Vocational Training is a combination of classroom, practical instruction, and often real-life experience which prepares students for a career or career-jump-start in a specific trade or occupation. In a vocational training program, you will gain the experience and credentials necessary to work in a wide variety of occupations, from carpentry to mechanic to interior design. Beside being a gateway to skilled employment, vocational training often can be a preliminary step to achieving additional advanced training or entering a college degree program in the future.
Here are just some of the vocational training paths you might choose to explore:
Tech Prep Education
Tech Prep programs are based on a partnership between high schools and colleges/universities to help prepare students for high tech careers in areas such as engineering, technology, applied science, health, and applied economics, and to improve the academic success of vocational students. Tech Prep combines at least two years of high school and two years of post-secondary education. It is designed to help students gain both academic knowledge and technical skills, and typically leads to either a certificate or an associate’s degree in a specific career field.
At Creswell High School, we partner with Lane Community College through the High School Connections and College Now programs. Course work for which you may earn both high school and college credit include Business, Technology, Arts and English courses, as listed in the current Curriculum Guide. Check with your counselor for more information about participating in Tech Prep programs.
Another resource which might help you coordinate both high school and postsecondary vocational training is the Career Clusters & Program/Pathways page, sponsored by Lane Education Service District. This site has career videos to download, as well as direct links to Tech Prep programs and Lane Community College course information.
These search sites help you locate trade schools by field of study and location: http://www.trade-schools.net http://www.trade-school.org Institutions listed include mechanical and automotive schools, business schools, culinary schools, art and design schools, diving schools, cosmetology schools, education programs, health care schools, legal and criminal justice schools, schools focusing on occupations in the media, real estate schools, technology schools, and travel and tourism schools. These trade schools offer diplomas or certificates that employers nationwide will accept. They also provide their students with assistance in meeting necessary licensing requirements.
Apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction, and typically take two to four years to complete. Competition for available slots is often fierce because apprentices pay nothing for their education, and are actually paid for the hours they spend learning on the job. In addition, apprentices typically command relatively high salaries when they become journey workers.
Good resources to locate an open apprenticeship program include networking with people you know who work in an apprenticed trade, contacting Lane Community College Apprenticeship Training Program, checking the Oregon State Department of Apprenticeship & Training website, calling trade union offices, and contacting related professional associations. Some apprenticeship programs also advertise available openings in the newspaper, on job boards, or with state job services.
Successfully completing basic classes in English, math, and science is considered essential for all applicants to apprenticeship programs, and most apprenticeships require a high school diploma or GED. In addition, taking special interest classes may help demonstrate an early aptitude, skills development, and improve your standing in the application process, as well.