Selecting the Right Criminal Justice School near New River Arizona
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near New River Arizona. But once you have chosen the kind of degree you want to pursue, just how do you undertake choosing a college that will offer the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the institution you pick must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will no doubt begin by looking for schools that are near your home and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional factors that you should evaluate prior to making your final decision. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the school are significant factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online training program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will cover these and other qualifications that you might want to include in your vetting process when selecting the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors offered along with the advantages of attending school online.
Available Criminal Justice Degrees near New River AZ
Just like with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently required for a number of careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the employment opportunities available in New River AZ. There are four degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it provides an overview of such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree normally includes the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates more opportunities for such positions as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional two years of classes in addition to earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become specialists in a specific area of criminal justice. In addition to the options offered with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for those interested in teaching at the college level or research, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is available as well. Generally taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for obtaining any of the four degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Available Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specializations to select from when deciding which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after enjoying countless episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV programs. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you need to select a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Choosing a program and a school that specializes in that specialty would certainly be the best option toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that case, it would be best to research all of the degree alternatives offered from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the New River AZ area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the school you have decided on, research the degree program you have an interest in along with the college. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has an excellent reputation in general does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first prior to selecting a school to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Classes Online
Many prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they might just want the independence of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous schools located within the United States that offer degree programs online much like those offered on-campus. And for many New River AZ students, especially those who continue to work full or part-time while attending college, the convenience and accessibility of online programs may make them the only option. And as an added benefit, online schools are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Tuition can be lower and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced as well. Just make certain, just like for any college you are looking at, that the program you enroll in is accredited by an approved agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can study in this type of independent environment, then obtaining your degree online may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have undoubtedly come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you want to earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to start searching for New River AZ area colleges and fine tuning your options. Because there are numerous schools to select from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when assessing schools. Obviously cost is an important consideration and you will need to select a program that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already mentioned several others as well, such as accreditation, reputation and location. To help you address those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? Many criminal justice colleges have earned one or more accreditations from national or regional organizations. One of the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s imperative to verify that the program and college you choose are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it will also aid in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many New River AZ employers have a preference for graduates of schools that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Reputation of the Program? As stated previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is significant as well. It’s particularly critical if you are going into the profession with no relevant previous employment history. With no previous experience, New River AZ employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a key factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of school rating organizations where you can obtain college rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the academic programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well respected for a specific degree program that you may have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the New River AZ colleges you are looking at. A lower percentage may be an indication that students were disappointed 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 colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help validate that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a substantial network of employers to help students secure positions upon graduation.
How Far Away are the Schools Located? As we touched on at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will probably consider when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or perhaps board on campus, the college you choose will have to be within driving distance of your New River AZ residence. Naturally attending online classes will remove the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you opt to attend a college not in your resident state, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly 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 Big are the Classes? Unless you prefer to disappear in the crowd, attending smaller classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Big classes afford little chance of receiving personalized instruction if needed. One way to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to monitor a few classes before making your ultimate decision. Speak with several of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Arizona criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s crucial to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near New River AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near New River AZ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near New River AZ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the New River area where your school campus will be located.
New River, Arizona
New River is named after the seasonal wash of the same name, part of the Agua Fria River system which drains into the Salt River. It was founded by Lord Darrell Duppa in 1868 as a stagecoach stop. For many years it was the terminus of the old Black Canyon Highway (now Interstate 17). The pavement ended in New River and continued as a dirt road to the city of Prescott.
New River is located at 33°52′9″N 112°5′9″W / 33.86917°N 112.08583°W / 33.86917; -112.08583 (33.869149, −112.085759). It is bordered by the Tonto National Forest to the north, Cave Creek to the east, Phoenix to the south, and Anthem to the west. The CDP includes the area known as Desert Hills.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 70.8 square miles (183 km2), of which, 70.8 square miles (183 km2) of it is land and 0.01% is water. It includes both Daisy Mountain and Gavilan Peak.
Pick the Right Criminal Justice College near New River AZ
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice college near New River AZ is crucial to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers respect which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the right 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 select both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, make sure that the college has a job placement program with a strong track record for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Criminal Justice Courses Online. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are looking at in order to narrow down your options and make the right selection. And when you have made the right decision, you will get the appropriate education so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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