Selecting the Right Criminal Justice Degree Program near Cheyenne Wyoming
So you have decided to pursue a criminal justice degree near Cheyenne Wyoming. But once you have selected the type of program you want to work toward, just how do you undertake picking a college that will provide the proper training to help you achieve your career goals? Naturally the school you pick must provide the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will undoubtedly start by looking for colleges that are near your residence and comparing the cost for each college. But there are additional factors that you should evaluate before making your ultimate selection. For instance, the reputation and accreditation of the college are significant factors as well. And if you are interested in attending classes in front of your computer as opposed to sitting in a classroom, then locating a quality online training program will similarly 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 choosing the best criminal justice college for you. But to begin with, let’s take a look at the criminal justice majors and degrees available as well as the advantages of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Cheyenne WY
Just like with many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently required for various positions in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the job opportunities to choose from in Cheyenne WY. There are four degree levels available, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Typically a two year degree, it offers an introduction to such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judiciary system. A growing number of police departments are seeking candidates with at least an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree typically addresses the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more in depth. The more comprehensive education creates additional opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, probation officers or intelligence analysits. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can require an additional two years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree enables students to become experts in a particular area of criminal justice. In addition to the options offered with the lower degrees, graduates can also become instructors, social caseworkers or court officers. Finally, for individuals with an interest in teaching at the college level or research, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is offered also. Generally taking anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more intense version of the Master’s program. Of course the time requirements for obtaining any of the four degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Major Programs
There are numerous specialties 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 assorted crime scene investigation shows. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a police officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career goal, you must choose a degree and a major in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that position. Enrolling in a program and a school that specializes in that specialty would certainly be the best decision toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that case, it would be advisable to investigate all of the degree alternatives offered from the various colleges and universities. Following is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Cheyenne WY 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 an outstanding reputation as a whole does not guarantee that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly regarded. That’s why it is very important to choose a major first prior to selecting a college to enroll in.
Attending Criminal Justice Online Degree Programs
Many students might not have access to a criminal justice degree school in their region, or they may just want the convenience of earning a degree online. Regardless of the reason, they will find that there are accredited options available online. There many colleges domiciled within the United States that provide degree programs online similar to those offered on-campus. And for a number of Cheyenne WY students, especially those who continue working full or part-time while earning their degree, the accessibility and convenience of online colleges in many cases make them the sole option. And as an added benefit, online schools are frequently lower in cost than on-campus options. Tuition can be cheaper and expenditures for such things as study materials and commuting may be eliminated or reduced also. Just make certain, as with any college you are considering, that the program you select is accredited by an approved organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can learn in this type of unsupervised setting, then obtaining your degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have no doubt decided on a criminal justice major and degree program, including if you intend to obtain your degree online or by attending classes on-campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin searching for Cheyenne WY area colleges and fine tuning your options. Considering that there are so many colleges to select from, literally hundreds within the United States alone, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifying questions to utilize when analyzing schools. Certainly cost is a significant consideration and you will need to pick a school 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 address those issues and more, below is a list of questions you may wish to ask the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Criminal Justice College Accredited? Numerous criminal justice colleges have acquired one or more accreditations from regional or national organizations. One of 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 course of instruction and teachers. It’s essential to make sure that the degree program and college you enroll in are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization for several reasons. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a top notch education, it will also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many Cheyenne WY employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the School’s Reputation? As stated previously, along with accreditation the reputation of the school you choose is significant as well. It’s particularly critical if you are getting in the profession with no relevant prior job history. Without any prior experience, Cheyenne WY employers will be evaluating the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are several college rating organizations where you can obtain school reviews and rankings, including U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the instructors and other factors contributing to the educational programs. Remember that a school with an overall less than excellent reputation might still be well respected for a specific degree program that you may be interested in.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Cheyenne WY schools you are looking at. A low percentage might be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the course of study. It’s also essential that the schools have job placement programs with higher placement rates. A job assistance program will help you obtain that first pivotal job after graduation that marks the starting point of your career in criminal justice. A high placement rate will not only help validate that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it also has a large network of employers to help students secure jobs after graduation.
How Far Away are the Colleges Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, one of the first things you will probably look at when looking for criminal justice colleges is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps board on campus, the school you enroll in will have to be within commuting distance of your Cheyenne WY residence. Certainly attending online classes will eliminate the need for travel and make location a moot issue. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to attend a college outside of your resident state, you might be charged a higher tuition than resident students, particularly for state universities and colleges. Junior and community colleges also often charge students higher fees if they reside outside of the school district or state.
How Big are the Classes? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, going to small classes provides the opportunity for more interaction with the instructors. Large classes afford little chance of getting individualized instruction if needed. One method to assess the interaction between students and faulty is to audit a couple of classes prior to making your ultimate decision. Speak with several of the students and ask what their experiences have been. Also, talk to the instructors and inquire what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to ask what their backgrounds have been in the Wyoming criminal justice profession.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it’s critical to verify that the final school you select provides 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 need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cheyenne WY, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Cheyenne WY?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Cheyenne WY, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Cheyenne area where your school campus will be located.
Cheyenne (/ʃaɪˈæn/ shy-AN or /ʃaɪˈɛn/) is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Wyoming and the county seat of Laramie County. It is the principal city of the Cheyenne, Wyoming, Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Laramie County. The population was 59,466 at the 2010 census. Cheyenne is the northern terminus of the extensive and fast-growing Front Range Urban Corridor that stretches from Cheyenne to Pueblo, Colorado, and has a population of 4,333,742 according to the 2010 United States Census. Cheyenne is situated on Crow Creek and Dry Creek. The Cheyenne, Wyoming Metropolitan Area had a 2010 population of 91,738, making it the 354th-most populous metropolitan area in the United States.
On July 5, 1867, General Grenville M. Dodge and his survey crew plotted the site now known as Cheyenne in Dakota Territory (later Wyoming Territory). This site was chosen as the point at which the Union Pacific Railroad crossed Crow Creek, a tributary of the South Platte River. The city was not named by Dodge, as his memoirs state, but rather by friends who accompanied him to the area Dodge called "Crow Creek Crossing". It was named for the American Indian Cheyenne tribe, one of the most famous and prominent Great Plains tribes closely allied with the Arapaho.
The construction of the Union Pacific Railroad brought hopes of prosperity to the region when it reached Cheyenne on November 13, 1867. The population at the time numbered over 4,000, and grew rapidly. This rapid growth earned the city the nickname "Magic City of the Plains".
Enroll in the Ideal Criminal Justice School near Cheyenne WY
Making sure that you enroll in the right criminal justice school near Cheyenne WY is essential to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing field. Employers care which college you earned your criminal justice degree from, so it’s in your best interest to care also. Achieving the ultimate possible success in your criminal justice career begins with selecting the best criminal justice college predicated upon your career objectives. As we have covered in this article, it’s essential that the college and degree program you pick both are accredited and have excellent reputations. Additionally, 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 Best Online Criminal Justice Programs. However, by utilizing our checklist of questions, you will be able to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are reviewing so that you can narrow down your choices and make the right choice. And when you have made the correct decision, you will get the proper training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
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