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SPECIAL SECTION


CAREERS& EDUCATION


LETHBRIDGE HERALD – TUESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2020 – PAGE 1


Exploringschoolandprogramoptions University or the


trades?Diploma or degree?Workplace


trainingor classroom learning?


O


nce you've identified a career direction and the education and training you need to make it a reality, your next step is to


explore schools and programs. With over 2,000 post-secondary


programs accredited and recognized in Alberta, you have many choices. • Search for post-secondary training


and programs in Alberta. • Learn about apprenticeship


programs. • Find out about distance education


options and making distance learning work for you. • Search for schools and programs


outside Alberta. Which post-secondary schools


should I attend? When similar education or training


programs are offered by different institutions, howdo you knowwhich programwould be best for you? The following tips can help you make


sure that the certificate, diploma or degree you earn will be one employers respect. They can also help you choose a post-secondary school that will provide the type of learning environment in which you learn best. The most important thing you need to


knowis why you want to take an education or training program.What is your goal? If you knowwhere you want the training to take you, it is much easier to decide which programwill get you there. For help deciding what you want,


check out Career Planning on the Alberta Learning Information Service website, alis.ab.ca, or visit CAREERinsite. Make sure you are aware of all the


education and training programs that might fill your needs. Find out if there are less formal methods of acquiring the knowledge and skills you are looking for. For example, on-the-job training or distance education courses might suit your situation better than full-time classroom-based learning. For help identifying education and


training alternatives, see Educational Programs onOCCinfo orMany Training PathsDevelop Skills and Knowledge.


Get answers to your questions Once you’ve identified programs that


could get you started in the direction you want to go, you'll probably have a number of questions about those programs. What are the application deadlines? What are the entrance requirements? Is your chosen programa “quota


program” with limited enrolment? If so, what grades are generally required to gain admission? Does the programstart in September?


Or are there other possible entry dates? Does the programinclude a work


experience component? If so, is it volunteer work or are students paid for their work?Who is responsible for arranging the work experience? What percentage of graduates find related employment?


Howmuch do tuition, books and supplies cost? The best source of information about


a particular programis the institution that offers the program.You can contact post-secondary institutions directly and request print materials, or look for the information you need on theirwebsites. If you don’t have easy access to the


Internet, check out the career counselling offices and libraries in your area. Collections of post-secondary institution calendars can be found in Alberta Supports Centres located throughout the province. Use print or Internet resources to


gather some basic information about your programoptions.Once you’ve done that, it’s a good idea to talk to people connected with each program. Good people to talk to include the following: • programinstructors • representatives of applicable


professional associations or licensing bodies • employers who are likely to hire


programgraduates • programgraduates themselves


Finding and contacting these people


may take some determined networking, but it’swell worth the effort. For example, if employers tell you they prefer to hire graduates of a different program, that’s definitely something you want to knowbefore you enroll. Your choice of institution may be influenced by any or all of the following considerations: • location (howclose it is to your


home) • size (whether you prefer the learning


environment at a smaller or larger institution) • type of institution (for example,


in your subject field • costs (for example, tuition, books


and accommodation) • the type of student services and


facilities offered (for example, counselling services and housing)


Most post-secondary institutions


have open houses or information sessions. These are a great opportunity to look around the campus, experience the learning environment, ask about programcontent and find out what student life is like.


Transfer courses You’ll need to find out whether your


courses or programs are transferable between post-secondary institutions and what transfer credit you may be awarded.Use the online Search Tool to access transfer information and summaries of institutions’ transfer agreements.


Phone: 780-422-9021 in Edmonton.


Or call 310-0000 toll-free and enter the 10 digit telephone number.Deaf or hard of hearing callers with TTD/TTY units can call 780-427-9999 or 1-800-232-7215 toll-free. Fax: 780-422-3688 Email: acat@gov.ab.ca


It’s important to understand your


education options. By comparing post- secondary institutions and the programs they offer, you can find the learning environment and programthat is right for you. From the Alberta Learning


Information Service (https//alis.alberta.ca)


religious affiliation) • the institution’s academic reputation


Earn up to $6,000 Apply by March 15


ulethbridge.ca/future-student


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