How to Select a School

When it comes to selecting a school or training program, there are a lot of options to consider.

Program Quality

  • Is the program credible? What do employers think of it?
  • Is the health program accredited by a national or state organization?
  • If you want to build on your training or education, are the credits transferable to another school or program?
  • Does this program offer college credit?
  • Can you speak to an instructor/professor before you enroll?
  • Can you speak to a current student before you enroll?

Timing

  • How long will the pre-requisites for admission take you to complete?
  • How long will the program take you to finish as a full-time student?  As a part-time student?
  • How flexible is the class or training schedule?
  • Do you have time in your schedule (with work or family responsibilities) to take all the required classes?
  • Will the program accept any credits or experience you already have for credit towards your certificate or degree?

Skills

  • What level of science is required to get into this program and be successful?
  • What level of math is required to get into this program and be successful?
  • What level of reading and writing is required to get into this program and be successful?
  • If you are looking at a program to prepare you for direct patient care: Can you see yourself working with sick, cranky people every day?
  • Can you see yourself dealing with blood and other “messy” bodily fluids if this program prepares you for a field where you will have to deal with these things?
  • What other skills are required to be successful in this program and the field it will prepare you for?
  • Does the program have a required GPA that you will have to maintain?

Affordability

  • What is the cost per credit? How many credits do you need to complete the program?
  • What other costs are there? (fees, books, supplies)
  • Will the program leave you with a lot of debt?
  • If you are eligible for WIA funding, can you use it on this program? (Your local career center can help you with accessing and using WIA funding)
  • Are there other financial aid options?

Lifestyle

  • Do class times match up with your schedule?
  • Is it easy to get to by car or public transportation?
  • Does it provide the amount of support you are looking for? (ex. Are instructors accessible? Do you have an advisor that will meet with you regularly?)

Future

  • What is the regional average starting salary for people who graduate from this program and find a job? (use this calculator to find out how much you will need to make for a “living wage”)
  • How many people apply for this program/year?  How many people are accepted?
  • What percentage of students from this program get jobs within 6 months of graduating?
  • What percentage of students graduates with the class/group they started with?

Thinking about going to a “proprietary” school (often called career or training institutes)?
View specific tips and questions to ask these schools
from the Massachusetts Department of Education.

A high school diploma or GED means that you are ready for college
A
True
B
False
Question 1 Explanation: 
Over 33% of Massachusetts high school grads in college need to take “remedial” classes to get basic skills.