How to Choose a Vocational School near York Pennsylvania
Choosing to begin a new profession and enroll in a trade school near York PA are serious decisions that will greatly impact your future career. However with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you go about locating the best one? Not only do you have to make sure that you will obtain the comprehensive training needed to be successful in your new field, but also that the school is highly regarded and reputable. Many prospective students make the error of selecting a trade school just because the campus is closest to their home or place of employment. Or they might gravitate to the one that has the lowest tuition. Naturally the location and cost of the programs are critical factors when analyzing vocational school options, but they should not be the only ones. Additional considerations 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 so you can get the information to make a final choice. We will review some of those questions later in this post. But to start with, let’s talk about some of the trade options that are available including the availability of online schools.
Vocational School Program Options near York PA
There are a number of trades to choose from in vocational schools that offer rewarding and high paying careers. Possibly you have already chosen one that you have for years desired to pursue. For example, perhaps you have always had fun working on your car and have given thought to using that talent to earn a living as an automotive tech. Or perhaps a relative has had a prosperous career in a specific trade or vocation and you would like to follow in his or her footsteps. Regardless of what your inspiration is for going into a trade, there is probably a program offered that will give you the training that you require. Following is just a small representation of the trade school programs that are offered in the York PA area.
- Auto Mechanic
- Heating and Cooling (HVAC) Tech
- Truck Driver
- Aircraft Maintenance Tech
- Lab Technician
- Construction Manager
Each of the programs will have varying costs and completion times based upon the trade, type of credential and school. Many of the programs may be completed in just weeks, while others will require several months or even 2 or more years of schooling. All of these factors need to be taken into account prior to choosing a vocation and school.
Learning a Vocation Online
Schools available online have become very popular with York PA students and more and more accredited programs are becoming available. Although learning online is a readily available and practical way to earn a degree or certificate, it might not be the ideal option for all trades or vocations. For instance, training to operate a tractor trailer is not something that you can do online, nor is learning how to weld. These are skills that must 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 appropriate for online classes, for instance studying driving and safety regulations for truck driving schools or learning about metallurgy or how to read blueprints for welder schools. A number of programs will incorporate online education with on-campus practical training, for example for electrician or welding schools. So it is essential to ask before enrolling in an online program for any vocation if there is an appropriate amount of hands-on training allocated to the curriculum. One way to help ensure that a vocational school program is both suitable for online studying and delivers in-depth hands-on training is to verify that it’s accredited by a nationally acknowledged accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). For those trades that are suitable for training online, it can be a practical way for those with time constraints to acquire a new vocation.
Points to Ask Vocational Schools
As soon as you have decided on the trade and type of degree or certificate that you desire to obtain, either on campus or online, you can start to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are a large number of trade schools in the York PA area and across the USA to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of key qualifiers when making school evaluations. As formerly stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will probably be the initial two aspects you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accredited. Numerous York PA area trade programs have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it can help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states require that the training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing where applicable.
How Long in Business? One clue to help assess the quality of a trade school near York PA is how long it has been in business. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a big plus. However, even the best of schools had to begin from their first 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 signify that students were disappointed with the course and quit. It might also signify 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 mean more contacts for the school to utilize 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment in the York PA area.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most trade 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 comparing have referring relationships with York PA area specialists in the field. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to form 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 on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the specialist you are working with concerning what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local York PA company if they can give you some suggestions. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your home. Remember that if you decide to attend 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 receive as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can see how large they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to several of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to some of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Pennsylvania and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near York PA, confirm that the schools you are comparing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Finally, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering a Trade School near York PA?
If you are looking at a trade school near York PA, following is some interesting and relevant information regarding the location of your future school campus that may help you in making your decision.
York (Pennsylvania German: Yarrick), known as the White Rose City (after the symbol of the House of York), is the county seat of York County, Pennsylvania, United States, located in the south-central region of the state. The population within York's city limits was 43,718 at the 2010 census, a 7.0% increase from the 2000 count of 40,862. When combined with the adjacent boroughs of West York and North York and surrounding Spring Garden, West Manchester, and Springettsbury townships, the population of Greater York was 108,386. York is the 11th largest city in Pennsylvania.
The city has been called an "architectural museum," because the downtown features numerous well-preserved historic structures, such as the 1741 Golden Plough Tavern, the 1751 General Horatio Gates House, the 1766 York Meetinghouse, the 1863 Billmeyer House, the 1888 York Central Market, and the 1907 Moorish Revival Temple Beth Israel. Other notable buildings are the Laurel-Rex Fire Company House, Forry House, Farmers Market, Barnett Bobb House, Cookes House, United Cigar Manufacturing Company building, Stevens School, York Dispatch Newspaper Offices, and York Armory.
York, also known as Yorktown in the mid 18th to early 19th centuries, was founded in 1741 by settlers from the Philadelphia region and named for the English city of the same name. By 1777, most of the area residents were of either German or Scots-Irish descent. York was incorporated as a borough on September 24, 1787, and as a city on January 11, 1887. During the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), York served as the temporary capital of the Continental Congress. The Articles of Confederation were drafted and adopted in York, though they were not ratified until March 1781.
Choose the Right Vocational School
Selecting the ideal trade school near York PA is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the vocation of your choice. As we have discussed in this article, you need to pick a school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the profession. Other factors to search for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You should go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to explore the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. In addition, ask about scheduling choices and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed professional in your chosen trade.
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