dwilterd

Trade School? Technical College/School? Community College?

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dwilterd

I often hear about "trade school" but I'm not sure I could define it or find one if you asked me to. When I was a kid, there were always commercials on TV for DeVry Technical Institute, but wasn't that considered a "for profit" school? I hear going to a "for profit" school is a very bad idea. I suppose La James or other beauty schools would be considered trade schools? What other schools are out there and how do you find them?

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dwilterd

Then there is this little blurb from a job posting for a local police department. I'm not entirely sure how to interpret this:

"Qualified candidates will possess a High School Diploma or GED and 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours in an accredited college or university in diversified academic subjects.  Not to be included are technical or occupation courses; however, technical or community college credits will be considered if credits are in criminal justice, liberal arts, or a closely related field."

My son is considering attending our local community college (public) to get some sort of degree in IT, possibly in Network Administration. The degree awarded is an AAS (Associate in Applied Science). I'm thinking that would be considered a technical or occupation program and so might not qualify for this job. :help:

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Countrymom9
33 minutes ago, dwilterd said:

Then there is this little blurb from a job posting for a local police department. I'm not entirely sure how to interpret this:

"Qualified candidates will possess a High School Diploma or GED and 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours in an accredited college or university in diversified academic subjects.  Not to be included are technical or occupation courses; however, technical or community college credits will be considered if credits are in criminal justice, liberal arts, or a closely related field."

My son is considering attending our local community college (public) to get some sort of degree in IT, possibly in Network Administration. The degree awarded is an AAS (Associate in Applied Science). I'm thinking that would be considered a technical or occupation program and so might not qualify for this job. :help:

I would assume that too. If your dc is interested in police work, you could clarify that with the department.

One of my dss is a cop. He went to his department's police academy  for a year, during which he was paid by the department. He later chose to get an AA in Criminal Justice, but his department paid for it and he did it online or during his non-working hours. It sounds like that route isn't an option in your area.

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Mazurka
36 minutes ago, dwilterd said:

Sigh, I should have known Google would have the answer for me.

https://blog.prepscholar.com/what-is-a-trade-school

 

I'm still interested in a discussion about these options for our kids here though. 

 

That's a good article.   I think there is quite a bit of overlap between community colleges and technical colleges.  For example, the community college that William will attend is called Durham Technical Community College.   It offers lots of programs in traditional trades, but also has 2 year degrees, and college pathway programs to lead into the university system.  There are lots of options.  In fact, we seriously considered a 2-year AAS (at a different CC) for Will in biotechnology that would lead directly to a career.  He was interested in it, but then he wouldn't be able to transfer directly into the university if he ended up wanting to go that route.  The AAS was a 2 year program with an end, not a bridge, and would have lead to a job in a lab.  We have lots of pharma companies here, and he probably would have been guaranteed a job upon successful completion, especially since the program required a semester of internship.  The woman who gave the talk at the Durham CC said many students graduate from a two-year program at the CC making more money right out of school than she does with a couple of undergraduate degrees along with a master's.  Really makes me think about the true value today of the typical 4-year degree.  I think the face of further education is changing.  With very few jobs now considered secure in the long term, maybe 2 year schools offer more flexibility to change careers along with less debt.  I know I'm rambling off topic, so ignore if I've chatted too much.  Oops.  (I do have more to say on this topic if you want to continue discussion...)

 

25 minutes ago, dwilterd said:

Then there is this little blurb from a job posting for a local police department. I'm not entirely sure how to interpret this:

"Qualified candidates will possess a High School Diploma or GED and 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours in an accredited college or university in diversified academic subjects.  Not to be included are technical or occupation courses; however, technical or community college credits will be considered if credits are in criminal justice, liberal arts, or a closely related field."

My son is considering attending our local community college (public) to get some sort of degree in IT, possibly in Network Administration. The degree awarded is an AAS (Associate in Applied Science). I'm thinking that would be considered a technical or occupation program and so might not qualify for this job. :help:

That is confusing!   I bet some of the courses for the AAS would count.  The AAS degree we looked at for Will does include some of the traditional liberal arts classes, but not 60 semester hours worth. That's a lot!  At any rate, it might be worth it to talk to them. 

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Bendxap

As a junior in high school, Younger planned on living with my dad and my sister to be able to attend a state university's extension campus in our town and get an Associate's Degree in Computer Networking (2 year program, as I remember) and either concurrently or not, get his Auto Mechanic's licence from a vocational school in the next town.

The vocational school, when I was in high school, was for those who wanted to go into something not requiring college, and/or for those not wanting to go to college. Now it also offers adult education classes, which is what Younger would have been in. (It may be that they offered adult ed back in the dark ages of my high school years but I wasn't aware of it.)

I'm not sure if Younger is completely happy that he opted for four years of university instead of going this route. On the practical, logistical side, it's good that he decided on the university because my dad passed away at the end of Younger's senior year; I'm not sure what we would have done if he still wanted to go that route. I don't think he was mature enough at that point to have an apartment by himself. We might have approached a good friend of mine about him living with them, I guess.

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dwilterd
25 minutes ago, Mazurka said:

 

That's a good article.   I think there is quite a bit of overlap between community colleges and technical colleges.  For example, the community college that William will attend is called Durham Technical Community College.   It offers lots of programs in traditional trades, but also has 2 year degrees, and college pathway programs to lead into the university system.  There are lots of options.  In fact, we seriously considered a 2-year AAS (at a different CC) for Will in biotechnology that would lead directly to a career.  He was interested in it, but then he wouldn't be able to transfer directly into the university if he ended up wanting to go that route.  The AAS was a 2 year program with an end, not a bridge, and would have lead to a job in a lab.  We have lots of pharma companies here, and he probably would have been guaranteed a job upon successful completion, especially since the program required a semester of internship.  The woman who gave the talk at the Durham CC said many students graduate from a two-year program at the CC making more money right out of school than she does with a couple of undergraduate degrees along with a master's.  Really makes me think about the true value today of the typical 4-year degree.  I think the face of further education is changing.  With very few jobs now considered secure in the long term, maybe 2 year schools offer more flexibility to change careers along with less debt.  I know I'm rambling off topic, so ignore if I've chatted too much.  Oops.  (I do have more to say on this topic if you want to continue discussion...)

 

That is confusing!   I bet some of the courses for the AAS would count.  The AAS degree we looked at for Will does include some of the traditional liberal arts classes, but not 60 semester hours worth. That's a lot!  At any rate, it might be worth it to talk to them. 

60 semester hours is essentially 2 years. I guess a general studies AA degree would count, but maybe not an AAS. Kinda bummed about that as I'm not sure how he will proceed now. We have time, but I was so excited we had figured out a path and now it looks like that path isn't maybe the best option. 

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smalltownmommy
1 hour ago, dwilterd said:

The degree awarded is an AAS (Associate in Applied Science). I'm thinking that would be considered a technical or occupation program and so might not qualify for this job.

Are they simply requiring that a person have completed a 2 yr program or completed the sophomore year (60 credit hours works out to 15 hours/semester -- I recall 12 hours was sometimes considered full-time, but wouldn't get you to an associates or Jr. standing in 2 yrs unless you also went summers). I don't know about this particular job, but  our local college has both associates degrees or certificate programs.  Generally, the associates gives more flexibility because it requires the general knowledge base (i.e. diversified academic subjects) rather than training related only to a specific job (the certificate programs), with the certificate training possibly giving an advantage over the associates for the specific occupation, but fairly useless otherwise.

(ETA: Oops, I just notices the "AAS".  I'm more familiar with A.A. in General Studies, or in specific programs, But "Applied Science" may be more limited than I'm thinking).

I know one person (now an adult, but not my age group :)) who managed to find a program that offered both a trade certificate and an associates degree (something like "general business") at completion.  I think it was supposed to appeal both to those who wanted to be self-employed or manage their own small business in the trade at some point and also gave the flexibility to continue on with a 4 yr degree. The person got a part-time job related to the certificate, and transferred to a four year college.  After the B.S. got a different job (not related to the certificate), and got a master's while working full-time.  (The certificate was for a trade, which helped get jobs before the 4 yr degree,  the later work was not related to the trade.)

Edited by smalltownmommy

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Bendxap

Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs, Returning the Favor) is a big promoter of routes other than college. You might want to check out his stuff, especially Profoundly Disconnected.

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smalltownmommy
57 minutes ago, dwilterd said:

60 semester hours is essentially 2 years. I guess a general studies AA degree would count, but maybe not an AAS. Kinda bummed about that as I'm not sure how he will proceed now. We have time, but I was so excited we had figured out a path and now it looks like that path isn't maybe the best option. 

Thank you for posting.  You made me look at my local college (it's changed!), and I found a page on their website (yours might differ).

A.A. (Assoc of Arts) 60 cred (36 general educ courses), equiv of first 2 yrs of 4 yr college, some transfer to 4 yr programs (some guaranteed, some not)

A.S. (Assoc of Science) 60 cred (15 general educ courses), workforce prep, some transfer to specific 4 yr programs

A.A.S. (Assoc of Applied Science) 60 credit (15 general educ courses), workforce prep, no mention of transfer

A.S.E. (Associate of Arts in Engineering) 60+ credit, specific requirements, transfer to specific 4 yr engineering programs expected

Certificate - specific requirements, does not require 60 hours

 

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dwilterd
19 minutes ago, smalltownmommy said:

Thank you for posting.  You made me look at my local college (it's changed!), and I found a page on their website (yours might differ).

A.A. (Assoc of Arts) 60 cred (36 general educ courses), equiv of first 2 yrs of 4 yr college, some transfer to 4 yr programs (some guaranteed, some not)

A.S. (Assoc of Science) 60 cred (15 general educ courses), workforce prep, some transfer to specific 4 yr programs

A.A.S. (Assoc of Applied Science) 60 credit (15 general educ courses), workforce prep, no mention of transfer

A.S.E. (Associate of Arts in Engineering) 60+ credit, specific requirements, transfer to specific 4 yr engineering programs expected

Certificate - specific requirements, does not require 60 hours

 

Mine doesn't lay it out quite like that, but they essentially say the same thing. Ds has a lot of thinking to do. 

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SewWhat?
1 hour ago, Bendxap said:

Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs, Returning the Favor) is a big promoter of routes other than college. You might want to check out his stuff, especially Profoundly Disconnected.

As the wife of a garbage truck mechanic we love Mike Rowe :D We watch Dirty Jobs all the time.

I've never told any of my kids they HAVE to go to college. We always also discussed trade.

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Bendxap
22 minutes ago, SewWhat? said:

As the wife of a garbage truck mechanic we love Mike Rowe :D We watch Dirty Jobs all the time.

I've never told any of my kids they HAVE to go to college. We always also discussed trade.

Mike Rowe had (has?) a lot of influence on Younger, too. We enjoyed watching Dirty Jobs with my dad.

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Momof4JackAttacks

Our local CC tech school can be considered a trade school or a two year school for students who want to go on.  There are many trades that are taught at community colleges, not necessarily a trade school. 

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tess in the burbs

I was stuck in the college mentally until about 2 years ago.  I love Mike Rowe and he's right about a need for trade workers.  There was an ad last week for an electrician paying more per hour than my software husband makes.  The need is real!  I was told in the last 4 years by multiple trade people that they focus on commercial and in another year or two a residential person is going to be paying double or triple to get someone to come out to look at a problem.  There just are not enough workers in the trade jobs.  

Now that I am open to whatever the kids are stuck.  Hearing about college all those years and now I'm saying there are other paths have confused them.   I truly believe if they don't have a career in plan that needs a college degree they are better off doing a 2 year trade degree/certificate and work until they decide what they want to do.  I know the future jobs for our kids don't necessarily exist yet, and college won't be ready to train for it.  Space travel...that is going to be something in the future but no one is training for it yet.  It's going to be about opportunity, not a degree for awhile.  

anyway, our CC has the AA degrees, but they also offer trade certificates.  I know the welding track has 3 different certificates that build upon each other.  So you get one and decide if you want to keep going or just go get a low level welding job.  I believe the electrician stuff requires an apprenticeship which is hard to come by b/c not enough places offer a spot.  Research into your own area will be key in deciding on a trade.  

I honestly hope my kids will be open to just learning something, working and continuing to consider all their options and not just stuck into the college mentality.  I know dh and I would prefer more freedom, but his office job doesn't give us that freedom.  Lots to ponder....

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dwilterd

I talked to ds and he had me check the requirements for the larger police department in our area and they only require a high school diploma and that applicants be 21, so I guess he can still follow his plan. :you: Like he said, the smaller department (the one that had the qualifications I posted above) will only be hiring ONE officer, while the larger department will fill a class of 10 or 12 at a time. I guess he knows what he's doing. B)

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ajbmom

My son is going to give university a shot in the fall, but his "plan B" is underwater welding.  There are several good schools for this and they are not very long.  The pay is pretty good, especially for certain pockets that are a bit more dangerous.  For his 18th b-day this summer, we're paying for him to take a scuba diving class.  He already loves the water (he's a lifeguard), loves welding, and is definitely a hands-on kind of guy.  We'll see!    

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Countrymom9
6 hours ago, ajbmom said:

My son is going to give university a shot in the fall, but his "plan B" is underwater welding.  There are several good schools for this and they are not very long.  The pay is pretty good, especially for certain pockets that are a bit more dangerous.  For his 18th b-day this summer, we're paying for him to take a scuba diving class.  He already loves the water (he's a lifeguard), loves welding, and is definitely a hands-on kind of guy.  We'll see!    

Really? That's what ds17 wants to do ultimately. He'll probably have to work for a couple of years first to pay tuition, though.

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learnin'mom
12 hours ago, Mazurka said:

 

That's a good article.   I think there is quite a bit of overlap between community colleges and technical colleges.  For example, the community college that William will attend is called Durham Technical Community College.   It offers lots of programs in traditional trades, but also has 2 year degrees, and college pathway programs to lead into the university system.  There are lots of options.  In fact, we seriously considered a 2-year AAS (at a different CC) for Will in biotechnology that would lead directly to a career.  He was interested in it, but then he wouldn't be able to transfer directly into the university if he ended up wanting to go that route.  The AAS was a 2 year program with an end, not a bridge, and would have lead to a job in a lab.  We have lots of pharma companies here, and he probably would have been guaranteed a job upon successful completion, especially since the program required a semester of internship.  The woman who gave the talk at the Durham CC said many students graduate from a two-year program at the CC making more money right out of school than she does with a couple of undergraduate degrees along with a master's.  Really makes me think about the true value today of the typical 4-year degree.  I think the face of further education is changing.  With very few jobs now considered secure in the long term, maybe 2 year schools offer more flexibility to change careers along with less debt.  I know I'm rambling off topic, so ignore if I've chatted too much.  Oops.  (I do have more to say on this topic if you want to continue discussion...)

 

That is confusing!   I bet some of the courses for the AAS would count.  The AAS degree we looked at for Will does include some of the traditional liberal arts classes, but not 60 semester hours worth. That's a lot!  At any rate, it might be worth it to talk to them. 

I agree!! So many students are graduating with debt and no job in their field, it makes it unwise in many cases, to attend a university. My oldest is graduating this year and still isn't sure what he wants to do. He won't even commit to CC at this point. I want to pressure him to go, he's so smart, but at the same time I know he's praying daily and waiting on God to lead. I can't ask for more than that.

BTW, where is Durham CC located? Just curious if it's in Durham, NC?

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Mazurka
1 hour ago, learnin'mom said:

 

BTW, where is Durham CC located? Just curious if it's in Durham, NC?

Yes, it is.

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Merry
10 hours ago, dwilterd said:

I talked to ds and he had me check the requirements for the larger police department in our area and they only require a high school diploma and that applicants be 21, so I guess he can still follow his plan. :you: Like he said, the smaller department (the one that had the qualifications I posted above) will only be hiring ONE officer, while the larger department will fill a class of 10 or 12 at a time. I guess he knows what he's doing. B)

I would encourage him to go talk with the police department and ask them what they look for. There may be a discrepancy between what they advertise as requirements and what they prefer. It wouldn't hurt him to ask to interview someone there to find out more, and then he could make more informed plans. Our local CC offers a Criminal Justice Certificate, an AAS in Criminal Justice, and also an Associate of Arts for transfer students, depending on a student's goals. 

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dwilterd
8 hours ago, Merry said:

I would encourage him to go talk with the police department and ask them what they look for. There may be a discrepancy between what they advertise as requirements and what they prefer. It wouldn't hurt him to ask to interview someone there to find out more, and then he could make more informed plans. Our local CC offers a Criminal Justice Certificate, an AAS in Criminal Justice, and also an Associate of Arts for transfer students, depending on a student's goals. 

As a Police Explorer (similar to Boy Scouts or maybe Civil Air Patrol) he does have the opportunity to meet police officers and get to know more about the job. We've been planning on him NOT majoring in criminal justice because we'd rather see him use CC as an opportunity to explore other career options and develop some skills he can use if the police thing doesn't work out. He is in agreement with this. I'm not convinced he'll be able to push himself hard enough to pass the physical tests and there's no guarantee he'll pass the psych evaluation either. So many hurdles (which is a good thing!) to becoming a cop, it's not good to count on it to the exclusion of other opportunities along the way. Then there's the new girlfriend and whether she'll even be okay with the idea of him being on the job (assuming they get far enough for her opinion to count). 

Anyway, that's how he does already know so much about how he wants to do this. I was the uninformed one. :girlwink:

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Mazurka
21 hours ago, tess in the burbs said:

I was stuck in the college mentally until about 2 years ago.  I love Mike Rowe and he's right about a need for trade workers.  There was an ad last week for an electrician paying more per hour than my software husband makes.  The need is real!  I was told in the last 4 years by multiple trade people that they focus on commercial and in another year or two a residential person is going to be paying double or triple to get someone to come out to look at a problem.  There just are not enough workers in the trade jobs.

 

My fantasy dream for Ben was for him to get electrician certification alongside an electrical engineering degree.  I figured if he had both of those, he would always be employable.  But it's not really easy to do due to the highly controlled apprenticeship program.  And in the end, he wants to be a mechanical engineer rather than an electrical engineer.

21 hours ago, tess in the burbs said:

I was stuck in the college mentally until about 2 years ago.  I love Mike Rowe and he's right about a need for trade workers.  There was an ad last week for an electrician paying more per hour than my software husband makes.  The need is real!  I was told in the last 4 years by multiple trade people that they focus on commercial and in another year or two a residential person is going to be paying double or triple to get someone to come out to look at a problem.  There just are not enough workers in the trade jobs.

 

At the community college information session we went to, the lady giving the talked stressed how many people are graduating from some of the more in-demand two-year programs and making more money than she does with two undergrad degrees and a master's.  It does make you think about things.

I think there are virtually no jobs that are safe anymore, with the exception of health careers and some of the trades.  You can't outsource plumbing to workers in a different country.  Nr can you outsource electric work or house repairs.  Software?  That might someday take the route of other engineering-type skills that are frequently outsourced to places like India.

I was stuck in the college mentality, too.  I'm having a hard time changing. 

21 hours ago, tess in the burbs said:

 

 I believe the electrician stuff requires an apprenticeship which is hard to come by b/c not enough places offer a spot.  Research into your own area will be key in deciding on a trade.  
 

There's a lot of good ol' boys networking/union stuff going on with the electrician program.  Some really dumb stuff. My DH had a friend, an electrical engineer, who took early retirement from a job and wanted to get his electrician certification, but he would have been required to do all 7 years or whatever the training length was at the time.   No credit would be given for the time spent as an electrical engineer and already knowing most, if not all, of the technical aspects of being an electrician.   There was no way to test out of things like you can do at a regular college. Unions hold a lot of sway in some of the trades. 

On the other hand, a few years back my DH took the test for some basic HVAC certificate (I forget what it was), but he wanted to be able to buy his own freon without having to source from a dealer or hire an official tradesperson. With his knowledge from engineering school, he studied a bit, took the test, and got his certification.  I wish I remembered exactly what it was, but he used it simply so he could do some repairs on our appliances without having to call in an officially licensed repairman/woman.   You can save a ton of money by being able to do these things yourself. 

 

Edited by Mazurka

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learnin'mom
17 hours ago, Mazurka said:

Yes, it is.

What do ya know, you're not too far from me. My husband works with a ministry in Roxboro NC and we leave about 45min north of there.

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HannahB
On 4/19/2018 at 9:19 AM, dwilterd said:

As a Police Explorer (similar to Boy Scouts or maybe Civil Air Patrol) he does have the opportunity to meet police officers and get to know more about the job. We've been planning on him NOT majoring in criminal justice because we'd rather see him use CC as an opportunity to explore other career options and develop some skills he can use if the police thing doesn't work out. He is in agreement with this. I'm not convinced he'll be able to push himself hard enough to pass the physical tests and there's no guarantee he'll pass the psych evaluation either. So many hurdles (which is a good thing!) to becoming a cop, it's not good to count on it to the exclusion of other opportunities along the way. Then there's the new girlfriend and whether she'll even be okay with the idea of him being on the job (assuming they get far enough for her opinion to count). 

Anyway, that's how he does already know so much about how he wants to do this. I was the uninformed one. :girlwink:

 

Edited by HannahB
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Mazurka
4 hours ago, learnin'mom said:

What do ya know, you're not too far from me. My husband works with a ministry in Roxboro NC and we leave about 45min north of there.

Maybe some day we can have a meet-up!  

 

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Merry
16 hours ago, dwilterd said:

As a Police Explorer (similar to Boy Scouts or maybe Civil Air Patrol) he does have the opportunity to meet police officers and get to know more about the job. We've been planning on him NOT majoring in criminal justice because we'd rather see him use CC as an opportunity to explore other career options and develop some skills he can use if the police thing doesn't work out. He is in agreement with this. I'm not convinced he'll be able to push himself hard enough to pass the physical tests and there's no guarantee he'll pass the psych evaluation either. So many hurdles (which is a good thing!) to becoming a cop, it's not good to count on it to the exclusion of other opportunities along the way. Then there's the new girlfriend and whether she'll even be okay with the idea of him being on the job (assuming they get far enough for her opinion to count). 

Anyway, that's how he does already know so much about how he wants to do this. I was the uninformed one. :girlwink:

That's great that he has connections. And he may not need to major in criminal justice. My only point was that since the one local police dept. wanted students with regular college credits (not those that go towards an AAS), he may want to just ask whether the one he's interested in truly takes applicants with no credits beyond the AAS type courses, or if they only *might* but really *prefer* applicants with college credits. Sometimes there's a difference in what gives an applicant an advantage over another one, or what makes one more qualified than another. 

I agree about maybe taking a criminal justice course as an elective if he has the interest. (My ds has actually taken 3 courses as electives--the first was just to test out his interest in the field, and the other two were because he loves the instructor and finds the courses intriguing, even though he doesn't have a desire to go on in this field right now.) 

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learnin'mom
On 4/19/2018 at 10:17 PM, Mazurka said:

Maybe some day we can have a meet-up!  

 

Yes!

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