How to Choose the Right Criminal Justice College near Reform Alabama
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Reform Alabama. But once you have chosen the kind of degree you want to pursue, just how do you tackle picking a college that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the college you select must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will probably begin by searching for schools that are nearby your residence and comparing the cost for each school. But there are other factors that you must examine prior to making your final choice. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the school are significant factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online degree program will also be a part of your search process. We will discuss these and other qualifications that you may wish to utilize in your vetting process when selecting the best criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees available along with the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Reform AL
Similar to many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly needed for many positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Reform AL. There are four degree levels available, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a two year degree, it offers an overview of such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually addresses the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education creates additional opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can take an additional two years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become experts in a particular facet of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities provided with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And last, for those interested in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Generally requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for earning any of the four degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors Offered
There are many specializations to pick from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always fascinated you after viewing numerous episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation TV programs. Or perhaps you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you must choose a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that job. Selecting a school and program that specializes in that specialty 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 a good idea to investigate all of the degree options available from the various universities and colleges. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Reform AL 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, investigate the degree program you are interested in along with the school. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is essential to decide on a major first prior to choosing a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Schools
A number of prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their vicinity, or they might just prefer the convenience of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous colleges domiciled within the United States that offer degree programs online similar to those offered on campus. And for a number of Reform AL students, especially those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online schools may make them the sole option. And as an added advantage, online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Tuition may be cheaper and costs 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 select is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are disciplined, and can learn in this type of unsupervised setting, then earning your degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
At this point you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you intend to obtain your degree online or by going to classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin looking for Reform AL area colleges and fine tuning your options. Since there are a large number of schools to select from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s imperative to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when reviewing colleges. Clearly cost is an important consideration and you will need to pick a college that is within your academic budget. And we have already pointed out a few others also, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might want to ask the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have earned one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. Among the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Colleges and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course of instruction. It’s essential to confirm that the degree program and school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. Along with helping ensure that you obtain a top notch education, it will also aid in securing student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, a number of Reform AL employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the Program? As mentioned previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you attend is significant also. It’s especially critical if you are getting in the field with no relevant prior employment history. With no prior experience, Reform AL employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are a number of college rating organizations where you can obtain college rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They consider the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other variables contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be highly respected for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation rates are for the Reform AL colleges you are considering. A lower rate might be an indicator that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not up to the task of teaching the course of study. It’s also important that the colleges have job assistance programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help affirm that the college has a good reputation within the industry, but that it also has a considerable network of employers to help students secure jobs upon graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we touched on at the beginning of this article, among the first things you will most likely consider when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will relocate or possibly live on campus, the college you select will need to be within commuting distance of your Reform AL residence. Certainly attending classes online will remove the need for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to bear in mind is that if you opt to go to a college not in your state of residence, you could be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially 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 Classrooms? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, attending smaller classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the teachers. Big classes provide little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a few classes before making your final determination. Speak with several of the students and ask what they have experienced. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Reform AL, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Reform AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Reform AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Reform area where your school campus will be located.
Reform is a city in Pickens County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 1,702, down from 1,978 in 2000. It is located approximately halfway between Columbus, Mississippi and Tuscaloosa on U.S. Route 82.
Sparsely settled after statehood, Reform first received a post office in 1841. It wasn't incorporated until March 2, 1898, following the community getting train service via the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. According to tradition, the community was named from an incident when an evangelist paid the new settlement a visit, imploring the first settlers to "reform".
In May 1968, a mule train, part of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference sponsored Poor People's Campaign, stopped for two days in Reform before heading to Tuscaloosa, Alabama on its way to Washington, DC.
Find the Right Criminal Justice College near Reform AL
Making certain that you choose the right criminal justice school near Reform AL is vital to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers respect which school your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career begins with picking the right criminal justice school predicated upon your career objectives. As we have addressed in this article, it’s imperative that the school and degree program you choose both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, verify that the college has a job assistance program with a high success rate for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Online Criminal Justice Bachelor Degree. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice schools you are considering in order to narrow down your options and make the right selection. And when you have made the correct decision, you will get the appropriate training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
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