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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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    Grand Canyon University
    Passionate about law and the justice system? Pursue a Bachelor's or Master's Degree in Criminal Justice online from Grand Canyon University.
    Programs Offered:
    • M.S. in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
    • M.S. in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
    • B.S. in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
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    Walden University
    Earn a respected bachelor's degree, master's degree, or Ph.D. online at Walden University.
    Programs Offered:
    • PhD in Criminal Justice - General
    • PhD in Criminal Justice - Online Teaching in Higher Education
    • B.S. in Criminal Justice
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    Ashford University
    You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree online.
    Programs Offered:
    • MS/Criminal Justice - Homeland Security
    • MS/Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement and Corrections Administration
    • MS Criminal Justice
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    Liberty University

    100% Online & No Standardized Testing

    Programs Offered:
    • Master of Science in Criminal Justice – Homeland Security
    • AA in Criminal Justice
    • BS in Criminal Justice
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    UEI College

    At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

    Programs Offered:
    • Criminal Justice (11-Month Diploma Program)

     
    Lewis University

    Lewis University is a regionally accredited, not-for-profit university committed to student success. Lewis offers 5 in-demand, online Master's degrees (Organizational Leadership, Criminal Justice, Computer Science, Data Science and Public Safety Admin.) as well as 5 online Graduate Certificates (Higher Edu. Leadership, Org. Leadership, Prof. Coaching, Data Science and Bioinformatics). Take your career to the next level with an advanced education to fit your lifestyle and achieve your goals.

    Programs Offered:
    • MS in Criminal Justice

     
    Saint Joseph's University

    Saint Joseph’s University is a comprehensive, regionally accredited university. Our national rankings and AACSB accreditation in the Haub School indicate the high quality of our undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs both online and on campus. Guided by a faculty committed to both teaching and scholarship, students develop intellectually, spiritually and emotionally through a unique curriculum, and advanced study in a chosen discipline.

    Programs Offered:
    • MS in Criminal Justice - General Track
    • MS in Criminal Justice - Behavior Management Track
    • MS in Criminal Justice - Behavior Analysis Track
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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 Criminal Justice – General
    • BS in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation
    • MBA - Economic Crime and Fraud Management
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    Ohio Christian University
    Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.
    Programs Offered:
    • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
    • Bachelor of Arts in Business - Criminal Justice Administration
    • Bachelor of Arts in Business - Disaster Management

     
    New England College

    Discover the Difference a Community of Support Makes in Your Educational Journey. From Application to Graduation, the Guidance You Need to Achieve Your Goals. 100% Online.

    Programs Offered:
    • BA in Criminal Justice
    • AA in Criminal Justice
    • BA in Psychology/Criminal Justice
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