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What to Know if You're Considering Studying Criminal Justice

by Jared Newnam
November 16, 2016

Keeping our communities and our country safe is a key focus of everyone in criminal justice. Of course, what that looks like in practice depends on the career you pursue and whether it’s in law enforcement, correction, politics, or law. Across the board, however, a few things hold true for those exploring a bachelor’s or master’s degree in criminal justice.

Education and Experience Can Help You Stand Out

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), numerous careers in criminal justice may see 4% job growth in the coming years. This includes, Detectives and Criminal Investigators and Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists. Others, like Private Detectives and Investigators, Bailiffs, and Police Patrol Officers, will experience an average growth rate around 5% to 8%.

As with any job and depending on location, applicants may face competition for desirable positions. (Median annual salary for criminal justice roles mentioned above ranges from $41,000 to over $77,000.) The BLS especially anticipates strong competition for Private Detective and Investigator roles.

In competitive job situations, a candidate with a criminal justice degree and work experience may be most likely to catch the eye of a potential employer. For example, for Police and Detective positions, the BLS says that “applicants with a bachelor's degree and law enforcement or military experience, especially investigative experience, as well as those who speak more than one language, should have the best job opportunities.” For Probation Officer and Corrections positions, as well as employment within federal agencies, a bachelor’s degree is often required.

Technology is Increasingly Important across Professions

If you’ve been researching or studying criminal justice online, you likely know that technology has a drastic impact on the field.

On one side, there’s an array of valuable technologies. These take many forms, including connected database systems, automated license plate readers, and handheld biometric scanners used to identify suspects. In some locations, criminal justice workers currently carry tablets and smartphones that make it easier to access and distribute information. Such tools will only improve in the years to come.

Criminal justice professions under increasing scrutiny are also turning to technology like social media to build trust and demonstrate transparency in their communities. Although privacy concerns are still being debated, GPS systems and body cameras are also being introduced to support both safety and accountability in criminal justice professions.

Meanwhile, others apply technology for harm, with the The Department of Justice describing cyber crime as "one of the greatest threats facing our country" and Business Insider reporting that “the frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks are at an all-time high.” When it comes to jobs, cyber crime is driving employment trends, with the BLS noting that “Internet scams, as well as other types of financial and insurance fraud, create demand for investigative services.” Such crimes are expected to continue at local, national and even global levels.

What to Look for in Criminal Justice Programs

While we’ve already noted that a criminal justice degree can help when applying for jobs, it’s also essential that students select the right program.

Your criminal justice degree program level (bachelor’s, master’s, etc.) will determine program length and curriculum, but all criminal justice degrees should share some foundational elements. First, anyone considering criminal justice courses or comparing criminal justice curriculums should look for programs that explore the importance of technology in this field. Equally valuable are criminal justice courses that address ethics and topics related to race, class, and gender. Finally, soft skills like leadership, problem-solving, communication, and conflict resolution should also be taught throughout a criminal justice curriculum.

Whether you prefer studying criminal justice online or on-campus, South University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice that can prepare you for working in today’s changing field. Explore our criminal justice programs online or contact us today to learn more.

by Jared Newnam
November 16, 2016
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Quick Tips for Transferring College Credit to a New School

by Jared Newnam
November 10, 2016

Quick Tips for Transferring College Credit to a New School

When it comes to college, not everyone finds the right fit the first time. Maybe your degree program no longer excites you or your current school isn’t as supportive or flexible as you’d hoped. Perhaps you took a break from college, and you’ve decided to finish what you started. Whatever the case, transferring college credits to a new school is sometimes the best choice for completing your degree.

The following tips can help you create a plan for transferring your credits and finishing your degree.

  1. Set aside time to research programs and contact your target schools.
    Once you pick what type of program you want, you’ll need to see what schools offer the program near you on campus or online. If you’re switching schools but want to stay in a similar program, be aware that program names may differ slightly across institutions. You’ll need to dig into the program details or ask an admissions representative to ensure you understand the program outcomes.

    While you’ll likely find programmatic information online, everyone’s academic history is unique, so you’ll need to speak to the admissions team about your eligibility for transferring credits. Your easiest and fastest option will be talking on the phone or in-person to avoid a long, complex email chain. Make sure to come prepared for these conversations by gathering documentation, including transcripts, to make sure you can prove you’ve completed courses or training.

  2. Ask schools about their transfer policies.
    Transfer of credit policies and procedures will vary by school and often involve minimum grade requirements. Schools typically require that courses you transfer for credit have similar descriptions and outcomes to the courses they offer. In addition, some schools may be able to take your diploma, certificate or associates degree and apply those credits towards a bachelor’s or even master’s level degree program.

    Sometimes two schools may have an articulation agreement--a document that describes what courses students may transfer from one school to the other in specific programs. While an articulation agreement between two schools can make transferring credit easier, you’ll still want to review the document carefully and contact a school representative for specific questions. Most community colleges will have articulation agreements in place with traditional, 4-year institutions.

  3. Don’t overlook non-traditional sources of transfer credit.
    Having prior college experience isn’t the only way to earn transfer credit. If you’ve been in the military, you may qualify for military experience transfer credit, as most military training courses have been evaluated for academic credit by the American Council on Education (ACE).

    Other non-traditional sources include exams that assess whether what you’ve learned from the military or other professional experiences may be deemed equivalent to college credit. These exams include the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support) Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) exams.

    Let the schools you’re considering know if you have military experience or are researching the CLEP or DSST exams, so that they can advise you on how to move forward.

  4. Transfer credit policies should not be the only factors driving your decisions.
    It’s easy to get caught up in the focus on transferring credit, but picking a school should be a fully thought out decision. Treat the process the same as if you were looking for a new school from scratch. Be sure to ask about accreditation, financial aid, academic support resources, faculty credentialing and access, alumni success, career services, class scheduling and anything else that might be important to you in a new school. Was there something you didn’t like about your last school? If so, avoid running into that same problem again.

  5. Considering transferring to South University? Let’s arrange a time to talk.
    If you’re thinking about transferring colleges, consider South University. Backed by a tradition of over 100 years, South University allows you to earn your degree online or on campus, with classes led by qualified and supportive faculty who are always ready to lend a hand. We are driven to help you succeed, so our transfer of credit policies are designed to make the most of the effort you’ve already put into your education. Request information online to learn more today.

Transfer credit is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. South University offers no guarantee that credit earned at another institution will be accepted into a program of study offered by South University.

by Jared Newnam
November 10, 2016
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We asked, you answered. See what changes are coming soon!

by South University, Online Programs
October 7, 2014

At South University, Online Programs, we measure our success by your success, and we’re always striving to give you the best possible experience as our student. As part of these efforts, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve and understand what we can do better.

Survey imageThat’s why, in the first few months of every year, we ask you to participate in the annual Noel Levitz Priorities Survey for Online Learners (PSOL). Many of you contributed in 2014, and, by doing so, you not only helped us to enrich the quality of your own time at South University, but also the experience of all students for years to come!

The results are in...

Now that we’ve spent some time reviewing what you had to say and coming up with ways to enhance your experience, we’re ready to make some changes. Many of you asked for us to provide additional support at the beginning of your classes, so we’ve been focusing on how to help you get better acquainted with your instructor and your courses. Here’s what we’ve been doing so far, and we’re just getting started!

1. Faculty videos being added to the classroom
Some of our faculty members are now sharing videos of themselves in the classroom to give you a more personalized experience and introduction. Don’t be surprised if one of your instructors creates their own introductory video in the near future!

2. Improved faculty welcome calls
We’re working with our faculty to make sure they reach out to every student and cover all of the important information you need to know.

3. More training for staff
Graduation team members are receiving additional training so that they can do a better job helping you in your first week. We’re also making sure they’re prepared to assist with common technical issues, no matter whether your questions come in the first, or last, week of your course.

Even beyond these three items, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to ensure that you always have the individual support you need and the most current and useful information at your fingertips!

That's not all!

Watch for more updates in the following months about the changes we’re making to help you along your journey to graduation. In the meantime, if you have more ideas about what we could be doing to improve your experience, feel free to share them with your admissions representative, academic counselor, or student finance counselor. We’d love to hear from you!

by South University, Online Programs
October 7, 2014
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How to Stay Connected & Get the Most Out of Your Online Classes

by South University, Online Programs
March 15, 2014

Online courses are a great way to get an education without having to worry about physically being in class. Whether your decision to take online classes is based on distance, time constraints or simply convenience, online courses can help you increase your knowledge and prepare you to further your career.

Online LearningThe key to getting the most out of online learning is to get involved and become a part of your school’s online community. Online students often are more motivated when they feel connected to their fellow online learners. Forming positive connections with your peers will help you be more interested in interacting with other students and faculty, more determined to try your best, and more excited to show up for class each day.

Get to Know Your Fellow Online Student Peers

Just because you’re not sitting in rows of desks around each other doesn’t mean there aren’t the same opportunities for community building. Here are some tips to help you connect:

• Make a point to introduce yourself to other students in your online learning course.
• Get to know other online students on a personal level or even become friends.
• Actively participate in both required and optional class discussions.
• Ask if other online students live in your area and want to start an in-person study group.
• Interact with other students using social media--whether you prefer Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn is up to you!

Have School Spirit

Online learning allows people all over the world to join together under the common interest of education. Having a diverse online student body makes online schools an exciting and unique learning experience, so take pride in where you learn!

• Familiarize yourself with your school’s website.
• Follow and interact with your school’s social media.
• Learn about your school’s history, values, and mission.
• Wear your school’s colors.
• Get involved in any activities or organizations associated with your school.

Spread the Word

As an online student, you are on an exciting educational journey. Share your story with friends and family to help them understand what you are gaining from online learning. Talking about your online education will also help you feel like an informed, active, and connected member of your online community.

By sharing your experience, you are reinforcing your connection with your online community and maybe even convincing your family and friends to join you in your journey!

by South University, Online Programs
March 15, 2014
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On Demand Tutoring in the Classroom

by South University
April 2, 2013

We know how important it is for you, our students, to receive the help you need, right when you need it. Now, there’s a new, convenient way to access On Demand Tutoring directly from your online classroom. Simply click “Tutor” in the top navigation toolbar, and you’ll have access to the over 1,600 university faculty, graduate students and retired educators who serve as tutors.

Tutoring button in toolbar

On Demand Tutoring Features

Here are a few things you can do with On Demand Tutoring:

  • • Chat with a live tutor.
  • • Schedule future tutoring sessions.
  • • Submit your writing to the Writing Center for review and critique.
  • • Send a tutor a question and receive a response the next day.
  • • View your past tutoring sessions in the archives.
  • • Access study guides, subject glossaries and other academic resources.

On Demand Tutoring enables you to get academic assistance in the following subjects: Math, Statistics, Writing, Chemistry, Biology, Human Anatomy & Physiology, Microsoft Office, Nursing Pathophysiology, Nursing Pharmacology, Nursing Administration, Geriatrics, Mental Health & Psychiatric Nursing, Accounting, Economics, Medical Terminology and more.

Additional Student Resources and Support Services

South University also offers students a number of other support services beyond On Demand Tutoring, including Software Tutorials, Technical Support, Career Resources, Counseling Center, Disability Services and 24/7 access to the Online Library with a full-text search engine for 350 databases. Current students should visit the Campus Common to access these services or learn more. 

by South University
April 2, 2013
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