For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to pursue a career in criminal justice. Ever since I was young, I’ve found myself being a strict upholder of rules and laws, even umpiring little league games when I was in high school to make some money. I took a few years off after high school to work more, but I’ve now saved up enough money to pursue my college degree. I’d like to keep working at least part time as I go to school to get my bachelor’s degree, and so I’m looking for online colleges to enroll at. What’s the best online college to go to if I want to get a degree in the criminal justice field?
You can find plenty of schools for getting your online criminal justice degree, but you’re right to realize that not every school is the same. Thanks to savvy digital marketing efforts, even a school that is actually a scam or way overpriced may appear both attractive and legitimate. As a result, you could easily to get caught up in a program that sounds too good to be true. A good way to avoid this rookie mistake is to check whether the school in question has a physical presence beyond a digital one. This can be a major indicator that your program either is or isn’t worth attending, and some schools will even offer hybrid learning options perfect for part-time workers who can attend some classes in person but may need to take other courses online.
One major factor that you’ll want to look at as you evaluate each online criminal justice program is whether or not it allows you to transfer credits. If you’re looking at an online degree as a means to save money, often you can save even more money by attending a community college to get your general education credits out of the way and then transferring them toward an online bachelor’s program. Also, any online program that allows you to transfer credits likely is accredited in some way, or at the very least isn’t simply trying to make money off of you. These schools value learning no matter where you’re pursuing education and will gladly welcome you and your credits, should you transfer to their institution.
Speaking of values, it’s a good idea to see whether or not a school’s values align with yours before attending. For example, an online program from a place such as Faulkner University prioritizes more than just strong academics; it also emphasizes moral and ethical matters in its criminal justice program. This might be the type of perspective you’re looking for from an online program, particularly one that deals with the nature and enforcement of law. You may also want to make sure that your instructors have hands-on, real-world experience and are subject-matter experts. Doing so can be the difference between your feeling like you’ve made a good decision or you’ve wasted your money and time.
Ultimately, as with any traditional university, picking the best criminal justice program online comes down to a myriad of factors, including personal taste. When looking at course offerings and making a list of pros and cons for each program, make sure to reach out to current students or recent graduates to see what they say about the program. Asking graduates how the criminal justice program prepared them for the field can also be a strong indicator of a school’s value to you.
Just because you want to pursue your college degree online, that doesn’t mean that you should cut corners in the application process. So be sure to do as much research as possible before applying and deciding to enroll in a program.
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