Selecting the Right Criminal Justice School near Varney West Virginia
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Varney West Virginia. But after you have selected the kind of program you would like to pursue, just how do you tackle picking a college that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the institution you pick must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly start by searching for colleges that are near your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are other considerations that you must investigate prior to making your ultimate decision. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the school are critical factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online training program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will deal with these and other qualifications that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors offered along with the benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Varney WV
Just like with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently required for a number of positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Varney WV. There are four degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a 2 year degree, it offers an overview of such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial court system. More and more police departments are seeking applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally addresses the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education creates additional opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional two years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a particular aspect of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities provided with the lesser degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for those with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available also. Generally requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for attaining any one of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are a number of specialties to choose from when considering which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after viewing numerous episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV programs. Or maybe you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you must choose a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Enrolling in a program and a school that focuses on that area would naturally be the best decision 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 a good idea to research all of the degree options available from the various universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Varney WV area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the program you have decided on, investigate the degree program you have an interest in along with the school. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to decide on a major first before selecting a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Classes
Some students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their vicinity, or they may just prefer the convenience of earning a degree online. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous schools located within the United States that offer degree programs online much like those offered on campus. And for many Varney WV students, particularly those who continue working full or part-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges may make them the only option. And as an added advantage, online colleges are often lower in cost than on-campus options. Tuition can be lower and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure, just like for any college you are reviewing, that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can study in this type of independent setting, then obtaining your degree online may be the best alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
At this point you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice major and degree program, as well as if you want to earn your degree online or by attending classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin looking for Varney WV area schools and fine tuning your options. Considering that there are so many colleges to pick from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing schools. Naturally cost is an important consideration and you will need to select a program that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already pointed out a few others also, such as reputation, location and accreditation. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have obtained 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 assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s important to make sure that the program and college you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it will also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, a number of Varney WV employers have a preference for graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, together with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is significant also. It’s especially critical if you are going into the profession with no relevant prior employment history. Without any prior experience, Varney WV employers will be considering the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can get college reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They examine the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a college with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Varney WV colleges you are looking at. A low percentage might be a sign that students were unhappy with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the course of study. It’s also imperative that the schools have job assistance programs with higher 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 higher placement rate will not only help affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it also has a substantial network of contacts to help students obtain jobs after graduation.
Where are the Schools Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, among the initial things you will most likely consider when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or perhaps board on campus, the school you pick will have to be within commuting distance of your Varney WV residence. Certainly attending online classes will eliminate the need for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to go to a college not in your resident state, you could be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. Community and junior colleges also usually charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the option for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes afford little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a couple of classes before making your ultimate decision. Speak with several of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the West Virginia criminal justice field.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s important to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Varney WV, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Varney WV?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Varney WV, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Varney area where your school campus will be located.
Carleton Varney, President of Dorothy Draper & Co. Inc., is an American decorator, designer, lecturer and author. Born in 1937 as Carleton Bates Varney in Lynn, MA, he spent his childhood in Nahant, Massachusetts. Varney and former wife, Suzanne, are parents of three boys: Nicholas Varney, designer of fine jewelry, Sebastian Varney, president of Carleton V Ltd., and Seamus, born with down syndrome and resident of Florida. Varney now resides in Palm Beach, FL.
He earned his bachelor's degree in Spanish and Fine Arts from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1958 and a master's degree in Fine Arts Education in 1969 from New York University. In 1987 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Charleston, Charleston, WV  Also known as Mr. Color, his work is based on his use of bright, vivid, multicolors and patterns. His design philosophy "stresses the use of bright colors and the rejection of all that is impractical, uncomfortable and drab.”
Varney began his career by teaching Spanish, French, and history at NY's New Rochelle Academy, joined Dorothy Draper & Co. in 1960 and bought the firm in 1964. Dorothy Draper Co. Inc. has offices located in New York, Palm Beach, White Sulphur Springs, and London. Varney's design work includes private homes of celebrities and world leaders, hotels around the world, castles in Ireland, yachts, ships, private and public buildings. His work includes two historic hotels, The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV and The Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island, MI. Society Expeditions’ World Discoverer ships had public and private spaces decorated and refurbished by Varney.
Choose the Ideal Criminal Justice Degree Program near Varney WV
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice college near Varney WV is vital to your obtaining the appropriate 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 also. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the ideal criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you choose both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, make certain that the school has a job placement program with a strong track record for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in PhD In Criminal Justice. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to evaluate and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at so that you can narrow down your options and make the right choice. And when you have made the correct decision, you will receive the appropriate training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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