Virginia Career College Association
Creating Successful Careers for Virginians -- One Student at a Time!

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT PRIVATE CAREER EDUCATION

ABOUT PRIVATE CAREER EDUCATION

Private career institutions comprise the largest career training segment in the United States, accounting for over 50% of all post secondary occupational/technical training. These institutions have experienced a significant increase of enrollments in the past decade due to major shifts in the economy and employment market. Private career institutions were established in the 1800's when independent institutions responded to the increasing demand for skilled workers in factories and offices. Almost two centuries later, they are continuing the tradition of providing career education for today's changing employment needs.

Private career institutions produce the vast majority of computer technology graduates and electronics technicians in Virginia. Statewide, 69% of all electronics technicians and 86% of all computer technicians come from private career institutions.

Accredited private career institutions report that 78% of their graduates are placed in a job within six months of graduation. Over 90% of these students find employment in a field directly related to their training.

Private career institutions are successful because they offer short-term, intensive, practical education. This approach enables students to prepare quickly for entry-level employment. Classes are small, student-centered, and involve hands-on experience with business and technical equipment. Students attending private career institutions have the unique opportunity to complete relevant career training programs and enter the employment market quickly.

This directory is intended to provide general information about private career institutions approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The information includes the name, address, telephone number, academic programs offered, tuition range, admission requirements and other important data for each institution. Institutions are listed alphabetically, as are program offerings.

Data for this directory was provided by the institutions themselves and is subject to change. For additional information please contact each institution. For more information about Virginia's private career institutions please contact:

CHOOSING A PRIVATE CAREER COLLEGE OR INSTITUTION

This is one of the most important decisions an individual will ever make and great care should be taken to choose the right institution. In order to find out about the institutions that train for your chosen career, talk to your counselor for information about careers and institutions. Write to the institutions that sound interesting and ask for information about the courses, tuition costs, admission requirements, and placement rates. Visit the institution. See firsthand what the students do and what training is like in a trade and technical institution. Talk to the instructors and to students. Ask them about the training. If possible, talk to graduates of the institution and contact employers that hire the institution's graduates. Here are some questions that should be asked when considering any specific institution.

  • What courses are offered? How long will it normally take to complete the course in which I am interested? What skills should I have when I finish?

  • What equipment will I be able to use while attending the institution? Is this the kind of equipment I will use when I go to work? May I tour the campus and talk to enrolled students?

  • Will the institution help me get a job? May I have a list of employers who have hired graduates from this institution?
  • Is the institution accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting commission? Which one?
  • What percentage of the students finish their programs? Are they employed in the field for which they studied?
  • How much does it cost? How do I qualify for financial aid? What are my obligations if I receive this aid? What is the refund policy in case I cannot finish the program?

All VCCA member institutions should willingly answer these questions.

STATE APPROVAL OF PRIVATE CAREER INSTITUTIONS

Proprietary institutions are regulated by the State Council of Higher Education, or other state agencies, depending upon the programs offered. Institutions must meet the following minimum requirements prior to operating in Virginia:

1. The institution must have adequate financial resources to equip the programs and maintain instruction.

2. Instructors and administrative staff must possess certain qualifications as set forth in regulation.

3. The location must meet applicable fire safety, building code and sanitation requirements.

4. Submit curriculum information for review and approval prior to offering instruction. The course of study must conform to state, federal, trade or manufacturing standards of training for the occupational fields in which such standards have been established or must conform to recognized training practices in those fields.

5. Adequate financial and educational records must be kept on each student.

6. Institutions must maintain surety bonds and/or pay into a tuition guaranty fund to protect the students .

7. Tuition refund policies must be published and adhered to.

8. Advertising must be free of fraudulent or misleading statements.

9. No institution may deny enrollment to any student on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin or sex.

10. Provide a listing of the equipment, training aids and textbooks used for instruction in each course or program.

ABBREVIATIONS FOR GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

BIA - Bureau of Indian Affairs

DHR - Department of Human Resources

DOL - Department of Labor

FAA - Federal Aviation Administration

HEW - Department of Health, Education and Welfare

INS - Immigration and Naturalization Service

JTPA - Job Training Partnership Act

PIC - Private Industry Council

SS - Social Security Administration

VA - Department of Veterans Affairs

VR - Vocation Rehabilitation