is important to attend a school that matches your educational
and career goals. There are a variety of postsecondary schools
that offer different programs, and certificates and/or degrees.
Below are descriptions of various types of post-secondary schools.
schools can be divided into four categories:
Technical, Business, and Trade Schools
Colleges and Universities
Technical, Business, and Trade Schools
Vocational, technical, business, and trade schools are typically
open to students with or without a high school diploma and
to all that apply. Some schools are privately owned and operated,
and others are public schools. These schools offer a wide
variety of specialized training courses and programs, which
is ideal for students who know exactly what they want to do
and have chosen a specific occupation. Some schools specialize
in only one area, while others provide a wide variety of programs.
The length of a program will vary between a few weeks, months,
or couple of years.
the programs, students will receive a diploma, a certificate,
a license, or an Associate’s degree. Some of the credits
earned at these schools may transfer to four-year colleges
or universities. The main appeals of these programs are their
concentrated curriculum, job training focus, and short course
length, which prepares students to enter the job market.
Two-Year Community/Junior Colleges
Community/Junior Colleges are open to anyone with a high school
diploma or GED. Community/Junior colleges are public institutions
that offer two-year liberal arts programs and/or specialized
job training programs. Most programs are designed to prepare
students for employment after graduating. Many community colleges
also have extracurricular activities such as athletic programs,
as well as theater, music, and art activities.
Some students will
attend a community/junior college to enhance their current
skills and abilities through general education, vocational,
and developmental courses. Students will receive a certificate
or an Associate’s degree upon completion of the academic
program. After graduating from a community/junior college,
many students then transfer to a four-year college or university
to continue their education. Some credits from many of the
programs are transferable to four-year colleges and universities.
Four-Year Colleges and Universities
Colleges and universities are more selective in accepting
students than the previous two types of schools. Colleges
and universities may be public, private nonprofit, or private
for–profit. Some are affiliated with a religious denomination.
A wide variety of courses and programs are offered at these
institutions that leads to a Bachelor’s degree, typically
within four-years. Many also offer graduate programs (following
completion of a Bachelor's degree) with opportunities to earn
a Master's degree, Doctorate, or Professional degree. Some
institutions also offer a two-year Associates degree.
the difference between a college and
Colleges are smaller than universities and usually offer
four-year Bachelor’s degrees. Some also offer a
two-year Associate’s and Master’s degrees.
Colleges can be specialized (for example, in nursing)
or they can offer a broad curriculum.
Universities can be quite large and consist of several
under-graduate and graduate schools, colleges, departments
or faculties (School of Engineering, College of Business,
College of Liberal Arts, Faculty of Science). Universities
offer several types of degrees (such as Associate, Bachelor,
Master, Doctoral, and /or Professional Degrees). These
institutions offer a large course selection and may have
extensive resources. Class size varies, depending on the
size of the university, the subject area, and the course
and universities are either public or private institutions.
Public institutions are funded by their state through
tax dollars, and are generally less expensive than private
institutions. Public institutions are required to accept
all eligible students. Tuition for in-state students (residents
of the state) is much lower than tuition for out-of-state
students (residents from another state).
Private institutions are funded through tuition, endowments,
and donations; they are not tax-supported. The tuition
at private institutions tends to be more expensive than
public schools. Although, private institutions’
tuition is higher, don’t rule them out. Private
colleges can often offer enough financial aid to make
their school affordable for students to attend.
Professional schools are special departments (colleges, departments,
schools) within a university, in which students may study
to be a lawyer (Law School), doctor (Medical School), veterinarian
(Veterinary School), dentist (Dental School) or business person
(Business School). Students are admitted to a professional
school after completing a Bachelor's degree.
by: Sedgwick Hines Copyright 2004 AvScholars Publishing, LLC.
All Rights Reserved.