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Schools in the USA

Justice and Security Accreditation

Accreditation is a form of independent, professional certification that focuses on schools and programs in a particular field. Accreditation of the various programs that make up the field of justice and security therefore assures you and your parents that the institution adheres to high quality standards. Which means the programs are delivered by qualified faculty and are constantly updated to follow the changes and meet the needs of the relevant industry or working world. A degree or other credential from an accredited institution or program can help make you more competitive on the job market, and in some cases may be required for professional certification.

Accreditation in the US takes place at different levels. At the highest level, the US Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Association (CHEA) and the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) grant power to associations that oversee accreditation at the regional, institutional or program level.

  • Regional: The US Department of Education recognizes 6 distinct higher educational regions, each of which is overseen by a different accrediting body. This is the type of accreditation most commonly referred to and is for an institution as a whole, not for individual programs. Accreditation by these regional agencies isn't automatic: this is voluntary accreditation.


  • Institutional: Depending on the kind of institution it is (e.g., private, public, community, career, Christian, online, etc.) it may also be accredited by institute-type specific agencies. America's colleges and universities are very different in character and in the programs they offer; therefore a school may be accredited by one or more organizations.


  • Specialized: Specialized accreditation focuses on specific areas of study and individual programs. This is sometimes called professional accreditation, because it means specific programs meet the national standards for that field of study. The category of justice and security covers a range of program areas, and each institution usually has a page on its website listing both institutional and individual program accreditation.

    When assessing quality, you can also look at whether a school or program has any memberships in, or endorsements by, professional associations or government agencies which reflect certain standards of quality, but this is not the same as official accreditation. For instance, the American Society of Criminology does not accredit programs, but is a national organization committed to maintaining and promoting the quality of research and scholarship in various fields of criminology. Another example is that The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designate certain educational programs in the field of information security or assurance as Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE). Attending a designated CAEIAE program means you are eligible to apply for scholarships through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program.

    Recognized Regional Accrediting Agencies
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities


  • Program-Specific Accreditation Agencies

    Criminal Justice:
    Commission on Accreditation of Criminal Justice Programs (CACJP)
    Established: 2000
    Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Web: www.nationalafc.com/CACJP.html
    Scope: The CACJP is a division of the National Association of Forensic Counselors (NAFC) which accredits both undergraduate and graduate programs.

    National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA)
    Established: 1970
    Location: Washington, DC
    Web: www.naspaa.org
    Scope: NASPAA accredits institutions offering bachelor's and master's programs in public affairs, public policy and administration across the US-which may include criminal justice programs.

    Forensic Sciences:
    Forensic Science Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC)
    Established: 2004
    Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Web: www.aafs.org
    Scope: An official standing committee of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), FEPAC accredits college-level programs leading to undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in forensic science.

    Some Institution-Type-Specific Accrediting Agencies
    Distance Education Training Council (DETC): Oversees accreditation of both public and private institutions offering degree and non-degree distance and online education nationally and internationally.

    Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS): Oversees accreditation of US private postsecondary institutions offering certificates, diplomas, associate's, bachelor's, or master's degrees in professional, technical, or occupational programs.

    Why Accreditation?
    The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Accrediting agencies have no legal control over institutions or programs; they promote certain standards and approve or renew membership of institutions that apply and meet the accreditation standards or criteria. Certain licensing programs may require that you've been through a course of study with specialized accreditation, because it ensures that you have been taught by faculty qualified to teach in that field. The US Secretary of Education and CHEA each maintain and publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies, and most institutions attain eligibility for Federal funds by holding accredited or pre-accredited status with one of the recognized accrediting agencies.

    Schools

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    Ashford University
    You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.
    Programs Offered:
    • MS/Criminal Justice - Forensic Science
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    Grand Canyon University
    Does Criminal Justice or Justice Studies interest you? GCU has the degrees for you. Explore our Master's and Bachelor's degree offerings today!
    Programs Offered:
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    South University, Online Programs
    As a student at South University, Online Programs, you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.
    Programs Offered:
    • Criminal Justice (MS)
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    Liberty University

    100% Online & No Standardized Testing

    Programs Offered:
    • Master of Science in Criminal Justice – Homeland Security
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    Argosy University

    Welcome to Argosy University

    Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

    Programs Offered:
    • Criminal Justice (BS) (Online)
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    Keiser University Graduate School

    Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.  Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.

    Programs Offered:
    • Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
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    Pepperdine�s School of Law Master of Legal Studies

    The online Master of Legal Studies program from Pepperdine University School of Law enables nonlawyers from across the United States to develop the legal expertise and credentials to advance within their chosen fields. Students will learn to interpret foundational legal concepts, solve legal challenges, and interact effectively with lawyers.

     

    Programs Offered:
    • Master of Legal Studies

     
    Northcentral University
    • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
    Programs Offered:
    • Criminal Justice - D.B.A.
    • Homeland Security Leadership & Policy - D.B.A.
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    Utica College

    Utica College, founded in 1946, is a comprehensive private institution located in upstate central New York.  The College offers regionally accredited online certificates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in healthcare, cybersecurity, financial crime, nursing, physical therapy, business, criminal justice, and data science.  All courses are taught by credentialed, highly experienced faculty with significant and ongoing accomplishments in their respective fields.

    Programs Offered:
    • BS in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation
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    Regis University - CPS

    Regis is a regionally accredited, 130-year-old Jesuit university in Denver, Colorado. Inspired by the vision of St. Ignatius Loyola, we are dedicated to the pursuit of learning and truth in an effort to make positive change in our communities as well as ourselves.

    Programs Offered:
    • Master of Science in Criminology - Leadership Focus
    • Master of Science in Criminology - Cybercrime and Terrorism Focus

     
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