Choosing a school is a very important decision that should be made with care. Beware of misleading advertising about an educational opportunity that sounds too good to be true. It most likely is not a legitimate degree. As consumers, students should thoroughly investigate the options available to them before making a decision. Students invest hard work, time and money in their education and expect that education to pay-off in employment, career enhancement, and/or a career change. The information provided below can help with that decision-making process.
Finding a School
The state of Kansas offers several ways to help locate a Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) approved school. Enclosed is a listing of schools approved by KBOR. To help ensure schools selected will not disappoint, consider the following:
- Call the human resource department of the businesses in the field under consideration. Ask what education/training and credentials they look for in prospective employees. Find out if openings in the field are plentiful and what schools best prepare their employees.
- Call the school and ask for its graduation rates. Also ask for the percentages of students who pass their licensing exams and/or get placed in jobs.
- Request the names and phone numbers of recent graduates. Ask if the training was useful and if they found work.
- If the school is accredited, write or call the accrediting agency and ask for the results of the school's latest review.
- Contact an employment or career counselor and ask about schools in the field that you want to pursue.
- Call KBOR’s Director of Private Postsecondary Education at (785) 296-4917 and ask about the school's compliance history, any complaints that may have been filed by students, or the findings from recent visits to the school.
Click here to learn more about public institutions in Kansas.
Click here to learn more about private and out-of-state institutions authorized to operate in Kansas.
Once you have identified potential schools, you will want to request school catalogs and/or access to that information online. This information will define the workings of the school and outline the courses of instruction offered. As you learn about the schools and their programs, ask yourself the following:
- Will the course of instruction qualify me for employment in my chosen field?
- Am I capable of and sufficiently interested in pursuing and completing the total program?
- Is this school the best source of training in the field and are there other public, private, or vocational options?
- Do I really need to complete this program to be employed in this field and are my prospects of getting a job improved if I complete the program?
- Is the cost of the course of instruction reasonable for the amount of training provided?
- Am I financially able to pay for the program?
It is also good to check with any agency in the state of Kansas where a license is required to verify that the education you are considering will meet their license requirements. If you want to be a certified teacher, call the Kansas Department of Education 785-296-8012; for nursing call the Kansas Board of Nursing 785-296-4929, etc.
Enrollment Agreement and School Representatives
Some KBOR approved schools require students to sign an "enrollment agreement." This document is a binding, legal contract between the student and the school. These schools usually have representatives whose job is to enroll students into the schools' programs. Do not be in any hurry to sign an agreement. If you are not completely satisfied, delay making a decision. If the proposition is legitimate, it will be as good next week as it is today. Before you sign anything, ask yourself the following questions:
- If an enrollment agreement is executed in any location other than the school itself, does the school representative have a permit issued by KBOR?
- Is the representative able to give evidence supporting any claims made about job opportunities, placement rates, and salaries or wages to be earned?
- Is the representative giving you time to think about your options or is she/he pressuring you to sign quickly?
- Have you read the enrollment agreement carefully, including the fine print, asked questions about points not understood, and taken time to reflect on the obligations listed on the contract?
- Does the enrollment agreement clearly state the cost of the program, method of payment, provisions for cancellation, and the school's refund policy?
- Before signing, have you thoroughly investigated the school and its course of instruction and costs involved?
Transfer of credit to another institution
The transfer of credits is a decision made by the receiving school. No institution should tell an individual that their courses will transfer unless they can show a written agreement listing specific transfer courses. If an individual knows that he/she wants to attend another school, it is always wise to call the second school to ask if they take credits from the first school.