How to Choose a Vocational School near Douglasville Georgia
Deciding to begin a new profession and enroll in a trade school near Douglasville GA are serious decisions that will greatly influence your long term career. But with so many vocational schools to choose from, just how do you undertake locating the best one? Not only do you need to confirm that you will receive the complete training needed to succeed in your new occupation, but also that the school is highly regarded and reputable. Many students make the mistake of selecting a trade school just because the campus is nearest to their residence or where the work. Or they may gravitate to the school that has the most affordable tuition. Of course the cost and location of the programs are critical considerations when assessing vocational school options, but they should not be the only ones. Additional variables such as reputation and accreditation of the schools are important also. So before you begin evaluating and comparing trade schools, you will need to know what questions you should be asking in order to get the information to make a final selection. We will address a few of those questions later in this article. But first, let’s look at some of the trade options that are offered including the availability of online schools.
Trade School Program Options near Douglasville GA
There are a number of trades to pick from in vocational schools that provide rewarding and good paying careers. Perhaps you have already selected one that you have long wished to pursue. For example, maybe you have always taken pleasure in working on your car and have given thought to using that talent to earn a living as an auto mechanic. Or perhaps a member of the family has had a long and successful career in a particular vocation or trade and you would like to follow in her or his footsteps. Whatever your motivation is for entering a trade, there is probably a program available that will provide the training you need. Following is merely a small representation of the trade school programs that are available in the Douglasville GA area.
- Automotive Technician
- Heating And Air Conditioning (HVAC) Tech
- Electrical Technician
- Truck Driver
- Aircraft Maintenance Tech
- Lab Technician
- Construction Manager
Each of the programs will have differing costs and completion times depending on the trade, credential earned and school. Many of the programs may be completed in just weeks, while others will necessitate months or even 2 or more years of training. Each of these factors should be taken into account before choosing a trade and a school.
Vocational Schools Online
Online schools have become very popular with Douglasville GA students and a growing number of accredited programs are being offered. Even though learning online is a readily available and practical way to obtain a degree or certificate, it may not be the ideal option for every vocation or trade. For instance, learning to drive a tractor trailer is not something that you can accomplish online, nor is training how to weld. These are skills that have to be acquired through practical training and by doing it, not by studying or watching videos. But certain elements of the training can be suitable for online classes, such as learning safety and driving regulations for truck driving schools or studying metallurgy or how to read blueprints for welding schools. A number of programs will combine online instruction with on-campus lab work, such as for electrician or welding schools. So it is essential to determine before enrolling in an online school for any trade if there is an appropriate amount of practical training devoted to the syllabus. One means to help ensure that a vocational school program is both appropriate for online education and delivers in-depth hands-on training is to verify that it’s accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). For those trades that are appropriate for training online, it can be a convenient way for students with time constraints to learn a new trade.
Questions to Ask Vocational Schools
Once you have chosen the vocation and type of degree or certificate that you would like to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many vocational schools in the Douglasville GA area and all over the United States to select from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school assessments. As formerly mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will probably be the first 2 factors you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accredited. A large number of Douglasville GA area vocational schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can acquire Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states mandate that the training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing where applicable.
How Long in Business? One clue to help measure the quality of a trade school near Douglasville GA is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school normally will not be in business very long, so longevity is a big plus. On the other hand, even the top schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifiers.
Completion Rates. Ask the trade schools you are considering 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 suggest that students were dissatisfied with the course and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or jobs in the Douglasville GA area.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of contractors or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with Douglasville GA area companies in the field. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the specialist you are working under concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Douglasville GA contractor if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much personalized training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Talk to several of the students and get their feedback concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Georgia and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Douglasville GA, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering a Trade School near Douglasville GA?
If you are looking at a trade school near Douglasville GA, following is some interesting and relevant information regarding the location of your future school campus that may help you in making your decision.
Located along a natural rise in the topography, Douglasville was originally known as "Skint Chestnut." The name was derived from a large tree used by Native Americans as a landmark; it was stripped of its bark so as to be more conspicuous.
Douglasville was founded in 1874 as the railroad was constructed in the area. That same year, Douglasville was designated as the county seat of the recently formed Douglas County. The community was named for Senator Stephen A. Douglas.
On September 21, 2009, Douglas County was devastated by the worst flood in Georgia history. Over 18 inches (457 mm) of rain fell in one night, destroying many roads and homes. The county was later declared a disaster area, and the governor of Georgia declared a state of emergency. The flooding most affected the areas of Douglasville, Villa Rica, Austell, Lithia Springs, and Chapel Hill. The disaster killed more than eight people in the county, most of them in the Douglasville area.
Enroll in the Right Trade School
Finding the ideal trade school near Douglasville GA is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the vocation of your choice. As we have discussed in this article, you should pick a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the trade. Other factors to look for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, inquire about scheduling options and whether or not 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 proper questions as we have laid out in our checklist for assessing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed professional in your chosen trade.
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