How to Find the Best Technical School Program near Strafford New Hampshire
Deciding to work in a new occupation and enroll in a trade school near Strafford NH are serious decisions that will greatly impact your long term career. However with so many trade schools to select from, exactly how do you go about identifying the ideal one? Not only do you have to confirm that you will receive the extensive training needed to succeed in your new occupation, but also that the school is reputable and well regarded. Many potential students make the mistake of selecting a trade school just because the campus is nearest to their home or where the work. Others may gravitate to the school that has the lowest tuition. Of course the location and cost of the programs are critical factors when analyzing vocational school options, but they should not be the only ones. Other considerations such as reputation and accreditation of the schools are critical also. So prior to beginning your evaluations and comparing trade schools, you must know what questions you should be asking in order to get the information to make a final choice. We will address a few of those questions later in this article. But to start with, let’s look at a few of the vocation options that are offered as well as the accessibility of online programs.
Vocational School Career Options near Strafford NH
There are a number of trades to pick from in vocational schools that provide fulfilling and high paying careers. Perhaps you have already decided on one that you have long wished to pursue. For instance, maybe you have always had fun working on your car and have given thought to utilizing that talent to make a living as an auto mechanic. 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. Whatever your inspiration is for going into a trade, there is likely a program offered that will provide the training that you need. Following is just a small representation of the vocational training programs that are offered in the Strafford NH area.
- Automotive Technician
- Heating and Cooling (HVAC) Tech
- Truck Driver
- Aircraft Maintenance Tech
- Lab Technician
- Construction Management
Each of the programs will have differing costs and completion times depending on the vocation, credential earned and school. Many of the programs may be completed in a few weeks, while others will require several months or even two or more years of schooling. Each of these elements need to be considered before selecting a vocation and school.
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Learning a Trade Online
Online schools have become more attractive with Strafford NH students and a growing number of accredited programs are being offered. While online learning is a very convenient and accessible way to obtain a degree or certificate, it may not be the best option for all trades or vocations. For instance, learning to drive a tractor trailer is not something that you can accomplish online, nor is learning how to weld. These are skills that have to be learned through practical training and by doing it, not by studying or watching videos. But certain aspects of the training can be appropriate for online education, for example learning safety and driving regulations for truck driving schools or studying metallurgy or how to read blueprints for welding schools. A number of programs will combine online instruction with on campus practical training, such as for electrician or welding schools. So it is very important to determine before choosing an online program for any trade 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 appropriate for online learning and delivers comprehensive hands-on training is to confirm that it’s accredited by a nationally acknowledged accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). For those trades that are suitable for online training, it can be a practical way for students with time constraints to learn a new trade.
Questions to Ask Vocational School Programs
Once you have picked the vocation and type of degree or certificate that you want to acquire, either on campus or online, you can start to limit your list of schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of vocational schools in the Strafford NH area and all over the United States to pick from. That’s why it is very important to have a checklist of relevant qualifiers when making school evaluations. As previously mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 aspects you will take into consideration. Following are several additional ones that you should explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accredited. Numerous Strafford NH area trade programs have attained either a regional or a national accreditation. They can attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Verify that the school and program are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it can help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states mandate that the training program be accredited in order to be approved for licensing where applicable.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a vocational school near Strafford NH is how long it has been in operation. A negatively rated or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a big plus. On the other hand, even the best of schools had to begin from their first day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifiers.
Completion Rates. Ask the vocational schools you are reviewing what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the program. A low completion rate could indicate that students were unhappy with the program and quit. It might also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to utilize for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment in the Strafford NH area.
Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of technical programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating vocational and technical programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of businesses or labor unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with Strafford NH area companies in the field. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by providing practical training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the local professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make sure 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, consult with the technician you are working with regarding what you should be looking for. If not, ask a local Strafford NH company if they can give you some pointers. Also bear in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your home. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much one-on-one training as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor a couple of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and experience the interaction between instructors and students. Speak to some of the students and get their opinions relating to class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak to some of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is in New Hampshire and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Strafford NH, verify that the programs you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select allows part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family issues.
Good Technical Schools Strafford New Hampshire
Selecting the right trade school near Strafford NH is a crucial beginning toward a gratifying career in the vocation of your choice. As we have discussed in this post, you should pick a trade school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the field. Other things to look for are ample hands-on training and modern facilities. You need to visit each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to inspect 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. Also, ask about scheduling choices and whether or not night or weekend classes are offered if needed. And remember to inquire about financial assistance and student loan options too. You initially came to this website because of your interest in Good Technical Schools and wanting more information on the topic Vocational Trade School. However, if you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to narrow down your options so that you can make an educated decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed professional in your chosen trade.
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Strafford County, New Hampshire
Strafford County is a county in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. As of the 2010 census, the population was 123,143. Its county seat is Dover. Strafford County was one of the five original counties identified for New Hampshire in 1769. It was named after William Wentworth, 2nd Earl of Strafford in the mistaken belief that he was the ancestor of governor John Wentworth – although they were distantly related, William had no descendants. The county was organized at Dover in 1771. In 1840, the size of the original county was reduced with the creation of Belknap County. Strafford County constitutes a portion of the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as of the greater Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area.
Strafford County is in southeastern New Hampshire, separated from York County in the state of Maine by the Salmon Falls River. The southern part of the Salmon Falls, from Rollinsford to Dover, is a tidal river that flows into the Piscataqua River.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 384 square miles (990 km2), of which 369 square miles (960 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (3.9%) is water. It is the smallest county in New Hampshire by area.