Choosing the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Wellington Texas
So you have made the decision to pursue a criminal justice degree near Wellington Texas. But after you have decided on the type of program you would like to pursue, just how do you go about choosing a school that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career objectives? Of course the institution you choose must provide the criminal justice major and degree that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly start by looking for colleges that are near your home and comparing the cost for each school. But there are other issues that you should evaluate prior to making your final selection. For example, the reputation and accreditation of the college are critical factors also. And if you have an interest in attending classes in front of your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then finding a reputable online training program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will address these and other criteria that you might 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 majors and degrees available as well as the benefits of attending school online.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs near Wellington TX
Just like with many other professions, criminal justice degrees are becoming more commonly required for many positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree earned advances, so increases the employment opportunities to choose from in Wellington TX. There are 4 degree levels offered, beginning with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Usually a 2 year degree, it offers an overview of such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial court system. More and more police departments are looking for applicants with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually covers the same subjects as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education creates additional opportunities for such positions as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Progressing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional 2 years of classes in addition to earning the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a specific area of criminal justice. In addition to the opportunities provided with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. Finally, for individuals with an interest in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available as well. Usually requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to finish, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for attaining any one of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are a number of specializations to pick from when considering which major to pursue for your criminal justice degree. Perhaps CSI has always interested you after enjoying numerous episodes of the various crime scene investigation TV shows. Or maybe you have always dreamed of being a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. No matter what your career goal, you must pick a major and a degree in criminal justice that will ready and qualify you for that position. Enrolling in a program and a school that focuses on that area would certainly be the ideal option toward that end. Perhaps you have not yet made up your mind on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that situation, it would be a good idea to explore all of the degree alternatives offered from the numerous colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Wellington TX 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 selected, investigate the degree program you are interested in as well as the college. Just because a criminal justice college is accredited and has an outstanding reputation as a whole does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are equally highly regarded. That’s why it is extremely important to decide on a major first prior to picking a school to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Online Schools
A number of prospective students may not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their vicinity, or they might just want the convenience of earning an online degree. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There are numerous schools located within the United States that provide degree programs online much like those offered on campus. And for many Wellington TX students, especially those who continue working part or full-time while attending college, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges in many cases make them the sole option. And as an additional advantage, online colleges are frequently more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Tuition can be cheaper and costs for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make certain, just like for any college you are looking at, that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized organization, 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 setting, then earning your degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Programs
By now you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you intend to obtain your degree online or by going to classes on campus. With those decisions made, it’s time to begin searching for Wellington TX area colleges and fine tuning your options. Because there are numerous schools to choose from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s important to have a checklist of qualifying questions to ask when analyzing colleges. Obviously cost is an important consideration and you will need to select a program that is within your academic budget. And we have already discussed a few others as well, including reputation, location and accreditation. To help you address those issues and more, below is a list of questions you might wish to ask the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? A large number of criminal justice schools have obtained one or more accreditations from regional or national 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 gone through an extensive assessment of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to make sure that the degree program and college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for a number of reasons. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it will also help in securing student loans or financial aid, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Wellington TX employers have a preference for graduates of schools 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 as well. It’s especially critical if you are getting in the field with no relevant previous employment history. Without any previous experience, Wellington TX 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 obtain school rankings and reviews, including U.S. News and World Report. They evaluate the quality of the course of instruction, the reputation of the teachers and other aspects contributing to the academic programs. Bear in mind that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation could still be well respected for a particular degree program that you might be interested in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Find out what the graduation percentages are for the Wellington TX colleges you are considering. A lower rate may be an indicator that students were dissatisfied 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 imperative that the schools have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you land that first pivotal job after graduation that denotes the beginning of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but that it additionally has a sizable network of employers to help students in obtaining jobs upon graduation.
How Far Away 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 decided that you will relocate or perhaps live on campus, the school you select will have to be within driving distance of your Wellington TX residence. Naturally attending online classes will remove the need for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you opt to attend a school outside of your state of residence, you might be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state colleges and universities. 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 get lost in the crowd, going to small classes provides the possibility for more interaction with the instructors. Big classes provide little chance of receiving individualized instruction if needed. One way to assess the interaction between faculty and students is to audit a few classes before making your final decision. Talk to several of the students and find out what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You may also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Texas criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s important to confirm that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Wellington TX, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Wellington TX?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Wellington TX, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Wellington area where your school campus will be located.
Sometime in 1889 or 1890, as smaller ranches and farmlands were being purchased, Ernest Theodore O'Neil, his brother-in-law John Simon McConnell, and John W. Swearingen, together had purchased the land upon which the town currently sits, for $5.00 per acre. Subsequently, O'Neil, who originally owned a fourth of the section of the township, purchased the interests of McConnell and Swearingen, and retained sole ownership of the land. The 1890 census showed 357 inhabitants across the county, with 89 ranches and farms and 335 acres (1.36 km2) of land in cultivation. In August 1890, a petition was circulated to organize the county, choose a county seat, and elect county officers. Two potential townships were proposed: Wellington and Pearl. The proposed town of Wellington was located on the land owned by Ernest T. O'Neil who was promoting this location, and had been given its proposed name by his wife, Matilda Anna Elisabeth "Lizzie" O'Neil, who greatly admired the Duke of Wellington, hero of the Battle of Waterloo. The alternate and proposed town of Pearl was located several miles north of Wellington.
In September 1890, the vote was held and Wellington was selected for the seat of the newly organized county of Collingsworth. In 1891 the new city, laid out by Ernest T. O'Neil, was surveyed and platted, and the first postal service and postmaster, Carrie M. Barton, was established on January 9, 1891. Construction of a courthouse began in 1893, and the contractor, J. A. White, built the courthouse of locally made bricks. With the extra materials left over from the courthouse, J. A. White erected a mercantile store for Ernest T. O'Neil. This became the first mercantile store and commercial building in Wellington, prior to the opening of a two-story hotel by O'Neil. Later O'Neil organized the first bank, was active in all phases of the county's growth and development, and served as postmaster from August 22, 1895 to December 11, 1897.
Early in the early 20th century, Wellington was connected with Wichita Falls through the Wichita Falls and Wellington Railroad, one of the properties of the industrialist Joseph A. Kemp of Wichita Falls. In 1914, this route was leased by the since defunct Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad.
Enroll in the Right Criminal Justice College near Wellington TX
Making sure that you choose the right criminal justice program near Wellington TX is crucial to your receiving the proper training to be successful in this growing and exciting field. Employers respect which school your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Achieving the ultimate potential success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the best criminal justice school predicated upon your career objectives. As we have discussed in this article, it’s essential that the school and degree program you choose both have excellent reputations and are accredited. In addition, make sure that the school has a job placement program with a high success rate for placing its graduates. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Online Criminal Justice Masters Degree. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to analyze and compare the criminal justice schools you are considering in order to narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the right decision, you will receive the proper training so that you can begin your successful career in criminal justice.
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