How to Choose a Vocational School near Southaven Mississippi
Choosing to work in a new occupation and enroll in a trade school near Southaven MS are important decisions that will greatly influence your long term career. However with numerous vocational schools to pick from, exactly how do you approach locating the ideal one? Not only do you have to confirm that you will get the extensive training necessary to be successful in your new occupation, but also that the school is reputable and well regarded. A number of potential students make the mistake of selecting a trade school just because the campus is closest to their home or where the work. Or they may be attracted to the one that has the most affordable tuition. Naturally the cost and location of the training are significant factors when evaluating vocational school options, but they must not be the sole ones. Added considerations such as accreditation and the reputation of the schools are important also. So prior to beginning your evaluations 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 look at some of the vocation options that are offered including the availability of online programs.
Vocational School Program Options near Southaven MS
There are an abundance of professions to choose from in vocational schools that provide fulfilling and high paying careers. Perhaps you have already chosen one that you have long wished to pursue. For example, maybe you have always taken pleasure in working on your car and have given thought to utilizing that skill to make a living as an automotive tech. Or maybe a family member has had a long and successful career in a specific vocation or trade and you would like to follow in her or his footsteps. Regardless of what your motivation is for going into a trade, there is undoubtedly a program offered that will give you the training you need. Following is merely a small representation of the vocational training programs that are offered in the Southaven MS area.
- Auto Mechanic
- Heating And Air Conditioning (HVAC) Tech
- Electrical Technician
- Truck Driving
- Aircraft Maintenance Tech
- Lab Tech
- Construction Management
Each of the programs will have varying completion times and costs based upon the vocation, type of credential and school. Some of the programs may be completed in a few weeks, while others will necessitate several months or even two or more years of training. All of these aspects must be taken into account before selecting a vocation and school.
Learning a Vocation Online
Schools available online have become more attractive with Southaven MS students and increasingly more accredited programs are becoming available. Although online learning is a very convenient and accessible way to earn a certificate or degree, it may not be the best option for every vocation or trade. For instance, learning to operate a tractor trailer is not something that you can accomplish online, nor is training how to weld. These are skills that have to be acquired through practical training and by doing it, not by reading about it or watching videos. But certain components of the training can be appropriate for online learning, for example studying driving and safety regulations for trucking schools or learning about metallurgy or how to read blueprints for welding schools. Many programs will incorporate online instruction with on-campus lab work, for example for HVAC or plumbing schools. So it is crucial to find out before choosing an online school for any vocation if there is a suitable amount of practical training devoted to the course of study. One means to help ensure that a vocational school program is both suitable for online learning and provides comprehensive hands-on training is to verify that it’s accredited by a nationally acknowledged accrediting organization (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 learn a new vocation.
What to Ask Vocational School Programs
As soon as you have chosen the vocation and type of certificate or degree that you would like to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are numerous vocational schools in the Southaven MS area and throughout the Country to pick from. That’s why it is extremely important to have a list of key qualifications when making school comparisons. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the first two aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accredited. Many Southaven MS area vocational schools have received either a regional or a national accreditation. They can earn Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you receive an excellent education, it can help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. 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 assess the quality of a vocational school near Southaven MS is how long it has been in operation. A poorly rated or a fly by night school usually will not be in business very long, so longevity is a big plus. However, even the top schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider 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 or portion of students who enroll in and complete the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. It may also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive list of graduates, which may mean 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment in the Southaven MS area.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous technical programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and trade schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have working relationships with Southaven MS area specialists in the trade. An apprenticeship not only offers a rewarding experience by furnishing practical training, but it also furnishes job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are up-to-date and what you will be working with in the field. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the specialist you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Southaven MS contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your residence. Remember that if you decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation 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 challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and instructors. Talk to several of the students and get their opinions concerning class sizes and instruction. Last, talk to a few of the teachers and learn what their level of experience is in Mississippi and what degrees or certifications they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Southaven MS, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Finally, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering a Trade School near Southaven MS?
If you are looking at a trade school near Southaven MS, following is some interesting and relevant information regarding the location of your future school campus that may help you in making your decision.
Southaven is a city in DeSoto County, Mississippi, United States. It is a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, and a principal city in the Memphis metropolitan area. The 2010 census reported a population of 48,982, making Southaven the third-largest city in Mississippi and the second most populous suburb of Memphis. Southaven is traversed from north to south by the I-55/I-69 freeway. The city's name derives from the fact that Southaven is located south of Whitehaven, a neighborhood in Memphis.
Southaven began as a village when Memphis homebuilder Kemmons Wilson (founder of Holiday Inn) wished to develop a few residential subdivisions featuring small starter homes just across the Mississippi border from Whitehaven, Tennessee, an unincorporated suburb of Memphis. Whitehaven was eventually annexed by Memphis. Officially incorporated in 1980, Southaven is one of the fastest-growing cities in the southeastern United States. In just 20 years, Southaven doubled its land area, while its population tripled.
The construction of Interstate 55 through Southaven in the 1970s helped to promote growth and make for easier access to the city from Memphis, Jackson, St. Louis, and Chicago. Interstate 69, which will eventually run from Canada to Mexico, was cosigned with I-55 in Southaven in 2007.
Enroll in the Right Vocational School
Choosing the ideal trade school near Southaven MS is a critical first step toward a rewarding career in the vocation of your choice. As we have addressed in this post, you need to pick a vocational school and a degree or certificate program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the trade. Other factors to search for are ample practical training and state-of-the-art facilities. You need to check out each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to explore the campus and speak with both the current students and faculty. Try to get a feel for the quality of the instruction and the interaction between them. Additionally, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And don’t forget to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. If you ask the proper questions as we have detailed in our checklist for comparing schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the appropriate training, hard work and commitment, you can eventually become a licensed professional in your chosen trade.
More Interesting Mississippi Cities