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Criminal Justice Articles

Finding the Right Criminal Justice Education

Finding the right criminal justice education only sounds difficult in theory, but in real life it's not difficult. Generally speaking, there are four levels of criminal justice education, with each level being a little more difficult than the last. Most students start at the bottom level and work their way to the top.

The first level in a criminal justice education is the Associate's or Bachelor's level. Students with less time or money usually start with the two year Associate's degree and transfer their credits to a four year institution to attain their Bachelor's degree at a later date. They then have the option of going on to complete a Master's degree and a doctorate.

Those who decide to pursue a criminal justice education should first start by looking at what they want to study. Criminal justice encompasses a number of different things including research, theory, history and practice. Different schools offer different types of classes and coursework, which they list in their school catalogue. Going through the course offerings assists in picking the school with the best courses for a person's needs.

A good example is a student who plans to study forensic psychology in an advanced program. That student wants a school offering courses not only in criminal justice, but also psychology and forensics. On the other hand, a student may want to embark on a career in law enforcement. This student wants a school with connections to law enforcement and courses in practicing those skills.

Prior to joining any type of criminal justice program, the student should take time to visit the school, sit in on classes, and even meet with professors if possible. There's only so much anyone can learn by looking through a catalogue. Visiting the school is the only way to really find the right criminal justice education. This gives the student the chance to see how they fit in at the school, how they feel about the professors, the setting and the classes. There's no point in wasting time at a school where you feel uncomfortable or unwanted.

Students also have the option of taking courses online or through a distance education program. Distance education works by letting the students complete their work at home and sending that work back to the school. Term papers and even tests are completed by the student at home and most of the time on their own time table as long as they have completed the work and turned it in by a deadline. It's great for those who don't have a lot of free time.

Online courses work in much the same way, except students do the work over the computer. These courses are often done by students who work full-time, or have a family at home that prevents them from attending traditional classes. The courses usually have an online forum where students discuss readings from the current week. They do readings on their own time, but take quizzes and write papers as well. All work has due dates and needs to be completed according to deadlines. It's yet another form of criminal justice education that might be the right one.

Schools Offering Criminal Justice Studies Courses: