How to Choose a Vocational School near Helen Georgia
Choosing to enter into a new profession and enroll in a trade school near Helen GA are important decisions that will greatly influence your future career. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, exactly how do you undertake identifying the right one? Not only do you have to make sure 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 potential students make the mistake of selecting a vocational school simply because the campus is closest to their home or where the work. Or they might gravitate to the school that charges the most affordable tuition. Naturally the location and cost of the training are significant considerations when evaluating vocational school options, but they can not be the sole ones. Additional factors such as reputation and accreditation of the schools are important as well. 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 choice. We will review several of those questions later in this article. But first, let’s look at some of the trade options that are offered as well as the availability of online schools.
Trade School Career Options near Helen GA
There are a number of trades to pick from in vocational schools that offer gratifying and high paying careers. Possibly you have already decided on one that you have long wished to pursue. For instance, perhaps you have always enjoyed working on your car and have thought about utilizing that ability to make a living as an auto mechanic. Or perhaps a member of the family has had a long and successful career in a certain vocation or trade and you would love to follow in his or her footsteps. No matter what your inspiration is for going into 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 Helen GA area.
- Auto Mechanic
- Heating and Cooling (HVAC) Tech
- Electrical Technician
- Truck Driving
- Aircraft Maintenance Tech
- Lab Technician
- Construction Management
Each of the programs will have varying completion times and costs based upon the trade, type of credential and school. Many of the programs may be completed in a few weeks, while others will necessitate several months or even 2 or more years of schooling. All of these factors need to be considered prior to selecting a vocation and school.
Learning a Vocation Online
Schools available online have become very popular with Helen GA students and increasingly more accredited programs are becoming available. Even though online learning is a very convenient and accessible way to obtain a certificate or degree, it might not be the best option for all trades or vocations. For instance, training 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 mastered through hands on training and by doing it, not by reading about it or watching videos. But certain aspects of the training may be suitable for online education, for example learning safety and driving regulations for trucking schools or learning about metallurgy or how to read blueprints for welding schools. Many programs will blend online education with on-campus practical training, for example for electrician or welding schools. So it is very important to determine before enrolling in an online program for any trade if there is an adequate amount of practical training devoted to the curriculum. One way to help ensure that a vocational school program is both suitable for online studying and provides in-depth practical training is to confirm 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 practical way for individuals with limited time to acquire a new trade.
Things to Ask Trade School Programs
As soon as you have decided on the trade and type of degree or certificate that you want to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of technical schools in the Helen GA area and all over the USA to choose from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of relevant qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you need to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of Helen GA area vocational schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Furthermore, a number of states mandate that the training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing where applicable.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help evaluate the quality of a vocational school near Helen GA is how long it has been in operation. 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 start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications.
Completion Rates. Ask the vocational 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 signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also mean that the instructors were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates secure apprenticeships or employment in the Helen GA area.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring relationships with Helen GA area professionals in the field. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using in the field. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the tech you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Helen GA contracting company if they can give you some suggestions. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there can be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and instructors. Speak with several of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with some of the teachers and find out 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 meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Helen GA, verify that the schools you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering a Trade School near Helen GA?
If you are looking at a trade school near Helen GA, following is some interesting and relevant information regarding the location of your future school campus that may help you in making your decision.
Formerly a logging town that was in decline, the city resurrected itself by becoming a replica of a Bavarian alpine town, in the Appalachians instead of the Alps. This design is mandated through zoning first adopted in 1969, so that the classic south-German style is present on every building, even on the small number of national franchisees present (such as Huddle House and Wendy's).
Because of this, tourism is the main industry in Helen, catering mostly to weekend visitors from the Atlanta area and also motorcyclists who enjoy riding the beautiful roads of Helen and its surrounding areas during all seasons. Helen is extremely crowded in late October, when autumn leaves typically peak. It also hosts its own Oktoberfest during September, October and November. There are many events and festivals throughout the year. One of the most well-known is Southern Worthersee, which is a stateside Volkswagen and Audi event that pays tribute to the Worthersee Tour in Austria with attendance of approximately 20,000 people. Also the annual hot-air balloon race held the first weekend in June.
The main road through town is north/south Georgia 75. The Helen stream gauge (HDCG1) is located on its bridge over the Chattahoochee in the middle of downtown. A parallel route to the west is labeled Georgia 75 Alt to identify it as a bypass route around the town and its massive traffic jams in the autumn and on some weekends.
Enroll in the Right Trade School
Choosing the right trade school near Helen GA is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the vocation of your choice. As we have discussed in this post, you should select a trade school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the professional community. Other factors to search for are lots of hands-on training and state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the proper questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed professional in your chosen trade.
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