Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Kizmet, May 21, 2016.

  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

  3. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    If you're going to earn a graduate degree, the U.S. News list, while old, is better to go off of. Schools rarely hire professors that graduated from a school that's ranked more than a couple of spots lower based on the U.S. News ranking. Regardless of what one thinks about U.S. News rankings, a lot of the schools on their list have a much better reputation among criminal justice professionals than a lot of the ones on the USA Today list.

    Best Criminology Programs | Top Criminology Schools | US News Best Graduate Schools
  4. TonyM

    TonyM Member

    A lot of CJ teaching is career oriented, so that professional background and certifications are often more important than school ratings. I guess for the tenure track research institutions the usual academic considerations are about the same in a lot of cases. Still, even some those schools have permanent faculty who are retired or veteran law enforcement officers.
  5. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    I tend to agree, but the original list was for undergraduate programs. At least one on the list (Saint Anselm) has no graduate programs at all, never mind Criminology/CJ.
  6. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    The field of Criminal Justice is not the same as the field of Police Science. While many in the law enforcement community seem to earn degrees in CJ and many who hope to break into law enforcement do the same, CJ programs are not vocational. Getting a B.S.C.J. is not the same thing as going to the police academy. Also, there are quite a few areas of "Criminal Justice" that do not revolve around policing. There are CJ programs with minors or concentrations in Corrections Management, Private Security and a host of other areas. But even these things are somewhat disconnected from their theoretical parent disciplines. Studying "Corrections Management" is not the same thing as studying "penology." And it's quite possible for a good, well published penologist to have never worked as a Corrections Officer (in fact, a handful of them have served time on the other side of the bars) for the same reason that a law professor may very well have never practiced law outside of the classroom. There's a difference between a trial attorney and a legal scholar.

    CJ undergrad degrees, to me at least, seem to share a lot of common traits with the B.S.B.A. You can use it to go work for a hedge fund, start up a Subway franchise, be an insurance agent or start up a tech company. The possibilities are virtually limitless. For CJ you may become a police officer, a probation officer, a corrections officer, a private security consultant, a scholar in specific CJ disciplines, a military service member or you might very well find yourself doing any of those things I listed for the B.S.B.A. holder (and vice versa).

    But I wouldn't discount ratings just because many people tend to use the degree for career advancement. The top business schools don't have faculties with the same sort of industry experience as many smaller, and even a good chunk of for-profit, schools. That doesn't mean that someone with a degree from Harvard Business School is at a disadvantage. The ratings can matter even if they don't matter to everyone in every situation.
  7. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    This is true. The great majority of Police Science programs are at the community college level, and result in a A.A.S. or other vocational Associate's degree. The only Police Science program I can think of offhand above the Associate level is the Bachelor's program at George Washington University (not DL);

    At the risk of oversimplification, the police academy is a vocational course (although many schools offer academic credit for it). One example is Criminal Law; an academic course covers the history, functions, and legislative process of general Criminal Law, while the police academy concentrates on rights of arrest, punishments, and practical application of that specific state's criminal statutes.

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