Choosing a College
When you are deciding to enroll in any college program, choosing the college is one of the most important decisions you will make. You will be making a large investment of time and money so take your time and talk to as many different colleges as you can. When investigating a potential college consider the following:
- Your personal needs and preferencesWhat size school do you prefer? Are you comfortable in a small town? In the city? What will your living expenses be and what can you afford without having to work too many hours? Does commuting make sense for you? What kind of living arrangements can you make? Do you have good supports (friends and family) to help you out? Is child care available?
- The “feel” of the schoolIs the staff friendly and helpful? Are you welcome to visit and sit in on classes? Is the admission process easy or too difficult? Are you satisfied that the school sets high admission standards? Are you provided with information that clearly explains the school’s requirements, the tuition and other expenses, and application process? Does the school sign a contract with its students? Do you feel at home in the atmosphere of the school? Do you have the opportunity to speak to current students and/or graduates? Do you like what you hear?
- The College ProgramsIs the class schedule reasonable to accommodate your other responsibilities and commitments?Is there a work/education placement in the program to strengthen your educational experience?Do you have to arrange your own work/education placements or does the college make the arrangements for you?Does the college utilize the most recent editions of relevant text books for the courses?If there is a governing body that regulates the program?Has the college purchased the latest competencies from the governing body, for the curriculum?
- The College FacilitiesAre its facilities adequate to deliver its program? Does the college have a student lounge? Does the college have a bookstore and refreshments easily accessible to students?Are the washrooms clean and well stocked with supplies?Is there parking available for students?What is the additional cost for parking?Does the college have wireless internet available to students?
- The College FacultyWhat are the student/teacher ratios in the school’s various educational experiences? Does the school have teachers with strong reputations in the field? What is the school’s teacher turnover rate? Does it have an on-going teacher professional development program?
- The College PoliciesIn addition to the tuition, are there any other costs related to the programs?Are the school’s academic policies clearly stated? What happens if a student fails? Are students given transcripts/progress reports during the program? Does the school have a code of ethics or dress code?Are there services for students with special needs? Do the students have a representative voice that is listened to?
- Other Important QuestionsIs the school in good standing with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities? What are its professional affiliations?Is the school a member of its local Chamber of Commerce?