How to Choose a Vocational School near Westerville Ohio
Deciding to work in a new profession and enroll in a trade school near Westerville OH are serious decisions that will profoundly affect your long term career. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you undertake finding the ideal one? Not only do you need to ascertain that you will receive the comprehensive training needed to be successful in your new profession, but also that the school is highly regarded and reputable. Some prospective students make the mistake of choosing a vocational school just because the campus is closest to their residence or place of employment. Or they may be attracted to the one that has the most affordable tuition. Of course the location and cost of the training are critical considerations when analyzing vocational school options, but they must not be the only ones. Additional factors such as accreditation and the reputation of the schools are important as well. So prior to beginning your evaluations 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 review some of those questions shortly in this article. But first, let’s talk about some of the vocation options that are available as well as the accessibility of online programs.
Vocational School Career Options near Westerville OH
There are an abundance of trades to select from in vocational schools that provide rewarding and good paying careers. Perhaps you have already chosen one that you have long wished to pursue. For example, maybe you have always had fun working on your car and have thought about using that skill to earn a living as a car mechanic. Or perhaps a relative has had a long and successful career in a specific vocation or trade and you would like to follow in his or her footsteps. No matter what your motivation is for going into a trade, there is probably a program offered that will provide the training that you require. Below is just a modest representation of the trade school programs that are offered in the Westerville OH 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 completion times and costs depending on the trade, credential earned 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 variables should be taken into account prior to choosing a trade and a school.
Online Vocational Schools
Schools available online have become very popular with Westerville OH students and more and more accredited programs are being offered. Even though online learning is a readily available and practical way to obtain a certificate or degree, it might not be the ideal option for all trades or vocations. For example, learning to operate a tractor trailer is not something that you can accomplish online, nor is learning how to weld. These are skills that need to be mastered through hands on training and by doing it, not by studying or watching videos. But certain elements of the training may be suitable for online education, for example studying safety and driving guidelines for trucking schools or learning about metallurgy or how to read blueprints for welder schools. Some programs will combine online education with on campus practical training, such as for HVAC or plumbing schools. So it is crucial to ask before choosing an online school for any trade if there is a suitable amount of practical training allocated to the syllabus. One means to help ensure that a trade school program is both appropriate for online education and provides in-depth practical training is to confirm that it’s accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). For those vocations that are appropriate for training online, it can be a convenient way for students with limited time to acquire a new profession.
Points to Ask Vocational Schools
When you have decided on the vocation and type of degree or certificate that you want to attain, either online or on campus, you can begin to narrow down your selection of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of vocational schools in the Westerville OH area and across the United States to choose from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a checklist of relevant qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial 2 variables you will consider. Following are several additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous Westerville OH area trade schools have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, many 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 assess the quality of a vocational school near Westerville OH is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a big plus. However, even the best of schools had to start from their first day of training, so use it as one of several qualifications.
Completion Rates. Ask the vocational schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate may signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified 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 more extensive list of graduates, which can result in more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment in the Westerville OH area.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of training programs are taught in conjunction 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 companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are considering have working partnerships with Westerville OH area specialists in the trade. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the local professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the tech you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Westerville OH company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you can 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, besides the added moving costs there can be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you receive as much one-on-one training 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 witness first hand the interaction between teachers and students. Speak with several of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Last, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in Ohio and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Westerville OH, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Additionally, ask what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Considering a Trade School near Westerville OH?
If you are looking at a trade school near Westerville OH, following is some interesting and relevant information regarding the location of your future school campus that may help you in making your decision.
Westerville is a city in Delaware and Franklin counties in the U.S. state of Ohio. It is a northeastern suburb of Columbus. The population was 36,120 at the 2010 census. Westerville is the home of Otterbein University.
The land that is today Westerville was first settled by Europeans around 1810. In 1818, Matthew, Peter, and William Westervelt, settlers of Dutch extraction, migrated to the area from New York. Matthew Westervelt donated land for the construction of a Methodist church in 1836, and the settlement was subsequently named in the family’s honor. In 1839, the Blendon Young Men’s Seminary was chartered in Westerville; Matthew Westervelt was one of its first trustees. The Church of the United Brethren in Christ bought the seminary in 1846, and the next year the seminary was reformed, and renamed Otterbein College after the church’s founder Philip William Otterbein. It continues today in Westerville as the private Otterbein University.
Throughout the Antebellum era, several homes in Westerville were stations on the Underground Railroad. Among these is the Hanby House, located one block from the college. Benjamin Russell Hanby had moved to Westerville in 1849, at the age of sixteen, to enroll at Otterbein University. Hanby went on to write many familiar hymns and songs, among them "Darling Nelly Gray" (inspired by his sympathy for Southern slaves), "Who is He in Yonder Stall?", and the Christmas favorite "Up On The Housetop". His home in Westerville, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was dedicated as a museum in 1937 and is now owned by the Ohio Historical Society and managed locally by the Westerville Historical Society. It is the only state memorial to a composer in the state of Ohio.
Enroll in the Right Trade School
Enrolling in the ideal trade school near Westerville OH is an important first step toward a fulfilling career in the vocation of your choice. As we have addressed in this post, you need to select a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the profession. Other things to look for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You should visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling options and if night or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to filter your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can eventually become a licensed professional in your chosen trade.
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