Students in Saskatchewan have many choices when it comes to their post-secondary education. When you make decisions about your post-secondary studies, there are several things you should consider. Regardless of what kind of institution or program you are considering, getting answers to the following questions will give you a better understanding of your options. Not all of these questions will necessarily apply to all institutions or programs; however, they do cover most possibilities.
Preparedness and Resources
- Does the program suit my interests and career goals?
- Do I have the time, energy and financial resources required to be successful in the program?
- What type of job am I seeking when I finish the program and how much money do I hope to earn? Are my expectations realistic?
- Have I investigated my options thoroughly through research, visiting institutions and speaking with potential employers?
Visiting the School
- Is the institution a pleasant and comfortable place to spend my time in?
- Did the institution make the information I asked for available to me?
- What are the pre-requisites for admission?
- How many students apply for the course or program and how many are accepted?
- Do I need to take a test to be considered for acceptance? If so, what score do I need to achieve to be considered?
- Are there waitlists for the program or courses I am interested in?
- Is the tuition cost of one program much more or less than a similar program I have encountered? If so, why is it?
- Are books and equipment included in the tuition fee?
- Is it possible for me to borrow resource materials, or do they need to be purchased?
- If I need to repeat a course or subject, will I have to pay for it?
- What are the institution's policies for refunding tuition in case of withdrawal or dismissal?
- What is included in the price of tuition? What other costs are necessary for me to complete the program?
- Are grants, bursaries or scholarships available?
- Beyond the costs of tuition, what can I expect my cost of living expenses to be while I am attending school?
- Is the institution designated under the Saskatchewan Student Financial Assistance Program so that I may be eligible to apply for student loans?
- Is there anyone at the institution to help me to submit an application for student assistance?
- Can someone at the institution help me estimate my potential loan amount?
- Does my potential loan award cover both your tuition and basic living expenses?
- When will I be expected to start repaying my debt?
Employment Opportunities and Job Placement
- Is it expected that there will continue to be opportunities in the field I have chosen?
- What types of employers have hired recent graduates of the program?
- Does the institution offer job placement services? What do these services involve?
- Does the institution have any information about how many previous graduates of the program have been successful in finding jobs?
- Is a practicum or work term component a mandatory part of the program? How long is it? Is the work term paid? Will I have to relocate?
- Will the institution arrange a practicum for me or am I expected to take on that responsibility?
- Will my potential employers recognize this training?
Registration, Accreditation and Licensing
- Does the appropriate governing body or professional association approve the institution/program?
- Is the approval up-to-date?
- If the institution is privately operated, is it registered with the Ministry of Advanced Education as a private vocational school?
- Does the program have the proper consents, approvals or accreditations?
- Is the credential that I would achieve through the program recognized by the profession or industry?
- How many students of the program pass the licensing exams necessary to enter the profession?
- What are the institution's policies for resolving student complaints?
- Is there an institutional code of conduct?
- What are the institution's rules for a student's attendance, behaviour and attire?
- Where is information on the institution's policies available?
- Will I have to sign a student enrolment contract?
Facilities, Services and Equipment
- Is there any tutoring, advising or support service available?
- Are classes a reasonable size for one instructor? What's the institution's student/instructor ratio?
- Will I have reasonable access to the equipment and resources I will need in the course of my studies?
- Is there enough equipment, tools or laboratory space for each student?
- What type of equipment is used, and how does it measure up to what industry uses?
- If my training involves software, what software is being taught, and how does it relate to knowledge I will need for employment?
Training and Instruction
- How long is the course or program?
- Does the program cover all of the subject matter I am hoping to learn?
- What percentage of the training or instruction is theory and what percentage practical experience?
- What are the qualifications of instructors?
- Do instructors have the necessary licences or credentials in order to deliver the instruction?
- What are the completion/dropout rates for the program/institution/campus?
- What are the pass/fail rates for the program/institution/campus?
Course and Program Transfer
- Does the institution have any transfer arrangements with other institutions?
- What opportunities for further education will I have after I graduate?
- Will other post-secondary institutions recognize the training, and if so, how much credit will they assign?
Adapted from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, British Columbia.