Criminal Justice Online Degrees

The popularity of criminal justice online degrees keeps climbing. Earning one might be the best career move can make, but don't enter into an online degree program without doing the research up front.

Spend a few hours reading reviews and advice from professionals who have already earned an online degree.

Jenna, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, attended Western New Mexico University, earning her criminal justice degree online.

Now that she has her degree in criminal justice, she is preparing for the LSAT.

Here's what Jenna has to say about earning her degree online:

Describe what you liked best about your online learning experience.

I liked this experience because it was convenient. It saved me so much money on gas since I did not have to drive to class. It saved me time as well since I could do schoolwork in my pajamas instead of having to get up and get ready to drive to a class. I also liked that I got to choose when to do my work. There were nights I could not sleep so I went and did an online assignment. This also allowed me to turn in assignments early so that I was not stuck waiting to turn them in on a certain date. I liked that online chats had more participation because there was no anxiety about having to speak and give your opinion in person in front of a large class. I also liked that I got to choose what classes to do and when. If I did not feel like doing math on a Wednesday, I did my reading instead and saved my math for Thursday or Friday. Criminal justice online degrees give much more freedom than traditional university degrees.

Describe what you liked least about your online learning experience.

The thing I liked least about this experience was that I did not get the chance to ask my instructors questions in person. It was awful when I did not understand an assignment and I had to constantly check my email to see if my instructor had written me an answer to my question. There were times when the instructor answered me after the assignment was due, which added pressure to get it done quicker than I normally would have had to. I also hated that I had to register for my classes through a counselor. Because it was a new program we were not allowed to register for the Criminal Justice classes ourselves. This was stupid because there were only three people who could register the Criminal Justice students so if no one was available, you had to keep calling back hoping to catch someone to register you. The same problem was with dropping classes as well. Instead of letting the students do it, the counselor had to drop classes too so that was a pain when you had to drop a class by a certain date by no one was available to do it for you.

Has earning this degree helped or hurt your career?

I am not working right now as I am preparing to take the LSAT for law school. It helped my skills because I have many more computer skills, as well as more patience with computer programs. I like the fact that not many people have this degree and as we move to the future, I think it will help my job prospects because it shows that I am organized and dedicated enough to be able to do an online course without the need for supervision from a teacher constantly. It shows that I can organize my schedule and my time in order to successfully get the assignments done and get higher grades. The only reason I say it might hurt me is because the human interaction wasn’t there so the social skills were not needed like they are in a normal classroom.

What would you say to others who are thinking of pursuing criminal justice online degrees?

I would tell someone who is thinking of pursuing online learning to make sure that they have the drive to push themselves. It is harder to get things done when there is not a teacher standing over you. If you know you have work to do and choose to do something else, you will not succeed in these types of classes. You have to have the discipline to make yourself do the work, and not wait until the last minute to do so. You have to be organized and plan ahead. You have to plan what you will do if your books are not available, and have backup plans for everything. For example, if your computer crashes on the day you are supposed to take an online final, what will you do? Will you go to a library to take it? Or what if your term paper is on the computer that crashed? Did you think ahead enough to send it to another computer ‘just in case’? All of these things need to be thought about because online classes leave no room for excuses.

Jenna|Albuquerque, NM, USA | Western New Mexico University | Criminal Justice Online Degrees

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