Every time a client asks me why they should open a vocational school, one of my favorite quotes comes to mind: “Be the change you want to see in the world."
Opening a vocational school is truly a life-changing decision. It can provide you with the opportunity to help others find their true calling in life and achieve their dreams.
Vocational schools and their graduates are indispensable to our country’s workforce and economy. They’re in high demand, and might just be the perfect option for you if you’re looking to build a school.
So how do you open a vocational school? Here are a few quick steps.
First, decide on the programs that you’ll offer. Hire top-tier subject matter experts in the field of study that you’ll teach and have them design the best curriculum for you.
Your success depends to a great extent on how strong your curriculum is. Keep in mind that in many cases, the curriculum might be built out for you. For example, if you’re opening a nursing school, in most states the board of nursing is very prescriptive about how they want the curriculum to be.
Think about how students will be taught, and prepared for post-school work life. Do they need labs to master the skills that you are teaching them? Do they need an internship program? Where are they going to complete the practical parts of the program? Do you have the facilities where they can do that, or do you need to sign an agreement with other facilities so they can practice in them? These are all very important questions.
Next, come up with a business plan.
A business plan is your roadmap to success. It details everything from facilities and staffing to marketing strategy, operational procedures, as well as safety standards, and improvement plans.
A solid business plan can also help you get funding for your vocational school. Plan for everything - from desks to lab equipment; from phone lines to advertising; include as many details as you can, even spare pens and fire extinguishers.
THIRD: PREPARE YOUR COURSE CATALOG
Preparing your course catalog is the next important step. Your catalog should include all your academic policies, student grievance and student conduct procedures, in addition to program and curriculum information. For students, the catalog is not just a list of classes, it serves as both a guide and a source of information for them.
STEP 4 - FIND INDUSTRY PARTNERS
Building relationships with industry partners will grow your business. For vocational schools, industry partners are important for two main reasons: they ensure that your curriculum is up-to-date and relevant to current practices, and they help in the job placement of your graduates
STEP 5 - PREPARE YOUR START-UP CAPITAL
Just like any kind of business, you need start-up capital, and a huge percentage of it should go to your marketing efforts.
I recommend you take a look at our helpful video “How much does it cost to open a college or university?
Finally, apply for a state license.
All states require that a school’s business plan, faculty, and curriculum be approved by the relevant agency BEFORE the school opens. You won’t even be able to advertise until you’ve been given the go-ahead.
Hopefully, this makes things easier for you as you begin thinking about opening your vocational school. Just remember the best trade and vocation of them all is bringing out the best in your students.
To learn more about vocational schools, explore our links.
And be sure to check out our next video "How do I open an allied health or nursing school?" As always, feel free to give me a call or Contact Us with any questions you may have. I’ve been helping clients establish universities in the US for over a decade, and I’m looking forward to helping you, too.