Trying to decipher the differences between criminal justice programs and what advantages one may have over another can sometimes be difficult.
Many times if you look at the curriculum, the classes and degree requirements will look similar to one another. That is why it's important for you to review the unique aspects that each program may offer like unique employer relationships they might have or coveted internship opportunities specific to that school and program.
In Providence, R.I. Governor Gina Raimondo recently announced that she would be forming a working group aimed to dive into some of the problems surrounding the state and its criminal justice system. The same article points out that Rhode Island has the 3rd highest percentage of residents on probation according to 2013 statistics. The working group will look at ways to reduce recidivism (offenders that repeat crimes and end back up in the system) and lower costs.
This is a pretty common conversation occurring at the national level too so it should not be surprising to those living in the state. What is interesting is that even with that high of probation percentage, the state only spends about 8 percent of the state public safety fund on probation and parole officers.
How could this affect you as a person looking at potentially getting their criminal justice degree? These types of groups can sometimes guide policies and budgets which can either cause growth in certain professions or declines in another. You will want to pay attention to your target profession and what they require from a degree perspective (as well as any budget changes that could affect its growth). Knowing criminal justice current events of Rhode Island should only be one aspect of your overall decision on the degree type and level. We pulled US census statistics to give you a big picture of the state has population and how it relates to overall education levels.
- 2014 Population Estimate: 1.055 million
- Persons under the age of 18: 20.4 percent
- Persons over the age of 25 with a high school degree: 85.2 percent
- Persons over the age of 25 with a bachelor degree: 31.3 percent
Rhode Island is unique because when you look at the persons over the age of 25 with a high school degree, they are actually below the national average (86 percent) but are above the national average when it comes to bachelor degrees (the national average is 28.8 percent). You will need to understand what type of criminal justice degree you should get as well as deciding what level of education will make you stand out from other future job candidates.
Specific Degree Information
We always like to pull information directly from a school within the state to give our users a better idea of what their academics will actually be about. Criminal justice can be widely encompassing and sometimes people don hat realize the types of courses along with the number of hours you hare expected to complete. We went to the Roger Williams University Bachelor in Criminal Justice page and pulled some details to give you an example of what you might expect at the undergrad level.
- The focus of the degree isn hat just around procedure or criminal justice court rulings but very much about critical thinking. The student can also expect to study philosophical thought and reasoning.
- Their undergraduate degree is also aimed at focusing around preparation of the student for federal, state, and municipal criminal justice roles.
- You will take roughly 14 criminal justice courses (11 required and 3 electives of your choosing) and several other courses outside of criminal justice to satisfy a 120 credit hour requirement.
- Some of the courses you may see while in the criminal justice undergraduate degree at Roger Williams University include (but are not limited to): Applied Concepts in Justice Studies, Policiing in America, Research Methods for Criminal Justice, and many more.
While each school can see a differences in their criminal justice degree, this is meant to give you an example of what you might see. Most schools should have their entire degree plan and course list online so we encourage you to review what that looks like before making a final decision.
Programs of Note in Rhode Island
We wanted to highlight some of these unique aspects with a few Rhode Island criminal justice programs we’ve selected.
- Criminal Justice Program at Community College of Rhode Island: You will find that some schools may offer unique scholarships specific to the school and even the criminal justice program. CCRI offers three different scholarships unique to the criminal justice program that students can apply to which might help in paying for school.
- Justice Studies Major at Rhode Island College: If you believe you have the opportunity to be one of the higher performing students in your class, you should review to see if the school offers any awards based on academic criteria. RIC actually offers the Mary Ann Hawkes award to an outstanding graduating major each year which can be a good addition to a resume. As many will come out with what would be considered an entry-level resume, adding an award like this could potentially help you stand out from other candidates.
Rhode Island Criminal Justice Organizations
All of the news, data, and direct examples we have pulled for you should help you in your decision making process. We also understand that firsthand conversations are also helpful so we have pulled a list of Rhode Island criminal justice organizations for you:
- Providence Police Department Facebook Page
- Rhode Island Police Chiefs
- Rhode Island Department of Public Safety
Reach out to the people in these organizations to see if they might be able to help you better understand the degree path required to work in a variety of fields.