Selecting the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Walsenburg Colorado
So you have made the decision to earn a criminal justice degree near Walsenburg Colorado. But after you have selected the kind of program you want to work toward, just how do you undertake selecting a school that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career goals? Of course the college you select must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you have an interest in. And you will no doubt start by searching for colleges that are close to your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are additional factors that you must investigate 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 sitting at your computer instead of sitting in a classroom, then finding a quality online training program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will discuss these and other criteria that you might wish to include in your vetting process when picking the right criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors offered along with the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Walsenburg CO
As with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more frequently required for various careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned increases, so increases the job opportunities available in Walsenburg CO. There are four degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it offers an overview of such specialties as law enforcement, corrections and the judiciary system. A growing number of police departments are looking for candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree normally covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more expansive education makes available more 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 after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree makes it possible for students to become specialists in a particular aspect of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities offered with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And last, for students interested in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered as well. Typically taking anywhere from four to seven years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for earning any of the 4 degrees will depend on the course load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are numerous specialties to select from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after viewing numerous episodes of the assorted crime scene investigation shows. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career objective, you must choose a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Choosing a program and a school that focuses on that specialty would certainly be the best option toward that end. Possibly you have not yet made up your mind on a career focus or a specialty yet. In that scenario, it would be best 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 Walsenburg CO area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Before enrolling in the school you have selected, investigate the degree program you are interested in along with the college. Even if a criminal justice college is accredited and has a good reputation as a whole does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to choose a major first prior to picking a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Classes Online
A number of prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree college in their vicinity, or they might just prefer the independence of earning an online degree. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous schools located within the United States that offer online degree programs much like the ones offered on campus. And for many Walsenburg CO students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges may make them the only option. And as an additional benefit, online colleges are frequently more affordable than on campus alternatives. Tuition can be lower and expenses for such things as commuting and study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just verify, just like for any college you are considering, that the program you select is accredited by an acknowledged 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 unsupervised environment, then earning your degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Concerns to Ask Criminal Justice Degree Programs
By now you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, including if you intend to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin searching for Walsenburg CO area schools and fine tuning your options. Because there are so many colleges to choose from, in fact hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a list of qualifying questions to ask when evaluating colleges. Clearly cost is a significant factor and you will need to select a college that fits within your academic budget. And we have already addressed a few others also, such as location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you might want to ask the colleges you are examining before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. 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 important to make sure that the degree program and school you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for a number of reasons. Along with helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it will also assist in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Walsenburg CO employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the Reputation of the School? As previously mentioned, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the school you choose is significant also. It’s particularly critical if you are entering the profession with no relevant prior employment history. Without any previous experience, Walsenburg CO employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a key factor when going over your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can find school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the instructors and other elements contributing to the educational programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation could still be well regarded for a particular degree program that you might have an interest in.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Walsenburg CO schools you are reviewing. A lower percentage might be a sign that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the schools have job assistance programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that marks 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 also has a considerable network of employers to assist students secure positions after graduation.
Where are the Campuses Located? As we mentioned 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 board on campus, the school you select will have to be within driving distance of your Walsenburg CO home. Naturally attending classes online will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to go to a school 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 tend to charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you prefer to get lost in the crowd, attending small classes offers the possibility for more interaction with the teachers. Bigger classes provide little chance of getting personalized instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to sit in on a couple of classes before making your ultimate decision. Talk to some of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, speak with the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to inquire as to what their experiences have been in the Colorado criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Walsenburg CO, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Walsenburg CO?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Walsenburg CO, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Walsenburg area where your school campus will be located.
Walsenburg is a statutory city that is the county seat and the most populous city of Huerfano County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 3,068 at the 2010 census, down from 4,182 in 2000.
Walsenburg is mentioned in the famous Woody Guthrie song, "Ludlow Massacre". The song recounts an attack by the Colorado National Guard and armed Colorado Fuel & Iron Company camp guards on a tent colony of 1,200 striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colorado, on April 20, 1914. Some two dozen people, including women and children, were killed. The first instance of violence in Walsenburg during the coal strikes is known as the Seventh Street Massacre where a total of three miners died. Walsenburg also became one of the most deadly of all the Ten Days War encounters on April 27, 1914. On this day around 25 people would die. The town is also remembered in sports history due to a famous newspaper gaffe ("Will Overhead") after the 1933 Indianapolis 500.
Walsenburg is located in east-central Huerfano County, on the north side of the Cucharas River at the eastern edge of the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.Interstate 25 runs along the eastern edge of the city, with access from Exits 49, 50, and 52. I-25 leads north 48 miles (77 km) to Pueblo and south 36 miles (58 km) to Trinidad. U.S. Route 160 passes through the center of Walsenburg, leading west across North La Veta Pass 72 miles (116 km) to Alamosa and south with I-25 to Trinidad. Colorado State Highway 10 leads northeast from Walsenburg 73 miles (117 km) to La Junta.
Pick the Best Criminal Justice Degree Program near Walsenburg CO
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice college near Walsenburg CO is essential to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers care which school you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the optimal criminal justice college based on your career goals. As we have discussed in this article, it’s imperative that the school and degree program you pick both have excellent reputations and are accredited. In addition, confirm that the school 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 Best Online Criminal Justice Schools. However, by going through our checklist of questions, you will be able to analyze 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 best decision, you will get the appropriate training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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