Vocational School Program
How to Select the Right One Near Juneau Alaska
Enrolling in a vocational school near Juneau AK with the final goal of starting a new career can be a life altering achievement that requires prior due diligence and careful planning. However with numerous vocational schools to select from, just how do you approach finding the best one? Not only do you have to confirm that you will obtain the extensive training required to succeed in your new occupation, but also that the school is reputable and well regarded. Many potential students make the error of selecting a trade school just because the campus is nearest to their home or place of employment. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. Naturally the cost and location of the training are important considerations when assessing trade school options, but they can not be the sole ones. For instance, you must ask if the vocational schools have earned accreditation, or if they provide job placement assistance. So before you begin evaluating and comparing trade schools, you must know what questions you should be asking in order to get the information to make a final choice. We will cover several of those questions shortly in this post. But to start with, let's talk about some of the vocation options that are available.
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Vocational School Program Options
There are an abundance of trades to choose from in vocational schools that provide rewarding and good paying careers. Maybe you have already selected one that you have long wished to pursue. For example, maybe you have always enjoyed working on your car and have thought about using that talent to earn a living as an automotive tech. Or maybe a relative has had a long and successful career in a certain vocation or trade and you would like to follow in his or her footsteps. Regardless of what your motivation is for going into a trade, there is undoubtedly a program available that will provide the training you require. Below is merely a modest representation of the trade school programs that are offered in the Juneau AK area.
- Auto Mechanic
- Heating and Cooling (HVAC) Tech
- Electrical Technician
- Truck Driving
- Aircraft Maintenance Tech
- Lab Tech
- Construction Manager
Each of the programs will have varying completion times and costs based upon the trade, credential earned and school. Some of the programs may be completed in a few weeks, while others will require several months or even 2 or more years of training. Each of these elements need to be taken into account prior to selecting a vocation and school.
Things to Ask Vocational School Programs
Once you have selected the vocation and type of certificate or degree that you would like to acquire, either online or on campus, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of vocational schools in the Juneau AK area and across the Country to choose from. That's why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will most likely be the initial two factors you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you need to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accredited. Many Juneau AK area technical programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, which includes the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it can help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states require that the training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing where applicable.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help measure the quality of a trade school near Juneau AK is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a big plus. However, even the best of schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications.
Completion Rates. Ask the tech schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were disappointed with the program and dropped out. It might also indicate that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of graduates, which may produce more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Juneau AK area.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many training programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of contractors or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Juneau AK area professionals in the trade. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Juneau AK company if they can give you some suggestions. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your home. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It's desirable that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Talk to some of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Alaska and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes at night or on weekends near Juneau AK, check that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Find the Best Juneau Trade School
Selecting the ideal trade school near Juneau AK is a crucial beginning toward a fulfilling career in the vocation of your choice. As we have discussed in this article, you should choose a technical school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the trade. Other things to look for are ample hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don't forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our checklist for assessing schools, you'll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed professional in your chosen trade.