How to Choose a Vocational School near Eielson Afb Alaska
Choosing to enter into a new occupation and enroll in a vocational school near Eielson Afb AK are serious decisions that will greatly affect your future career. However with numerous trade schools to choose from, exactly how do you approach finding the right one? Not only do you need to make certain that you will get the extensive training required to be successful in your new profession, but also that the school is highly regarded and reputable. Many prospective students make the mistake of selecting a vocational school just because the campus is closest to their residence or where the work. Or they might gravitate to the school that charges the most affordable tuition. Naturally the cost and location of the training are significant considerations when assessing trade school options, but they should not be the only ones. Added factors such as accreditation and the reputation of the schools are important 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 choice. We will review a few of those questions later in this post. But to start with, let’s talk about a few of the trade options that are offered as well as the accessibility of online programs.
Vocational School Career Options near Eielson Afb AK
There are a number of trades to select 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 instance, maybe you have always enjoyed working on your car and have thought about utilizing that talent to make a living as an auto mechanic. Or perhaps a relative has had a prosperous career in a particular trade or vocation 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. Following is merely a modest representation of the trade school programs that are available in the Eielson Afb AK area.
- Automotive Technician
- Heating And Air Conditioning (HVAC) Tech
- Electrical Technician
- Truck Driver
- Aircraft Maintenance Tech
- Lab Technician
- Construction Management
All programs will have differing completion times and costs depending on the trade, credential earned and school. A number of the programs may be completed in a few weeks, while others will necessitate several months or even two or more years of instruction. All of these factors need to be taken into account prior to selecting a vocation and school.
Online Vocational Schools
Trade Schools online have become very popular with Eielson Afb AK students and more and more accredited programs are becoming available. Even though learning online is a readily available and practical way to acquire a degree or certificate, it might not be the ideal option for every vocation or trade. For example, learning to drive a tractor trailer is not something that you can accomplish online, nor is learning how to weld. These are skills that have to be acquired through hands on training and by doing it, not by studying or watching videos. But certain aspects of the training can be suitable for online education, such as studying safety and driving regulations for truck driving schools or studying metallurgy or how to read blueprints for welder schools. Some programs will blend online instruction with on campus lab work, for example for electrician or welding schools. So it is crucial to find out before choosing an online school for any vocation if there is an appropriate amount of hands-on training allocated to the curriculum. One means to help establish est that a vocational school program is both suitable for online studying and delivers comprehensive hands-on training is to verify that it’s accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). For those vocations that are appropriate for online training, it can be a convenient way for individuals with time constraints to acquire a new trade.
Concerns to Ask Vocational Schools
As soon as you have picked the trade and type of certificate or degree that you wish to attain, either on campus or online, you can begin to narrow down your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many technical schools in the Eielson Afb AK area and all over the Country to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier stated in our opening paragraph, location and tuition will undoubtedly be the initial 2 variables you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you should investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accredited. Numerous Eielson Afb AK area trade programs have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, for instance HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping guarantee that you obtain a superior education, it can assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Also, a number of states require that the training course be accredited for it to qualify for licensing where applicable.
How Long in Operation? One clue to help determine the quality of a trade school near Eielson Afb AK 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 consider it as one of multiple qualifications.
Completion Rates. Ask the tech schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It could also indicate that the teachers were not competent 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 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 can not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist grads obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Eielson Afb AK area.
Apprenticeship Programs. Most vocational programs are taught together with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of companies or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with Eielson Afb AK area contractors in the field. An apprenticeship not only provides a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the area professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be using on the job. If you are presently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Eielson Afb AK contracting company if they can provide some tips. Additionally keep in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within commuting distance of your residence. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s desirable that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between teachers and students. Talk with a few of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and learn what their level of experience is in Alaska and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Eielson Afb AK, check that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make 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 emergencies.
Considering a Trade School near Eielson Afb AK?
If you are looking at a trade school near Eielson Afb AK, following is some interesting and relevant information regarding the location of your future school campus that may help you in making your decision.
Eielson Air Force Base
Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: EIL, ICAO: PAEI, FAA LID: EIL) is a United States Air Force base located approximately 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska and just southeast of Moose Creek, Alaska. It was established in 1943 as Mile 26 Satellite Field and taken off deployment in 2007. It has been a Superfund site since 1989.
Its host unit is the 354th Fighter Wing (354 FW) assigned to the Eleventh Air Force of the Pacific Air Forces. The 354 FW's primary mission is to support Red Flag – Alaska, a series of Pacific Air Forces commander–directed field training exercises for U.S. Forces, joint offensive counter-air, interdiction, close-air support, and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. These exercises are conducted on the Joint Pacific Alaskan Range complex with air operations flown out of the two bases.
Eielson is home to the 354th Fighter Wing which is part of the Eleventh Air Force (11 AF) of Pacific Air Forces. The 354th Fighter Wing mission is "To train, deliver, maintain and support combat power across the globe while taking care of our people, their families and our infrastructure." To accomplish that mission, the wing implements flying operations, mission support, maintenance and medical care functions and is host to 10 tenant units.
Select the Right Trade School
Finding the ideal trade school near Eielson Afb AK is an important beginning toward a fulfilling career in the vocation of your choice. As we have addressed in this article, you need to select a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the professional community. Other factors to look for are lots of practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to visit each of the schools personally 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 training and the interaction between them. Also, inquire about scheduling options and if night 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 appropriate questions as we have outlined in our guidelines for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and commitment, you can ultimately become a licensed professional in your chosen trade.
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