Selecting the Right Criminal Justice College near Lake Havasu City Arizona
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Lake Havasu City Arizona. But after you have selected the type of program you want to pursue, just how do you go about picking a college that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Of course the school you choose must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will undoubtedly start by looking for colleges that are near your residence and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are other points that you must evaluate prior to making your ultimate decision. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the college are significant factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your search process. We will address these and other qualifications that you might want to utilize in your vetting process when choosing 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 benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Lake Havasu City AZ
Similar to many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently needed for many careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Lake Havasu City AZ. There are four degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it provides an overview of such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial court system. More and more police departments are looking for applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education creates additional options for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional 2 years of classes in addition to earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a specific aspect of criminal justice. In addition to the options 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 PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Usually 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 attaining any of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are a number of specializations to choose from when determining 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 maybe you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you need to select a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Choosing a program and a school that specializes in that specialty would clearly be the ideal decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that case, it would be advisable to explore all of the degree options available from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Lake Havasu City AZ area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the school you have decided on, investigate the degree program you are interested in as well as the school. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation in general does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first before selecting a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Schools
A number of students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their region, or they may just want the convenience of earning a degree online. In either case, they will discover 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 a number of Lake Havasu City AZ students, especially 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 only option. And as an additional advantage, online colleges are often more affordable than on campus options. Tuition may be lower and expenditures for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just make certain, just like for any college you are considering, that the program you select is accredited by a recognized agency, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can study in this kind of unsupervised environment, then obtaining your degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
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 obtain your degree online or by going to classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start searching for Lake Havasu City AZ area colleges and narrowing down your options. Because there are a large number of schools to pick from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing colleges. Certainly cost is a significant consideration and you will need to enroll in a college that is within your academic budget. And we have already discussed several others as well, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you address those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have acquired one or more accreditations from national or regional agencies. One of 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 verify that the program and college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain an excellent education, it will also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited schools. Also, many Lake Havasu City AZ employers are looking for graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the Program? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is significant also. It’s especially critical if you are going into the field with no relevant previous employment history. Without any previous experience, Lake Havasu City AZ employers will be considering the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can obtain college rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the educational programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be highly regarded 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 Lake Havasu City AZ schools you are considering. A lower percentage might be a sign 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 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 marks 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 industry, but that it also has a sizable network of employers to assist students obtain positions upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, one of the first 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 perhaps board on campus, the college you pick will need to be within driving distance of your Lake Havasu City AZ home. Certainly attending classes online will remove the need for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to attend a college not in your resident state, you may be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state colleges and universities. Community colleges also often charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the teachers. Larger classes afford little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to monitor a few classes prior to making your final determination. Speak with some of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Arizona criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Lake Havasu City AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Lake Havasu City AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Lake Havasu City area where your school campus will be located.
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Lake Havasu City is a city in Mohave County, Arizona, United States. According to 2010 census, the population of the city was 52,527 people. It is served by Lake Havasu City Airport. Lake Havasu City is geographically isolated from the other cities in Mohave County and is the southernmost community of the Las Vegas–Henderson, NV–AZ combined statistical area.
The community first started as an Army Air Corps rest camp, called "Site Six". during World War II on the shores of Lake Havasu. In 1958, American businessman Robert P. McCulloch purchased 3,353 acres (13.57 km2) of property on the east side of the lake along Pittsburgh Point, the peninsula that eventually would be transformed into "the Island".
After four years of planning, McCulloch Properties acquired another 13,000 acres of federal land in the surrounding area. Lake Havasu City was established on September 30, 1963, by a resolution of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors as the Lake Havasu Irrigation and Drainage District, making it a legal entity. (The act is referenced in resolution #63-12-1.) The city was incorporated in 1978.
Select the Ideal Criminal Justice Degree Program near Lake Havasu City AZ
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice college near Lake Havasu City AZ is vital to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers value which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Attaining the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with choosing the right 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 select both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, confirm that the college 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 Criminal Justice Certificate. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to evaluate and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing in order to narrow down your choices and make the right 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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