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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?


  • 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?


  • 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?


  • 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?


  • 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?)


  • What is the regional average starting salary for people who graduate from this program and find a job?
  • 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.

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Springfield, MA 01103

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An Initiative of

This website was funded in part by Workforce STAT (Skills, Talent, Awareness, Training): Transforming Regional Capacity for Healthcare Education, Grant # CB18820. Workforce STAT was a $1.66 million Community Based Job Training Initiative through the U.S. Department of Labor. The website is also funded in part by a Healthcare Skills Gap Partnership grant through the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. The grant program was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and administered by Commonwealth Corporation.