Debunking Criminal Justice Online Degree Myths

Don’t believe these seven myths about criminal justice degrees online.

article-criminal-justice-online-degree-resizedMany online criminal justice degrees are accessible 24/7, so you can study any time it fits into your busy schedule, and from just about anywhere.

You can log on from work, on the road, at a coffee shop with WiFi or from a comfortable spot on your couch.

This can help you balance your work and family life with an education.

Myth #1: A Degree Online is Harder Than a Campus Degree

An online degree is NOT harder than a traditional program. Online criminal justice degree programs are not more difficult than campus programs because they follow the same curriculum. Taking courses online can actually be easier because you set your study schedule instead of sleeping through that 8 a.m. class.

Also, students who take courses online usually have the advantage of receiving instructors’ lectures in written form so you can more easily go back to check what the prof said.

Myth #2: Online Education is More Expensive

An online criminal justice degree is not more expensive than campus programs. Students should expect to pay anywhere from a little less than $100 to more than $300 per credit, with average tuition for online programs offered by public universities generally falling in the $110 to $170 range. Additional registration, technology or enrollment fees may also apply.

One advantage of a degree online is that it eliminates out-of-state tuition. In addition, you won’t have to pay gas prices driving to and from campus, and you won’t have to pay parking fees or worry about paying expensive parking tickets.

Myth #3: I Can’t Get Financial Aid for an Online Degree

You can get scholarships and financial aid for a criminal justice degree online. Students enrolled in online criminal justice degrees are often eligible for the same types of scholarships and financial aid as students enrolled in traditional programs. This will help defray the cost, and make online education more affordable than you might think.

Myth #4: Online Education Is Impersonal

Many online students report that they’re actually surprised by the amount of interaction they have in their online degrees.

They engage in virtual conversations with classmates and teachers, and have conversations about course materials on discussion boards. Log on and see what other students are asking, or add your own question to the board. Think of this as if you were in a traditional classroom where everyone asks questions and opens up discussions.

It’s essential that online students participate in class. If you didn’t get enough review before your quiz, email your prof. He or she probably has additional material that they can send you.

Myth #5: The Coursework for My Online Degree Will Be Harder

An online criminal justice curriculum is the same as for on-campus classes. Online criminal justice course content is generally the same as traditional coursework. Assignments are emailed to the instructor, usually on designated due dates. For many online classes, written coursework takes the place of traditional examinations. When this is not the case, tests may be offered online.

Myth #6: You Never Have to Hand In Your Work

You still hand in your assignments with a criminal justice online degree. Using email lets you correspond with classmates, instructors, teaching assistants or groups within a course and is an extremely common practice for turning in homework assignments in Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint.

Myth #7: No Communication Goes on with Online Education

Although your criminal justice online degree will generally have the same content as traditional degrees, many prospective students worry that by taking courses online they will not receive the benefit of personal interaction with their instructors and fellow classmates.

Students who take courses online usually do not meet face-to-face with instructors and classmates, but communication via video conferencing, email or online discussions often proves to be just as—or more—rewarding.

The instructor may also post lecture materials and assignments on the course website. Online teachers may occasionally designate a specific log-in time for an online chat session, but otherwise you may log in and work at any time. Components of a virtual classroom include:

  • Streaming Video
  • Video Conferencing
  • Email
  • Instant Messaging (IM)

If you are new to online learning, don’t feel like you have to know all of this now. After enrolling, you will receive detailed instructions on how to set up your computer prior to the classes starting. Online schools also have technical support for you to contact and get help as necessary to enhance your online learning experience.

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