People who desire a more satisfying career often turn to public colleges and universities in order to further their education. However, you may find that a private career college would be a better choice for you, especially if you want to stay in your chosen field or have a specific job that you would like to apply for.
There are many career colleges from which to choose, and you may find it difficult to select the one that is right for you. To help you in that regard, here are some guidelines for choosing a career college as published by the International Association of Private Career Colleges (IAPCC):
Determine the School’s Availability
One of the first things to consider is whether the school offers online classes, especially if you are holding down a full-time job and need to fit the classes into your present schedule. In most cases, you will find that the classes you need are available on a 24/7 basis. However, classes at a local college may only be offered during certain times of the week.
It is also important to determine the amount of assistance that will be made available to you on a daily basis. If you have questions or need help with an assignment, you should not have to wait long for a response. Fortunately, most career colleges have good support systems in place and are able to answer questions and respond to requests in a short time period.
Understand the Cost
One of the common misconceptions about private career colleges is that they are very expensive. However, that is not necessarily true. In many cases, they are less expensive than attending a public university. They also may have a tuition plan that allows you to spread your payments over an extended period of time.
You should also check into sources of funding that might be available. For instance, some companies will pay a portion of your job-related education costs. Others will provide a scholarship or grant. Ignoring such opportunities is a mistake because many available funds go unclaimed every year.
Check the School’s References
Checking references is a good thing to do when hiring a contractor or selecting a babysitter. It is also a good thing to do when selecting a career college. You should look for students who have attended the school you are considering and ask them about their experiences.
Find out if the school delivered what was promised. What was their biggest disappointment? If they had to do it again, would they select the same school or a different one? If you begin to notice a pattern that a certain school tends to have many dissatisfied students, you should probably consider another school.
Verify the School’s Accreditation
Be sure that the school you are looking into is accredited by a recognized governing body. Unfortunately, many career colleges are not, and you should avoid those colleges because it is likely that your credits will not transfer. Also, your future employer may not accept those credits as proof of your newly acquired skills.
A school that is accredited by a proper authority will be proud of that fact and will make it publicly known. However, a school that is not accredited may try to hide that fact. Even worse, an unaccredited school may try to pass itself off as accredited. Consequently, it pays to be thorough in that regard.
Pay a Visit to the College You Are Considering
For career colleges that offer courses both online and in-person, you may want to visit their campus. In doing so, you can get a good feel for the quality of the education that you will receive. While there, you should take the opportunity to talk to both students and faculty. Make a note of the facilities. Are they in good condition or run down? This can help you determine the financial condition of the school.
Many private career colleges are offering high-quality career-specific classes to students. Although selecting the right one for you will take some time and require diligence, the task should be much easier if you follow the guidelines of the International Association of Private Career Colleges (IAPCC) as provided herein.