Be an informed student

As the rocker Alice Cooper sang “Schools Out”! Nothing but the summer ahead. Are you one of those students where high school is over forever? Congratulations! You made it through all those years of books and writing and now you’re ready for the world. So what does the future hold for you? What are your plans? Continue to work at the job you already have, or maybe go off and take your Gap Year (travel the world)? Maybe you’ve already decided to continue your education by enrolling at a university, college, or other institution of higher learning. The choices available are yours to make.

If you are deciding to continue on with your studies you have even more choices to make. What do you want to study? What college should you go to? What, another 4 to 5 years for a Bachelors degree? 2 years for a diploma? Do you know what career you want or are there still some questions you have before committing? Will I have to move away from home? How much will this cost? What if it’s too hard for me? These are normal questions to have and there are answers for you.

Regardless of whether you choose a public or private institution there are some questions to keep in mind when considering a program of study or an institution:

  • Does the program suit my interests and career goals?
  • What are the pre-requisites for admission?
  • How many students apply for the course or program and how many are accepted?
  • Is the tuition cost of one program much more or less than a similar program you have encountered? If so, why?
  • Are books and equipment included in the tuition fee?
  • Is the cost manageable for me?
  • Does this program qualify for a student loan?
  • Does the appropriate governing body or professional association approve the institution/program?
  • Is the approval up-to-date?
  • If the institution is privately operated, is it registered or accredited in British Columbia with the Private Career Training Institutions Agency?
  • Does the program have the proper consents, approvals or accreditations?
  • Is the credential that you hope to achieve through the program recognized by the profession or industry?
  • How many students of the program pass the licensing exams necessary to enter the profession?
  • Does the institution have any transfer arrangements with other institutions?
  • What opportunities for further education will you have after you graduate?
  • Will other post-secondary institutions recognize the training, and if so, how much credit will they assign?
  • Do the hours fit my lifestyle?
  • Can I manage this around my current job?
  • Will the program better prepare me for employment?

Remember that your family can give you important feedback on your choices and provide you with some insight you may not have considered. Whichever program and institution you choose, make the most of your education and have fun learning. High school is over forever, welcome to higher learning!