How to Choose a Vocational School near Cordele Georgia
Deciding to work in a new occupation and enroll in a trade school near Cordele GA are serious decisions that will greatly impact your long term career. But with so many trade schools to choose from, exactly how do you approach finding the best one? Not only do you have to confirm that you will receive the comprehensive training necessary to be successful in your new occupation, but also that the school is highly regarded and reputable. Some prospective students make the error of choosing a trade school simply because the campus is nearest to their residence or where the work. Or they may gravitate to the one that charges the lowest tuition. Of course the cost and location of the programs are important factors when assessing trade school options, but they can not be the sole ones. Additional variables including reputation and accreditation of the schools are critical as well. So before you begin evaluating and comparing trade schools, you will need to know what questions to ask in order to get the information to make a final selection. We will review several of those questions shortly in this post. But to start with, let’s look at some of the trade options that are available as well as the availability of online programs.
Vocational School Training Options near Cordele GA
There are a number of professions to select from in vocational schools that provide rewarding and good paying careers. Maybe you have already decided on one that you have for years desired to pursue. For example, perhaps you have always taken pleasure in working on your car and have considered utilizing that ability to make a living as an auto mechanic. Or maybe a member of the family has had a long and successful career in a particular trade or vocation and you would love to follow in her or his footsteps. Whatever your inspiration is for entering a trade, there is likely a program available that will provide the training you need. Below is merely a small representation of the trade school programs that are offered in the Cordele GA area.
- Automotive Technician
- Heating and Cooling (HVAC) Tech
- Electrical Technician
- Truck Driving
- Aircraft Maintenance Tech
- Lab Tech
- Construction Manager
Each of the programs will have varying costs and completion times based upon the trade, type of credential and school. A number of the programs may be completed in a few weeks, while others will require several months or even two or more years of schooling. All of these factors need to be considered before choosing a vocation and school.
Learning a Vocation Online
Schools available online have become very popular with Cordele GA students and increasingly more accredited programs are being offered. Even though learning online is a very convenient and accessible way to acquire a degree or certificate, it may not be the best option for every vocation or trade. For example, learning to operate a semi truck is not something that you can do online, nor is training how to weld. These are skills that need to be learned through practical training and by doing it, not by reading about it or watching videos. But certain aspects of the training may be suitable for online training, for example studying driving and safety regulations for trucking schools or studying metallurgy or how to read blueprints for welding schools. Many programs will incorporate online education with on-campus lab work, such as for electrician or welding schools. So it is very important to find out before choosing an online school for any vocation if there is an appropriate amount of practical training allocated to the curriculum. One means to help ensure that a trade school program is both suitable for online education and delivers comprehensive practical training is to verify that it’s accredited by a nationally acknowledged accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). For those trades that are appropriate for training online, it can be a practical way for students with limited time to learn a new profession.
Points to Ask Trade School Programs
Once you have chosen the vocation and type of degree or certificate that you wish to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to decrease your selection of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of trade schools in the Cordele GA area and across the Country to select from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the initial two factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accredited. Many Cordele GA area technical schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the training program be accredited for it to qualify for licensing where applicable.
How Long in Business? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a trade school near Cordele GA is how long it has been in business. A negatively rated or a fly by night school usually will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a big plus. Having said that, even the top schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers.
Completion Rates. Ask the tech schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of contacts to help grads acquire apprenticeships or employment in the Cordele GA area.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous technical programs are taught along with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of businesses or trade unions. Ask if the schools you are comparing have working partnerships with Cordele GA area specialists in the field. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be working with on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the technician you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Cordele GA company if they can give you some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Georgia and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Cordele GA, confirm that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, check out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering a Trade School near Cordele GA?
If you are looking at a trade school near Cordele GA, following is some interesting and relevant information regarding the location of your future school campus that may help you in making your decision.
In November 1864, the area that is now Cordele served as the temporary capital of Georgia. During the last days of the Confederacy, Georgia's war governor Joseph E. Brown used his rural farmhouse to escape the wrath of Sherman's March to the Sea. During that time the farmhouse, which Brown called "Dooly County Place," served as the official capital for only a few days. It was replaced in 1890 by the Suwanee Hotel, located in what became downtown Cordele. The hotel was destroyed by a fire in late 1994 and was rebuilt.
Cordele was founded in 1888 by J.E.D. Shipp of Americus. The town was located at the junction of two major railroads – the Savannah, Americus & Montgomery line, and the Georgia Southern & Florida. As the railroads brought more people and business to the newly settled territory, Cordele experienced phenomenal growth. Before 1905 Cordele was located in southern Dooly County, 9 miles (14 km) from the county seat in Vienna. With Cordele's continued progress, many in the community felt the need for a seat of government to be closer than Vienna. Crisp County was formed in 1905 by taking a portion of southern Dooly County, and Cordele became its county seat.
By August 1930, Cordele housed the Crisp County Hydroelectric System, the first county-owned electric system. Located on the Flint River, the hydroelectric plant continues to operate, and the resulting Lake Blackshear has attracted residents to its waterfront properties.
Select the Right Trade School
Finding the right trade school near Cordele GA is a critical first step toward a gratifying career in the vocation of your choice. As we have covered in this post, you need to pick a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the profession. Other factors to search for are ample practical training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have detailed in our guidelines for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down 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.
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