How to Select the Best One Near Juneau Alaska
Enrolling in a trade school near Juneau AK with the final goal of starting a new profession can be a life altering accomplishment that requires prior due diligence and careful planning. But exactly how do you go about locating the right one with numerous vocational schools to choose from? Of course you must select a school that is reputable and well regarded so you can be confident that you will obtain the extensive training required to succeed in your new field. Many prospective students make the mistake of choosing a vocational school simply because the campus is closest to their home or place of employment. Or they may gravitate to the one that charges the most affordable tuition. But there are additional important criteria besides cost and location that must be part of the due diligence process as well. For instance, you should ask if the vocational schools are accredited, or if they provide job placement assistance. So before you begin evaluating and comparing trade schools, you will need to know what questions you should be asking so you can get the information to make a final selection. We will cover several of those questions later in this post. But to start with, let's look at a few of the vocation options that are available.
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Vocational School Career Options
There are an abundance of professions to choose from in vocational schools that offer fulfilling and high paying careers. Perhaps you have already selected one that you have for years desired to pursue. For instance, maybe you have always had fun working on your car and have given thought to utilizing that talent to earn a living as a car mechanic. Or maybe a family member has had a long and successful career in a specific trade or vocation and you would like to follow in his or her footsteps. Regardless of what your motivation is for entering a trade, there is undoubtedly a program offered that will give you the training you require. Below is just a modest representation of the trade school programs that are available in the Juneau AK area.
- Automotive Technician
- Heating and Cooling (HVAC) Tech
- Truck Driver
- Aircraft Maintenance Tech
- Lab Technician
- Construction Management
Each of the programs will have varying completion times and costs depending on the trade, type of credential and school. Many of the programs may be completed in just weeks, while others will necessitate several months or even 2 or more years of training. All of these elements need to be considered prior to choosing a trade and a school.
Points to Ask Trade School Programs
After you have picked the vocation and type of degree or certificate that you wish to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many trade schools in the Juneau AK area and across the USA to select from. That's why it is essential to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 aspects you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accredited. Many Juneau AK area vocational schools have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Verify that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, some states require that the training program be accredited in order to qualify for licensing where applicable.
How Long in Business? One indicator to help measure the quality of a vocational school near Juneau AK is how long it has been in business. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a big plus. On the other hand, even the best of schools had to start from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications.
Completion Rates. Ask the vocational schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage or portion of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate might suggest that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not competent to train the students. It's similarly important that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which may result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or jobs in the Juneau AK area.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Juneau AK area companies in the field. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by supplying practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the area professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the technician you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Juneau AK contracting company if they can give you some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within driving distance of your residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added moving costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It's important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk with some of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Alaska and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Juneau AK, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Learn More About Trade School Training in Juneau
Enroll in the Right Juneau Vocational School
Enrolling in the right trade school near Juneau AK is a critical beginning toward a rewarding career in the vocation of your choice. As we have covered in this article, you should select a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the profession. Other things to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to tour the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to inquire about financial aid and student loan options as well. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines 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 commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed professional in your chosen trade.