cover 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 talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors available along with the benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Wartburg TN
Just like with most other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more commonly needed for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Wartburg TN. There are four degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it provides an introduction to such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial court system. A growing number of police departments are looking for candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree typically includes the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education makes available additional opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional 2 years of classes in addition to obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a particular facet of criminal justice. Along with the options provided with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for those with an interest 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 complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for earning any one of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specialties to choose from when deciding which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after viewing numerous episodes of the various crime scene investigation shows. Or maybe you have always wanted to be 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 program and a school that focuses on that area would obviously be the ideal option toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that case, it would be a good idea to investigate all of the degree alternatives available from the various universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Wartburg TN area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the program you have selected, research the degree program you are interested in as well as the school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to decide on a major first prior to picking a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Schools
Some students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their vicinity, or they may just prefer the independence of earning a degree online. In either case, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous colleges domiciled within the United States that offer degree programs online similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for many Wartburg TN students, particularly those who continue working 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 benefit, online schools are often lower in cost than on campus alternatives. Tuition may be cheaper and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just make sure, as with any college you are reviewing, that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can study in this kind of unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
At this point you have undoubtedly decided 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 searching for Wartburg TN area schools and fine tuning your options. Considering that there are so many colleges to choose from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when reviewing schools. Naturally cost is an important consideration and you will need to choose a program that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed several others also, including accreditation, reputation and location. To help you focus on those issues and more, below is a list of questions you might wish to ask the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have received one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. One of the most highly regarded 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 course of instruction and teachers. It’s essential to make sure that the program and school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. In addition to 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 schools. Additionally, many Wartburg TN employers prefer graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is important also. It’s especially crucial if you are getting in the field with no relevant prior job history. Without any prior experience, Wartburg TN employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can get college rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other aspects contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you may have an interest in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Wartburg TN schools you are considering. A lower rate might be an indication that students were disappointed with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the schools have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the start of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but that it also has a large network of contacts to help students in obtaining jobs upon graduation.
Where are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the opening of this article, one of the initial things you will most likely consider when searching for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or possibly board on campus, the college you select will have to be within commuting distance of your Wartburg TN residence. Of course attending classes online will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to attend a college not in your resident state, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Junior and community colleges also usually charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, going to smaller classes offers the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Bigger classes afford little chance of getting one-on-one instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a few classes before making your final decision. Talk to several of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Tennessee criminal justice field.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wartburg TN, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Wartburg TN?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Wartburg TN, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Wartburg area where your school campus will be located.
Wartburg was founded in the mid-1840s by George Gerding, a land speculator who bought up large tracts of land in what is now Morgan County and organized the East Tennessee Colonization Company with plans to establish a series of German colonies in the Cumberland region. German and Swiss immigrants, seeking to escape poor economic conditions in their home counties, arrived at the site by traveling from New Orleans up the Mississippi and Cumberland rivers to Nashville, and then by ox cart to the Cumberland Plateau. The first of these settlers arrived in the area in 1845, and new groups of immigrants would continue trickling in until 1855.
The new settlement, which had already been platted by East Tennessee Colonization Company agent Friedrich Guenther, was named after Wartburg Castle in Germany. The first six streets were initially named for European cities, but the names were changed within a few years to Rose, Church, Maidenland (now Maiden), Kingston, Mill, and Cumberland. As most immigrants lived on farms outside the town, Wartburg grew slowly. By 1850, the town consisted of Gerding's house and store, a church and school building, a doctor's office, and a few small houses. Early residents included a number of professionals trained in Europe, including architect Carl Rothe, musician Gustav Knabe, painter George Dury, and physicians Rudolf Knaffl and F. A. Sienknecht.
While Morgan County was generally pro-Union during the Civil War, Wartburg was bitterly divided over the secession issue. Gerding, the city's founder, supported the Confederacy. John Wilken, a prominent Lutheran pastor in the city, supported the Union. F.A. Sienknecht supported the Union, though two of his sons fought for the Confederacy. On January 2, 1862, a Confederate cavalry unit under Colonel J.W. White clashed with the Union Home Guard near Wartburg. In late March 1862, Confederate General Kirby Smith reported that all Confederate citizens had been expelled from the Wartburg area. In June 1863, Union General William P. Sanders marched through Wartburg and captured 104 Confederate soldiers in the vicinity.
Select the Ideal Criminal Justice Degree Program near Wartburg TN
Making sure that you pick the right criminal justice college near Wartburg TN is crucial to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care which school your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care also. Attaining the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the optimal criminal justice school based on your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you select both have excellent reputations and are accredited. 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 Schools That Offer Criminal Justice. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at so that you can narrow down your options and make the best selection. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will receive the appropriate training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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