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WHICH SCHOOL NOW?

If you have decided on a career, you will know if you need additional education in this field.  There is no need for choosing a major.  Your career defines your college major or college majors if you are going to college.  You will want to select the best school for you if you do need more education.  So use some school screening techniques to begin the selection process. 

 

SCREENING TOOLS

School screening tools are available on the Internet to assist in school selection.  Screening tools are available for both technical schools and college and universities.  Some sites give college ranking by major.  When you use these online tools make sure you know who is the site sponsor.  Quite often an accrediting organization sponsors the site.  You will not find your yet unknown ideal school if the school is not accredited by this organization.  So, use more than one online screening site  Also, the "score" for each criterion is either 0 or 100%.  There is no in-between.  So, your criteria represent firm boundaries.  When you set school size as a criterion, you run the risk of eliminating, for example, a school that exceeds your maximum preferred size by one student.  You will be able to develop a list of acceptable schools with your ideal school in the mix  when these tools are used correctly.

 

SCHOOL OUTPUT 

You go to school to become a success in your chosen career.  Upon graduation you would expect the school to have prepared you for your new career.  Make your final school selection based upon the ability of the school to output quality students.  Consider: 

  • Who has the most influence on preparing you for your career?  Would you agree that it is the school faculty?

  • How does a school help you with that first opportunity?  Hopefully, the school has career placement center and provides career placement services

  • And, finally how does your chosen school assure you of a long successful career Great schools are supported by their alumni, professional organizations, and business or industry. 

Your assignment is to acquire this information from your screened schools through a school visit and facility interviews.  Then you can prepare a decision matrix for your final selection like Table 1.

 

Table 1.  School attribute scores and reasoning for score selection.

 

 

Paul College

 

Oak University

 

Jeeper University

 

Ranch University

School Faculty

Score 50 – the college faculty is very capable based on the publications but there are very few members. Personalities may become a major issue with this few of members.

Score 0 – the school does have a reasonably large department, but you may not ever meet ¼ of the staff.

Score 100 – The school has a large faculty and you may be able to develop a personal relationship with all members.

Score 75- this is a very large and distinguished faculty. Students should be able to find mentors in this size of faculty, but not all members will take time for students

Career Placement Center

Score 0 - The job offer salaries are strong, but the student will need to do all work for finding a career outside of the local area.

Score 25- The placement record for the school and job offers are all good.  But you really don’t know much about this aspect of the school.  The center does not appear to be helpful.

Score 60 - Although the school has a good placement record, the student may have a major problem in getting job offers without the support of a faculty member.  You know sometimes your ego clashes with authority.

Score 100 - Job offers are primarily dependent on the student’s motivation.  You are a very motivated student and you like the responsibility.

Associations

Score 0 – students may have great opportunities with local companies, but network prospects outside of the local area are nil.

Score 50 – students from this school have some networking  opportunities within the Alumni Association  and strong prospects with trade and professional organizations.

Score 30 – students will have great networking opportunities with trade and professional organizations but not with the Alumni Association. 

Score 100 – A student from this school will have long-term networking  opportunities through the Alumni Association   and trade and professional associations.

TOTAL

50

75

190

275

 (This is an example and it does not represent actual schools)

If Table 1 had been prepared by you as part of your final school selection process, you would choose Ranch University as your idea school.  Why, because the Ranking Matrix shows the highest attribute score for Ranch University.  It may be that the School Faculty is more important to you than Placement or Associations.  When some of the attributes are more important to you than others you need to weight the attributes in your matrix.

 

If you are facing a school selection decision, then there is help. 

 

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