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When you have selected the type of certificate or degree that you want to earn, either on campus or online, you can begin to limit your selection of schools. As you are certainly aware, there are a large number of HVAC vocational schools in the Fairbanks AK area and throughout the Country to pick from. That's why it is essential to have a checklist of important qualifiers when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will undoubtedly be the first 2 factors you will look at. Following are some additional ones that you will want to investigate before enrolling in your school of choice.

Accreditation.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs in the Fairbanks AK area have acquired either a regional or a national accreditation. They can receive Institutional Accreditation, which involves the school's programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to an individual program, for example 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. Along with helping make certain that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of states mandate that the HVAC training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.

High Completion Rates.  Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A lower completion rate may signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the instructors were not competent to instruct the students. It's similarly essential that the schools have higher job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader list of alumni, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only validate that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Fairbanks AK HVAC employers to assist graduates acquire apprenticeships or employment.

Apprenticeship Programs.  A large number of HVAC vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating vocational and trade programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are considering have referring partnerships with local Fairbanks AK HVAC contractors. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing hands-on training, but it also furnishes employment opportunities and helps to build relationships in the regional HVAC professional community.

Modern Facilities.  Make certain that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with on the job. If you are currently in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. Otherwise, ask a local Fairbanks AK HVAC contracting company if they can provide some tips. Also keep in mind that unless you are willing to move, the school must be within commuting distance of your Fairbanks AK residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be increased tuition fees compared to in-state residents.

Smaller Classes.   It's important that you receive as much one-on-one instruction as possible, which can be difficult in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on some of the classes so that you can observe how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Talk with some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Finally, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their level of experience is and what certifications or degrees they hold.

Flexible Scheduling.  Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, verify that the programs you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Also, check out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.

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