There are many factors that you should consider when selecting a college or university to begin your correctional officer training and education.
Whether you have never taken a single college class or you’re currently enrolled in a college program, there are some things that you should consider so that you don’t make the same mistakes that so many others have made over the years.
Below are some tips that you should consider during your search for the perfect college to take your correctional officer classes.
1. You don’t have to spend a fortune to take your basic general education classes. Classes like your basic English, Math, Natural and Social Science classes can obtained at any two-year junior college that can be later transferred to a four-year university if you decide to pursue a degree above an Associate’s degree. Junior Colleges or community colleges can allow you to jump start your education at a fraction of the cost of enrolling directly into a major university. Additionally, many two-year colleges have agreements with larger 4-year universities that make the transfer process a painless experience.
2. Consider your hometown or state university before you start up with an out-of-state or online college. Selecting an in-state school not only will allow you to enroll at the lower in-state tuition rate but you will most likely know about the school’s history from the people in your community, but you’ll also but able to consult with your family and friends that may be currently enrolled there or have previously attended. Generally, your local college will be well respected in your area and their accreditation would not and should not be an issue.
3. Once you complete you general education classes, seek out a college or university that specializes in the corrections field. Having a specialization in corrections essentially means that the college or university has specific programs related to and involving a correctional officer curriculum that culminates into a certificate, diploma, or degree in corrections. At an added benefit, these classes and programs can place you onto the fast track for study in criminal justice or justice administration degree programs if you decide to follow that path.
4. When looking for a school to take correctional officer classes online, make sure that you take the time to do your research. Ensure that whichever college you choose is established, respected, and accredited. When you start on the path of a college degree you devoting a lot of time and money in it, even if you get grants or scholarships, so make sure the value is there so you can recoup the expenses and costs of the degree in a short amount of time. Don’t waste your hard earned money going to a diploma mill that just passes out A’s and doesn’t give you the education and training you need to succeed.
5. Know the earning potential of the degree that you are seeking to enroll into to determine if you will be able to get a return on the time and money invested into your education. Just as being a Correctional Officer is consistently one of the top law enforcement jobs, there are certain degrees that are generally related to it, and if the college that you had in mind doesn’t offer then you should continue your research. The common college degrees associated with a career as a corrections officer would be Criminal Justice, Criminology, Social Sciences, Psychology, Law Enforcement and Corrections. A degree in any one of these fields will greatly increase your earning potential and substantially improve your chances for advancement.
Finally, these tips are simply some of the things that you should consider when searching for the right college for you to attend and since one person may have a different set of circumstances, family obligations and educational background from the next person, your focus should be in the area that directly affects your situation or concerns most, so you can receive the greatest benefit from your correctional officer training.