Choosing the Right Criminal Justice School near Abbeville Alabama
So you have made the decision to attain a criminal justice degree near Abbeville Alabama. But once you have selected the type of program you want to work toward, just how do you tackle choosing a school that will offer the right training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the school you select must offer the criminal justice major and degree that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt begin by searching for colleges that are close to your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional issues that you should investigate before making your ultimate selection. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are important factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes sitting at your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online degree program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will cover these and other qualifications that you may wish to include 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 along with the benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Abbeville AL
Just like with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently needed for various careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Abbeville AL. There are 4 degree levels available, starting 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 judiciary system. An increasing number of police departments are looking for applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree usually addresses the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education makes available additional options for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes after earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for 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 finally, for students interested in research or teaching at the college level, the Doctoral Degree or PhD is offered as well. Usually taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Naturally the time requirements for earning any of the four degrees will be dependent on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are a number of specializations to choose from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after watching numerous episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV programs. Or maybe you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you need to choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Choosing a school and program that focuses on that specialty would naturally be the best decision toward that end. Possibly 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. Below is a partial list of majors for criminal justice degrees offered in the Abbeville AL 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, research the degree program you are interested in along with the school. Even if a criminal justice school is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not mean that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is essential to decide on a major first before selecting a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs Online
Some students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their area, or they might just want the independence of earning an online degree. In either case, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous colleges located within the USA that offer online degree programs much like the ones offered on-campus. And for a number of Abbeville AL students, particularly those who continue to work full or part-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online programs in many cases make them the only option. And as an added benefit, online colleges are often more affordable than traditional options. Tuition may be cheaper and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be eliminated or reduced also. Just verify, as with any school you are reviewing, that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized organization, for example the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can learn in this type of independent environment, then earning your degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Colleges
By now you have no doubt come to a decision 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. With those decisions made, it’s time to start searching for Abbeville AL area schools and fine tuning your options. Because there are so many colleges to choose from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s essential to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when assessing colleges. Naturally cost is a significant factor and you will need to enroll in a college that is within your scholastic budget. And we have already pointed out a few others also, such as reputation, location and accreditation. To help you address those concerns and more, below is a list of questions you may wish to ask the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice School Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have received 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 important to make sure that the degree program and school you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. Along with helping assure that you receive a top notch education, it will also help in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Abbeville AL employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As stated previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you choose is important as well. It’s especially crucial if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior employment history. Without any prior experience, Abbeville AL employers will be considering 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 school reviews and rankings, such as 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. Remember that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Abbeville AL schools you are looking at. A lower rate might be a sign that students were disappointed 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 assistance programs with high placement rates. A job placement program will help you land that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a considerable network of contacts to assist students obtain jobs upon graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we mentioned at the opening of this article, one of the first things you will most likely consider when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or perhaps live on campus, the college you enroll in will need to be within driving distance of your Abbeville AL home. Certainly attending online classes will eliminate the need for travel and make location a non-issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to go to a college not in your resident state, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you like to get lost in the crowd, going to smaller classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Larger classes allow for little chance of receiving individualized instruction if needed. One way to evaluate the interaction between students and faulty is to audit a couple of classes before making your final decision. Speak with some of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and ask them what their teaching styles are. You might also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Alabama criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Abbeville AL, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Abbeville AL?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Abbeville AL, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Abbeville area where your school campus will be located.
Abbeville is a city in Henry County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the population was 2,688. The city is the county seat of Henry County. It is the first city alphabetically, both by city and state, in the Rand McNally Road Atlas. It has two high schools: the public Abbeville High School and private Abbeville Christian Academy. Chapters of the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity operate here.
Abbeville is located at 31°33′59″N 85°15′5″W / 31.56639°N 85.25139°W / 31.56639; -85.25139Coordinates: 31°33′59″N 85°15′5″W / 31.56639°N 85.25139°W / 31.56639; -85.25139 (31.566367, -85.251300). The city is located in southeastern Alabama along U.S. Route 431, Alabama State Route 10, and Alabama State Route 27 approximately 25 mi (40 km) northeast of Dothan and 23 mi (37 km) south-southwest of Eufaula.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Abbeville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Select the Ideal Criminal Justice Degree Program near Abbeville AL
Making sure that you pick the ideal criminal justice school near Abbeville AL is crucial to your receiving 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 in your best interest to care also. Achieving the greatest possible success in your criminal justice career starts with selecting the ideal criminal justice college predicated upon your career goals. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important that the college and degree program you pick both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, verify 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 Degrees. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your choices and make the best selection. And when you have made the best decision, you will receive the proper training so that you can start your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in Alabama