Picking the Right Criminal Justice College near Littlefield Arizona
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Littlefield Arizona. But once you have selected the type of degree you would like to work toward, just how do you tackle choosing a school that will provide the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the college you pick must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will no doubt start by searching for schools that are near your residence and comparing the tuition for each school. But there are additional considerations that you need to investigate before making your ultimate decision. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the school are critical factors as well. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality 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 deciding on the best criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the benefits of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near Littlefield AZ
Just like with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently required for a number of careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained increases, so increases the job opportunities available in Littlefield AZ. There are four degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a 2 year degree, it provides an introduction to such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judicial system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree typically covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education makes available additional options for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes in addition to obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become specialists in a specific aspect of criminal justice. Along with the options afforded with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for students with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered as well. Usually requiring anywhere from four to seven years to finish, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for earning any one of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are many specializations to choose from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always fascinated you after viewing countless episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV shows. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you need to select a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Selecting a school and program that specializes in that area would naturally be the best decision toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet decided on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that situation, it would be advisable to explore all of the degree alternatives available from the numerous universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Littlefield AZ 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 chosen, research the degree program you have an interest in as well as the college. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has an excellent reputation in general does not mean that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first before choosing a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Schools Online
Some prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their vicinity, or they may just want the convenience of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There a large number of colleges domiciled within the United States that offer online degree programs much like those offered on campus. And for many Littlefield AZ students, especially those who continue to work full or part-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online schools in many cases make them the only option. And as an added benefit, online colleges are often more affordable than on campus alternatives. Tuition may be cheaper and costs for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure, as with any college you are considering, that the program you choose is accredited by an approved 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 setting, then earning your degree online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
By now you have undoubtedly decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you intend to earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to start looking for Littlefield AZ area colleges and narrowing down your options. Since there are so many colleges to choose from, literally hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when reviewing schools. Obviously cost is a significant consideration and you will need to choose a college that fits within your academic budget. And we have already discussed several others as well, such as accreditation, reputation and location. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are thinking about before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have acquired one or more accreditations from regional or national 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 a rigorous screening of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s essential to make sure that the degree program and college you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you get an excellent education, it will also help in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many Littlefield AZ employers are looking for graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the School? As previously stated, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you select is significant also. It’s particularly crucial if you are going into the profession with no relevant previous job history. With no prior experience, Littlefield AZ employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can get school reviews and rankings, such as U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other factors 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 have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Littlefield AZ schools you are considering. A lower percentage might be an indicator 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 essential that the schools have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a substantial network of employers to assist students in obtaining positions after graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, among the first things you will most likely look at when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will move or perhaps live on campus, the college you pick will need to be within driving distance of your Littlefield AZ home. Of course attending classes online will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you opt to attend a school not in your resident state, you might be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Junior and community colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the state or school district.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, going to smaller classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes allow for little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a few classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Talk to some of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching styles are. You might also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Arizona criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Littlefield AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Littlefield AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Littlefield AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Littlefield area where your school campus will be located.
Littlefield is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Mohave County located in the Arizona Strip region of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, its population was 308. It lies along Interstate 15 approximately 10 miles northeast of Mesquite, Nevada. Littlefield is located in the 86432 zip code.
Littlefield and neighboring Beaver Dam have the distinction of being the only towns in Arizona along I-15. Owing to its location in the Arizona Strip, northwest of Grand Canyon National Park and west of the Virgin River, it is isolated by hundreds of miles from the rest of the state. Travel to other towns within Arizona requires crossing through either Nevada or Utah, or routing through unpaved roads to the rest of Arizona's road network.
Choose the Best Criminal Justice Degree Program near Littlefield AZ
Making sure that you choose the ideal criminal justice school near Littlefield AZ is essential to your receiving the proper 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 as well. Attaining the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the optimal criminal justice college 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. Also, make certain 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 Criminal Justice Universities. However, by utilizing 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 choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the right decision, you will receive the appropriate education so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Arizona