How to Choose a Vocational School near Juneau Alaska
Deciding to begin a new occupation and enroll in a trade school near Juneau AK are serious decisions that will greatly influence your future career. But with numerous vocational schools to choose from, exactly how do you go about finding the best one? Not only do you need to ascertain that you will receive the complete training necessary to be successful in your new profession, but also that the school is highly regarded and reputable. Some students make the error of selecting a vocational school simply because the campus is nearest to their home or place of employment. Or they might gravitate to the one that has the most affordable tuition. Of course the location and cost of the programs are important factors when evaluating vocational school options, but they should not be the only ones. Additional considerations such as accreditation and the reputation of the schools are critical also. So prior to beginning your evaluations and comparing trade schools, you must know what questions to ask so you can get the information to make a final selection. We will review several of those questions shortly in this post. But to start with, let’s talk about a few of the trade options that are available as well as the availability of online schools.
Vocational School Program Options near Juneau AK
There are an abundance of professions to pick from in vocational schools that provide gratifying and high paying careers. Perhaps you have already decided on one that you have for years desired to pursue. For instance, maybe you have always taken pleasure in 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 prosperous career in a certain 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 undoubtedly a program available that will give you the training you need. Following is just a modest representation of the vocational training programs that are offered in the Juneau AK area.
- Auto Mechanic
- Heating And Air Conditioning (HVAC) Tech
- Electrical Technician
- Truck Driver
- Aircraft Maintenance Tech
- Lab Technician
- Construction Manager
Each of the programs will have varying completion times and costs based upon the trade, credential earned and school. Some of the programs may be completed in just weeks, while others will require several months or even two or more years of instruction. Each of these elements must be taken into account before selecting a vocation and school.
Online Vocational Schools
Trade Schools online have become very popular with Juneau AK students and increasingly more accredited programs are becoming available. Even though learning online is a very convenient and accessible way to obtain a certificate or degree, it might not be the ideal option for all trades or vocations. For example, learning to drive a semi truck is not something that you can accomplish online, nor is training how to weld. These are skills that have to be acquired through hands on training and by doing it, not by reading about it or watching videos. But certain components of the training may be suitable for online training, for instance learning driving and safety guidelines for truck driving schools or learning about metallurgy or how to read blueprints for welding schools. Some programs will incorporate online education with on campus practical training, such as for electrician or welding schools. So it is essential to ask before choosing an online program for any trade if there is an appropriate amount of hands-on training devoted to the curriculum. One means to help ensure that a vocational school program is both appropriate for online learning 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 trades that are suitable for training online, it can be a practical way for students with time constraints to acquire a new trade.
Things to Ask Vocational Schools
Once you have picked the vocation and type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are many vocational schools in the Juneau AK area and throughout the United States to select from. That’s why it is essential to have a list of important qualifiers when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accredited. A large number of Juneau AK area trade schools have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make certain that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you obtain an excellent education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Additionally, many states mandate that the training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing where applicable.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help determine the quality of a vocational school near Juneau AK is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school typically will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a big plus. On the other hand, even the top schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifiers.
Completion Rates. Ask the tech schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the percentage of students who enroll in and complete the course. A lower completion rate might indicate that students were unhappy with the course and dropped out. It might also suggest that the instructors were not competent 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 list of alumni, which can result in more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment in the Juneau AK area.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of technical programs are taught along with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and technical schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of businesses or labor unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have referring relationships with Juneau AK area specialists in the field. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the school facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date and what you will be using in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the specialist you are working under concerning what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Juneau AK contractor if they can provide some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school must be within commuting distance of your home. Take note that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between students and teachers. Speak with some of the students and get their comments regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is in Alaska and what certifications or degrees they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Juneau AK, check that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering a Trade School near Juneau AK?
If you are looking at a trade school near Juneau AK, following is some interesting and relevant information regarding the location of your future school campus that may help you in making your decision.
The City and Borough of Juneau (/ˈdʒuːnoʊ/ JOO-noh; Tlingit: Dzánti K'ihéeni [ˈtsántʰì kʼìˈhíːnì]), commonly known as Juneau, is the capital city of Alaska. It is a unified municipality located on the Gastineau Channel in the Alaskan panhandle, and it is the second largest city in the United States by area. Juneau has been the capital of Alaska since 1906, when the government of what was then the District of Alaska was moved from Sitka as dictated by the U.S. Congress in 1900. The municipality unified on July 1, 1970, when the city of Juneau merged with the city of Douglas and the surrounding Greater Juneau Borough to form the current municipality, which is larger by area than both Rhode Island and Delaware.
Downtown Juneau (58°18′07″N 134°25′11″W / 58.30194°N 134.41972°W / 58.30194; -134.41972) is nestled at the base of Mount Juneau and across the channel from Douglas Island. As of the 2010 census, the City and Borough had a population of 31,276. In 2014, the population estimate from the United States Census Bureau was 32,406, making it the second most populous city in Alaska after Anchorage.Fairbanks, however, is the second most populous metropolitan area in the state, with roughly 100,000 residents. Juneau's daily population can increase by roughly 6,000 people from visiting cruise ships between the months of May and September.
The city is named after a gold prospector from Quebec, Joe Juneau, though the place was for a time called Rockwell and then Harrisburg (after Juneau's co-prospector, Richard Harris). The Tlingit name of the town is Dzántik'i Héeni ("Base of the Flounder’s River," dzánti ‘flounder,’ –kʼi ‘base,’ héen ‘river’), and Auke Bay just north of Juneau proper is called Áak'w ("Little lake," áa ‘lake,’ -kʼ ‘diminutive’) in Tlingit. The Taku River, just south of Juneau, was named after the cold t'aakh wind, which occasionally blows down from the mountains.
Select the Right Trade School
Enrolling in the ideal trade school near Juneau AK is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the vocation of your choice. As we have addressed in this post, you should choose a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the professional community. Other features to look for are plenty of hands-on training and modern 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 current students and faculty. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Also, ask about scheduling choices and if evening or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options also. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating 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 dedication, you can eventually become a licensed professional in your chosen trade.
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