Selecting the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Valdosta Georgia
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Valdosta Georgia. But once you have selected the kind of degree you would like to work toward, just how do you tackle picking a college that will offer the proper training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the institution you pick must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly begin by searching for schools that are nearby your home and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are additional factors that you need to investigate prior to making your ultimate decision. For example, the accreditation and reputation of the school 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 locating a reputable online training program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other qualifications that you may want to utilize in your vetting process when choosing the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice degrees and majors offered as well as the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees Offered near Valdosta GA
Similar to most 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 employment opportunities available in Valdosta GA. There are 4 degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it offers an introduction to such areas as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. More and more police departments are looking for applicants with no less than an Associate Degree. The 4 year Bachelor’s Degree typically covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more expansive education creates more opportunities for such professions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can take 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 facet of criminal justice. In addition to the options provided with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. And finally, for students with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Typically requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, it is a far more intense 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.
Criminal Justice Majors Offered
There are a number of specializations to select from when determining which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after enjoying countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation shows. Or maybe you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you must pick a degree and a major in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Selecting a program and a school that focuses on that area would clearly be the best option toward that end. Maybe you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that situation, it would be advisable to research all of the degree alternatives available from the numerous universities and colleges. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Valdosta GA 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 decided on, 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 similarly highly respected. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first before picking a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Degree Programs Online
A number of prospective students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their region, or they may just prefer the convenience of earning an online degree. In either case, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There are numerous schools located within the United States that provide online degree programs similar to those offered on-campus. And for a number of Valdosta GA students, particularly those who continue to work part or full-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges in many cases make them the only option. And as an additional benefit, online schools are frequently more affordable than on campus alternatives. Tuition may be cheaper and expenses for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure, just like for any school you are considering, that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged agency, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are motivated, and can learn in this type of independent setting, then earning your degree online may be the best alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have undoubtedly 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 Valdosta GA area schools and narrowing down your options. Because there are so many colleges to pick from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when assessing colleges. Clearly cost is a significant consideration and you will need to choose a school that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already addressed a few others as well, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you address those issues and more, following is a list of questions you may wish to ask the schools you are examining prior to making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? Numerous criminal justice colleges have earned one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. Among the most highly regarded is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone an extensive screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to make sure that the program and school you select are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. Along with helping confirm that you get a top notch education, it will also aid in qualifying for student loans or financial aid, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Additionally, many Valdosta GA employers are looking for graduates of schools that are accredited with good reputations.
What is the College’s Reputation? As mentioned previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you enroll in is significant also. It’s particularly crucial if you are entering the profession with no relevant prior work history. With no prior experience, Valdosta GA employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when going over your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can get college rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other elements contributing to the academic programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be highly respected for a specific degree program that you might be interested in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation percentages are for the Valdosta GA schools you are considering. A low percentage might be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also imperative that the schools have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job placement program will help you get that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but that it additionally has a large network of contacts to assist students secure jobs upon graduation.
Where are the Schools Located? As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will probably look at when searching for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have decided that you will move or possibly live on campus, the school you enroll in will have to be within driving distance of your Valdosta GA home. Of course attending online classes will eliminate the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you opt to attend a school outside of your state of residence, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also tend to charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classrooms? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, attending smaller classes provides the option for more interaction with the teachers. Larger classes provide little chance of getting one-on-one instruction if needed. One means to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a few 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 inquire what their teaching styles are. You may also want to ask what their experiences have been in the Georgia criminal justice profession.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it’s critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Valdosta GA, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Valdosta GA?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Valdosta GA, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Valdosta area where your school campus will be located.
Valdosta is a city in and the county seat of Lowndes County, located on the southern border of Georgia, United States. As of 2013, Valdosta has a total population of 56,481, and is the 14th largest city in Georgia.
Valdosta is the home of Valdosta State University, a regional university in the University System of Georgia with over 10,900 students. The local public Valdosta High School has the most winning football program of any high school in the United States.
Valdosta was incorporated on December 7, 1860, when it was designated by the state legislature as the new county seat, formerly at nearby Troupville. The railroad was built to Valdosta that year, rather than Troupville, stimulating development in the new county seat. Many citizens of Troupville had already relocated to Valdosta when the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad was built four miles (about 6 km) away. On July 4, 1860, the engine known as Satilla No. 3 pulled the first train into Valdosta on the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad.
Pick the Ideal Criminal Justice Degree Program near Valdosta GA
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal criminal justice college near Valdosta GA is crucial to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this growing and exciting profession. Employers care which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care as well. Attaining the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the best criminal justice school predicated upon your career goals. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. In addition, make sure that the college has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Majors Related To Criminal Justice. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are looking at so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will receive the appropriate education so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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