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Saving money on college through career-technical education

Harry Snyder, President/CEO

“Price of College Increasing Almost 8 Times Faster Than Wages,” reads a June 2018 headline in Forbes magazine.  A recent USA Today story said the “Rising cost of college (is) creating a financial Harry Snyderhole for parents, students.”   The author recommends that parents of young children begin saving more, sooner.

Fortunately, there are other options for college-bound students.  Career-technical education in high school can lower the cost of college.

At Great Oaks, every high school student can earn college credit before graduating in one or more ways:

  • Articulation agreements with partner colleges and universities provide credit for students who are majoring in fields that align with their high school program. For instance, Construction Framing and Finishing students can earn 10.5 college credits toward a degree in Construction Management at Hocking College. Industrial Diesel Mechanics students can start at the College of Applied Technology at the University of Northwestern Ohio with 12 credit hours.  Many Great Oaks programs have articulation agreements in place.
  • Career-Technical Credit Transfer is an Ohio program that aligns career-technical programs with college degree programs at Ohio public colleges and universities. Currently, 26 of Great Oaks’ 32 career programs qualify for college credit through this process.
  • College Credit Plus classes offer all Ohio students the chance to go to a local college or university and take classes while still in high school. Those college classes are offered at Great Oaks campuses, so Great Oaks students can take them during their regular school day without leaving school.

Career-technical students can also get a financial boost toward earning a college degree:

  • Employers may pay college tuition for valuable employees. For example, it’s not uncommon for graduates of our Precision Machining program to be sent to engineering school by the companies that hire them.
  • The professional credential that graduates earn can help them save for college. A cosmetology license, FAA Airframe Mechanic license, LPN, or other credentials give grads the chance to start working right after high school in jobs that pay considerably more than minimum wage.

We sometimes hear community members say that career-technical education is a great option for those who aren’t going to college.  What we know, and what the evidence shows, is that it’s also an excellent, cost-effective path for those who plan to go on to college.