Advice on Choosing a Recognized School
- Determine your desired career or academic goal. Narrow down your search to schools that offer programs in your field of interest.
- Make sure the schools you are considering are approved by the Office of Higher Education.
- Before enrolling visit the schools. Talk to students in the programs you’re interested in. Ask if you can sit in and observe classes or courses.
- Request a copy of the student catalog and enrollment agreement to review all terms, such as school withdrawal, termination refund policies, costs and student disclosures.
- Contact the accrediting agency that a school claims to have accreditation from to verify their claims.
- Reach out to the Office of Higher Education for information on any complaints filed against a school.
- Pay attention to all advertisements and compare them with what is mentioned in the schools catalog and course syllabus.
- Ask to see information, about student completion rates and job placement assistance provided by the school.
- Keep in mind that while a school may offer job placement services they cannot guarantee employment.
- Find out what documents are required by the school during the application process.
- Ensure you have an understanding of the amount and types of financial aid you will need before enrolling. Make sure to obtain written and signed documentation from a school official for any agreements or requests.
Remember to keep copies of all your documents for your records.
Enjoy your journey and make the most of your learning experience!
If you need to request your student transcripts please refer to the designated page titled “Student Transcripts”.
In case you have any complaints as a student please consult the page called “Student Complaints“.
If a school closes it is advisable for students to get in touch with the Office of Higher Education for assistance and guidance.
Additionally this website will provide instructions related to the closure of a particular school as soon as information becomes available.
Here are some asked questions;
What is the role played by the Office of Higher Education? The Office of Higher Education ensures consumer protection for students and prospective students. It collaborates with schools to ensure compliance, with state statutes and regulations.
What defines a private occupational school? It refers to any entity or organization that offers instruction in trades, industries, commercial sectors or service occupations in exchange for payment or rewards. These schools do not grant degrees. Offer collegiate credit.
What types of schools does the Office of Higher Education authorize? The Office of Higher Education has given approval to a variety of schools that offer training programs leading to entry level employment. These schools provide a range of programs, including electronics, automotive training, dog grooming, bartending, certified nurses aid and massage therapy.
If you are considering enrolling in one of these programs it is important to understand the tuition refund and cancellation policy. Make sure to read and comprehend the schools policy regarding refunds and cancellations before signing the enrollment agreement. If you find it confusing or need clarification from the school seek assistance before making any commitments. You can also reach out to the Office of Higher Education for support.
When it comes to occupational school “recruiters ” it is essential to know their role. Recruiters are employed by the school with the purpose of enrolling students; they are not school counselors. It is important to note that recruiters cannot demand payment for placement or referrals from students. The contact information for each recruiter should be provided in the schools roster submitted to the Office of Higher Education.
Lastly if you are considering grants or guaranteed student loans, for financing your education there are factors you should be aware of.A student can receive a grant based on their income eligibility, which they don’t have to pay for example the federal government provides Pell grants). Guaranteed student loans are low interest loans through the Federal Guaranteed Student Loan Program. It’s your decision whether or not to apply for such a loan – the school cannot force you to do. Keep in mind that if you use borrowed money from a lender to pay for tuition you’re responsible for repaying the loan in full along with interest as per the loan agreement terms. Failing to repay the loan can negatively impact your credit score. May lead to legal consequences. It could also disqualify you from receiving financial aid in the future.
You have the right to choose a lender for a guaranteed student loan. The school cannot require you to apply with a lender or lending institution. However they can suggest one. If they do they must also provide information about your right and ability to seek a loan, from another lender and disclose any origination fees associated with these loans. Before signing any documents make sure you thoroughly read and understand all information and applications related to aid grants and loans.
Will my credits from a vocational school be transferable to other educational institutions? The decision to accept credits from another institution depends on the policies of the receiving institution. To obtain information it is recommended that you reach out directly to the institution you are considering attending.
What is the distinction between authorization and accreditation? A school obtains approval or authorization from the Executive Director of the Office of Higher Education in order to operate in Connecticut. This is the level of approval. Once a school receives this approval it has the option to voluntarily seek accreditation from an accrediting council recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation involves an evaluation process where a school must meet standards set by an independent accrediting council. If a school meets these evaluation standards and receives accreditation it may then apply for financial aid, under Title IV.
How often do schools need to renew their authorizations? Schools are required to receive an authorization and then undergo three annual renewal visits. After the annual visit a school may be eligible for an extended authorization period of up to five years.