| COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT CAREER COLLEGES IN WEST VIRGINIA
| Career colleges in each state offer a wide variety of programs, but are also quite similar in terms of how they are run, the kinds of environments and instruction they provide, etc. The information given below is therefore a general guide for students researching career colleges in the US, and is applicable to institutions in all states. For the most current and specific details, students should also refer to individual state higher education agencies, as well as individual career colleges
What credentials can you earn at career colleges in the USA?
Most career colleges offer credentials of different lengths, from 12-week certificates to 1- and sometimes 2-year diplomas, and some specialty schools (in areas like naturopathic medicine or tourism) also offer more advanced credentials like associate's and even specialty bachelor's degrees.
What is a career college?
Career colleges are privately run post-secondary schools that offer professional and technical career-oriented programs leading to a range of credentials and, ultimately, to direct employment in a particular work field. Career colleges in the USA provide educational programs in over 200 occupational fields.
How long will my career college study take?
That depends on the specific program you take. Most career college programs are designed to have students graduate and enter the job market in under a year.
How big are the classes at career colleges in the USA?
Career college class sizes generally vary between 5 and 30 students.
How can you tell if a career college is reliable and legitimate?
Reliable, legitimate schools are usually accredited at two main levels: institutional and specialized (also known as "programmatic"). This accreditation means the school or the specific program(s) are approved by organizations that have, in their turn, been approved by the US Department of Education. Accreditation is a kind of quality assurance that guarantees students they will be taught industry-approved material by qualified instructors at recognized institutes You can find out if a school is accredited by searching for it in the US Department of Education's Database of Accredited Post-Secondary Institutions and Programs.
Do career colleges in the US accept international students?
Yes, provided they meet the entrance requirements.
What are the admission requirements for international students to study at career college?
Admission requirements vary from school to school. In general, international students require a valid passport, a photocopy of current study permit and visa (if applicable), academic records and resumes, proof of age, proof of funds to cover your costs including your return fare, police clearance certificate or criminal reference check, and medical clearance may also be required. Other pre-requisites may be required depending upon the program.
Can a career college guarantee graduates a job?
No school or program can guarantee graduates a job. However, the industry practicum so often part of the curriculum means students already start making job connections while they're learning. Another special feature is their job search/ placement help. Some career colleges offer graduates lifetime job placement assistance.
Can international students stay and work in the US after finishing a career college credential?
Not automatically. Precise details will depend on the credential, field and time spent in the US, as well as country of origin. Students should contact the USCIS for evaluation of their particular case.
Can international students participate in career college co-op or internship programs?
Yes. If the curriculum includes an internship component as part of the program of study, international students can participate if they have an I-20 endorsed for OPT, and provide a USCIS-issued Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Do career colleges offer specific international student scholarships or financial aid?
Often, yes, but not always. However, international student financial assistance differs from school to school.
Can I live on campus? What are the housing options for international students studying at career colleges in the USA?
Career colleges generally do not have residences, as they are much smaller institutions than community colleges or universities. There may be some exceptions depending on the size and location of the career college. Many career colleges will help international students find off-campus rental housing, and homestay may be available.
How do I know if my credentials will be accepted at a career college in the USA?
Career colleges in the US each set their own admission requirements; therefore, you should contact the registrar or admissions office at each school to find out what they require in terms of assessing foreign credentials. Many career colleges have a special website section for international student admission requirements. You can also consult one of the credential assessment and qualification recognition services. For a fee, these offices provide an evaluation that shows you how your credentials compare with US academic credentials.
Will a credential from a career college in the US be recognized in my home country?
It depends on where you come from. American academic credentials are accepted and recognized around the world; however, you should still ask about recognition of any foreign career college credits and credentials in your country of origin. A foreign diploma or certificate is valued differently by different countries, so it's a good idea to check with universities and potential employers in your home country (if that's where you plan to work or continue your education) to confirm acceptance of US career college credits or credentials before you leave.
Are career college credentials/ credits transferable to other colleges or universities?
It depends on the school, program and what kinds of agreement the school may have with other institutions. If this is a question that particularly concerns you, it is essential that you speak to officials at the career college and at any colleges or universities you plan to apply to later on.