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How to select a school

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?

  • The program should be recognized by employers and other schools that offer similar degrees.

Is the health program accredited by a national or state organization?

  • Accreditation is the recognition that an institution maintains standards requisite for its graduates to gain admission to other reputable institutions of higher learning or to achieve credentials for professional practice. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.—US Dept. of Education

If you want to build on your training or education, are the credits transferable to another school or program?

  • In many cases, you do not need to repeat courses that we complete for another degree.   In some cases these courses can be accepted and credit earned towards the new degree.

Does this program offer college credit?

  • It is possible to complete classes and or training at a college or other institution without earning college credits. Find out more about training certificates.

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 to complete?

  • Pre-requisites are requirements that must be completing before taking a course a starting a education program.

How long will the program take to finish as a full-time student?  As a part-time student?

  • Depending on the program a “full-time student” may need to complete 9 to 16 credits per semester.

How flexible is the class or training schedule?

  • Some courses may be offered in the evening on the weekend or online.  These alternative times may be easier to adapt to your 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?

  • For entry-level healthcare jobs, basic skills in science is needed to help you do your day-to-day work, but often advancement in a career requires much more advanced studies in order to get a college degree in your field.

What level of math is required to get into this program and be successful?

  • For entry-level healthcare jobs, basic skills in math is needed to help you do your day-to-day work, but often advancement in a career requires much more advanced studies in order to get a college degree in your field.

What level of reading and writing is required to get into this program and be successful?

  • Basic reading, writing and comprehension skills are required to successfully complete college coursework. The community colleges require their students to take a college placement exam in order to evaluate a student’s reading, writing and math levels.  Based on the results of the exam, some students will receive additional support to improve their reading, writing and math levels.

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 WIOA funding, can you use it on this program? (Your local career center can help you with accessing and using WIOA funding)

Are there other financial aid options?

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.

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?

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?

 

MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board

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