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  • Best colleges in Illinois

    Im a sophomore at Harper getting my associates and thinking about where to transfer next year for the bachelors. Im looking at the criminal justice school at UIC and Western. has anyone gone to either school for CJ? Is UIC's program any good? I know Western has a really good program. Thanks in advance for any help.

  • #2
    Western's CJ program was good, I got my degree there. Kind of wish I didn't get my degree in CJ though. Think about getting a degree in a different field in case you get hurt at work and can't do LE work anymore, so at least you'll have that to fall back on. Academy/field training is where you learn how to be the police. You could still minor in CJ if you wanted to.

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    • #3
      Just like nkpd44 I went to Western and recently graduated. The program is awesome and the teachers/professors are wonderful but I would also tell you to consider CJ as a minor instead of a major. Don't get me wrong, I loved the classes and actually enjoyed attending class but I wish I would have made CJ my minor. Either way, you can't go wrong because you will be furthering your education. Good luck.

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      • #4
        Majoring in CJ was probably one of the dumbest mistakes I made while in college. Listen to everyone telling you not to major in it!!!

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        • #5
          Ok thanks guys. For the guys that went to Western, how was it? Hows the campus life? Any advice if I end up going there other than I should minor in CJ?

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          • #6
            Have you considered Southern Illinois University?

            Fishing, hunting, the little grand canyon; if you like the outdoors, you may want to look into it. They have a very good Administration of Justice program down there.

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            • #7
              Let me join Tom in urging you to visit my Alma matter SIU. It is a great institution with a strong Admin of Justice program. In addition to this department there are many other award winning disciplines represented on campus. I would also urge you to pursue your major in a different area than CJ…this can be something that helps set you apart from the rest when you begin to apply to departments.

              The campus life at Southern (though it has changed since I graduated) is wonderful, always lots of entertainment options. Southern Illinois itself is breathtaking, every kind of outdoor sport you could imagine. The Shawnee National Forest and numerous state parks provide unspoiled beauty. As an added bonus the climate is different than Northern Illinois. Southern Illinois has much more mild winters and significantly warmer springs and falls.

              Take the trip (4 trains daily between Chicago and Carbondale) or ride the rails and go for a visit…It might be love at first sight like it was for me!

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              • #8
                I also went to wiu, got my degree in leja, and am currently working in the law enforcement field.

                Western is the best in illinois for law enforcement, I have many co-workers who went to western and have alot of friends in other law enforcement jobs who are leathernecks.

                I agree that majoring in leja may not be the best thing you can do, your kinda limited what you can do with that degree. Then again majoring in english or history also limits your career paths.

                Western has a nice college atmosphere that revolves around drinking, there arent any malls close by. Your activites are limited to going to walmart, buffalo wild wings, or drinking......

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                • #9
                  I remember when I was in high school, I was looking at Loyola, at the time they had a program where you could get you Bachelor's and Master's in CJ in 5 years. I dunno if they still have that program, and Loyola is pricey unless you can get scholarships.

                  Anyway, if you take everyone's advice and don't bother with a CJ major, that pretty much opens your options up for any college/university in Illinois. Find the school that will be best for you in terms of location, cost, and any other circumstances, and then if they have a CJ program, you can minor in that. But you can major in whatever you want and still be a cop. I bet being a Spanish major would help someone get hired a lot more than being a CJ major, but I'm a big believer in picking your major based on what interests you the most, not based on what you want your job to be, so if CJ interests you the most, go for it.
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkcX_5hZN6U



                  http://www.killology.com/sheep_dog.htm

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                  • #10
                    Western Illinois is TOP NOTCH for a degree in Criminal Justice Admin. It is not a bad idea to major in something else and minor in Crim. Justice. My money was well spent at WIU!!

                    What ever you major in, get good grades!!
                    SPSC 262

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the responses, it helped a lot. I'll definitely check out WIU and SIU.

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                      • #12
                        I graduated from WIU in 08 and was hired by Dallas PD a few weeks after I graduated. I was not a big fan of WIU's LEJA program. THere were a few really good teachers but a lot of crappy ones. I got my associates at Black Hawk College in Moline and they had an excellent law enforcement program.

                        I suggest a LEJA minor like the others.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by formerdispatcher View Post
                          I graduated from WIU in 08 and was hired by Dallas PD a few weeks after I graduated. I was not a big fan of WIU's LEJA program. THere were a few really good teachers but a lot of crappy ones. I got my associates at Black Hawk College in Moline and they had an excellent law enforcement program.

                          I suggest a LEJA minor like the others.
                          How were you lucky enough to get hired so quickly after you graduated?

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                          • #14
                            I too graduated from WIU and was hired very quickly....actually I was hired before I graduated and the police academy counted as my required internship (your required to complete an internship, which most do their last semester). I noticed MANY of my co-workers were WIU Alumni, but the bottom line is you can get a job in LE with any degree or sometimes none at all. I definitely suggest getting your Bachelor's in whatever you choose right off the bat because it will always be more difficult to go back to school. Further more it seems everybody wants to be the police today so there is tons of competition out there (although most of which will never become the police for poor backgrounds and whatever other reasons). To be honest I'm not sure if I could go back and change things whether or not I would minor or major in LE. I resigned from my first place of employment (I wasn't too good of a fit there) and work part-time for a community college your familiar with. I'm definitely limited in career paths at this point, but know full-time law enforcement is what I plan on doing...now it's just a matter of finding another full-time LE job...yeah it sucks. But anyway Macomb is about a 3 1/2-4 hour drive and the town has little to offer, but I felt comfortable at the school and did very well. As for whether or not the school prepared me for the job...I don't think so, but then again I don't think reading and sitting in a lecture hall anywhere could. Field training and the academy is what gets you ready to handle the job. On the other end of it, I was able to get a job right off the bat (although it didn't work out) and I was offered other jobs at the time I was testing (yeah I definitely wish I would have gone with one of the others). So I definitely can say a degree from WIU will help your chances for job placement, but would a degree in an unrelated field at some other school advance your chances just as well?...that's the tough decision you have to make for yourself. What I can say is what is most important is your testing skills, interviewing skills, and moral character (which will be checked by polygraph). If those suck you don't stand a great chance getting hired in these times and a degree isn't gonna change anything. Best of luck to you in making the right decision for yourself.

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                            • #15
                              Post Deleted By Author
                              Last edited by LEJAmav; 03-19-2010, 01:36 AM.

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