Choosing the Right Criminal Justice School near Albertville Alabama
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Albertville Alabama. But after you have selected the kind of program you want to work toward, just how do you tackle picking a school that will provide the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Of course the school you select must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will no doubt start by searching for schools that are nearby your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional factors that you should investigate before making your final decision. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are critical factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online degree program will similarly be a part of your due diligence process. We will deal with these and other criteria that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when picking the best criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s take a look at the criminal justice degrees and majors available along with the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Albertville AL
As with most other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently needed for various careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Albertville AL. There are 4 degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Normally a 2 year degree, it provides an introduction to such areas as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. More and more police departments are looking for candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually includes the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education creates more opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes in addition to attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a specific aspect of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities afforded with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And finally, for individuals with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available as well. Generally requiring anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for obtaining any of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are numerous specializations to select from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after watching countless episodes of the various 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 pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Selecting a program and a school that focuses on that specialty would obviously be the best option toward that end. Maybe you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that scenario, it would be advisable to research all of the degree options available from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Albertville AL 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 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 respected. That’s why it is essential to choose a major first before picking a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Colleges
Many students may not have access to a criminal justice degree college 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 online options available. There are numerous colleges domiciled within the United States that offer degree programs online much like those offered on campus. And for many Albertville AL students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online schools in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition may be lower and expenditures for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just make certain, as with any college you are looking at, 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 disciplined, and can study in this type of unsupervised setting, then earning your degree online might be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
By now you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you intend to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start searching for Albertville AL area schools and fine tuning your options. Since there are a large number of schools to select from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when analyzing schools. Obviously cost is a significant consideration and you will need to choose a college 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 address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you may wish to ask the schools you are thinking about prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? Numerous criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. 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 gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s imperative to confirm that the program and school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. Along with helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it will also aid in qualifying for financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many Albertville AL employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the College? As previously stated, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is important as well. It’s especially crucial if you are getting in the field with no relevant previous employment history. Without any prior experience, Albertville AL employers will be considering the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can find college rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate 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 excellent reputation could still be well regarded for a specific degree program that you might be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Albertville AL colleges you are considering. A low percentage may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the schools have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help verify that the school has a good reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a considerable network of contacts to assist students in obtaining positions after graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we touched on at the opening of this article, among the initial things you will most likely look at when looking for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will relocate or possibly board on campus, the school you enroll in will need to be within commuting distance of your Albertville AL residence. Of course attending online classes will eliminate the need for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to attend a college not in your state of residence, you might be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, attending small classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the teachers. Large classes afford little chance of receiving individualized instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a couple of classes before making your ultimate decision. Talk to some of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s important to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Albertville AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Albertville AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Albertville AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Albertville area where your school campus will be located.
The area which today includes Albertville was inhabited by the Cherokee Indians until their removal to Oklahoma in the 1830s. It was, however, near the territory of the Creek nation, and several major trails which afforded communication (or military action) between the two nations crossed the area. It is believed to have been crossed by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto during his expeditions in 1540.
The first non-indigenous settlement in what is today Albertville began in the 1850s, and the settlement was named for Thomas A. Albert, an early settler who moved from Georgia and was a town leader until his death in 1876. The city was incorporated in 1891. A post office was established in 1910.
At about 4:10 p.m. on April 24, 1908, the city was virtually wiped out by a tornado that became commonly called "The Great Cyclone," or "The Cyclone of 1908." The storm is believed to have killed 35 people across northeastern Alabama, including 15 in Albertville. Relief was largely delivered by railroad, particularly from the nearby city of Gadsden. Trains from Gadsden transported doctors, nurses, and the Queen City Guards, the Alabama militia company based in Gadsden. The commander of the latter, future Gadsden mayor and Col. R.A. Mitchell, reported in a dispatch to Governor B.B. Comer:
Choose the Best Criminal Justice College near Albertville AL
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice program near Albertville AL is crucial to your receiving the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers value which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Attaining the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career begins with picking the ideal criminal justice school based on your career goals. As we have covered in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you pick both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, verify that the school has a job placement program with a high success rate for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Schools. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze and compare the criminal justice colleges you are looking at so that you can narrow down your options and make the best selection. And when you have made the correct decision, you will get the proper training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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