Prospective Students’ Concerns Often Involve Fear of the Unknown
“Can I afford this?”
“How will I get to school?”
“Will I be able to handle the course material?”
“What if I don’t fit in?”
If you’re considering attending a career school and you’ve asked yourself these questions, you’re not alone.
“Fear is the number one thing people need to overcome,” says Peggy Vallone, Admissions and Student Advocate at Salter’s Fall River campus. “People ask ‘Is this really doable?’ They’re usually concerned on many levels, including personally and financially. Some people even say ‘I was terrible at school, how do I know if I can do this?’”
Kevin Sanderson, Campus Director at the Tewksbury campus, often hears similar sentiments. “They want to know about class schedules, how they’ll pay for school, and what their fellow classmates will be like.”
So how can potential students ensure that they’re good fit for a school before they decide to enroll?
Schedule a Visit
“You can do research online and you can call, but that doesn’t give you a feel for the place,” says Sanderson. “Being on campus allows you to tap into the buzz – and this is really a dynamic place.”
“Visiting the campus is really useful,” adds Vallone. “Often people will come in for the tour and go ‘Oh, look, she’s older, he’s younger, she has two kids …’ It really allows them to see that we have a very diverse population.”
An Active Learning Environment
“The students who succeed here are active learners,” says Sanderson. “All of our programs are mostly hands-on, where students are on their feet learning. Even coding and billing, which is obviously computer-based, is hands-on. We have very few general education classes. It’s all very focused learning to build specific skills.”
Vallone adds that the learning environment can be a big factor in why some people claim to have not done well in previous school settings. “No one does well at something they don’t like. We all learn differently. Some people aren’t auditory learners – that is, they’re not going to ‘get’ something by listening to a lecture. They may be visual learners that need to see a concept in action.”
In addition, Vallone states that mentoring, tutoring, and other resources are available to students who’d like extra help. And if students had individualized education plans (IEPs) in previous school experiences, that information can be used to help instructors understand the most effective ways to present information.
Making Connections That Matter
“Being on campus, seeing the breakroom and the cafeteria, and talking to other students is a great way to begin to connect with potential classmates,” says Vallone. “People can come in and check out the bulletin board or our ride-share program to see if there’s someone they can carpool with.”
Prospective students can also meet with Salter’s financial aid advisors. “Financial aid can be daunting,” says Vallone. “We can’t do it for people. But our financial aid staff can guide them through the process. They’ll tell people what to bring in and help them figure out what they qualify for.”
What’s the best reason to visit? “We get to connect on a human level and take the mystery out of the school experience,” says Vallone. “People really walk away with a sense of what our campus is about.”
Want to see for yourself? Schedule a tour at one of Salter’s campuses in Fall River, Malden, Tewksbury, or New Bedford.