What is a private vocational schools? MOST are post-secondary. That means additional education AFTER someone completes High School with a Diploma or Equivalency. Although a few Schools allow High School Students to be enrolled. Few OBPVS Schools offer 4-year (or longer) Degrees. Instead, OBPVS-licensed Schools provide Completion Certificates, Non-Degree Diplomas, and a few Associate Degrees. The training from an OBPVS School typically prepares the graduate for an entry-level position in his or her chosen field.
Typical OBPVS Schools do not operate on the 2-semseter system like High School. Instead, the Schools run year-round and do not take long summer breaks. Running year-round, many Schools also offer shorter terms, for example 10-weeks. At some, student may take only 1 or 2 classes at a time in each term of their Program to concentrate on those materials. Year-round means that completion can be quicker for the graduate to get started working and being paid to work.
In addition, many Schools offer multiple training sessions a day. Some even use morning, afternoon, and evening sessions on weekdays, plus a Saturday or weekend session. Doing so, allows the Student to work part- or full-time while going to School. That alone reduces the total amount of any loans taken out. Lots of OBPVS Schools even post "Job Boards" for Students to find jobs compatible with ALSO attending classes. Remember! Loans are legal contracts and at some point will have to start to be re-paid. You should NOT count on Loan Cancellations such as those by the U.S. Department of Education that started with the COVID Pandemic. Those were unprecedented actions. While some Loans allow the Student to take out EXTRA monies for living expenses (rent, car payments, utilities), that just means more to pay back later on!
How to Get Started?
In Oklahoma, available jobs for High School graduates (or those without a High School completion) are expected to continuously decline over the next couple of decades. But, to find a good job and make a good living, does not always required a 4-year (or longer) degree. In some fields, yes, but NOT for all careers. If you are considering acquiring education post-high school here are some steps to take:
- Talk to someone (or more than 1 person) who works in the field that interests you:
- Ask them what their job is REALLY like (good and bad)?
- What are their best and worst days like?
- Ask how and where they got their start?
- On most of the toughest days (very hot doing Welding, very cold doing Plumbing, or dealing with lots of cranky patients) is the job still rewarding and "worth it"?
- Talk to a business(es) that hires people for the job that interests you. Ask them:
- If they do hire people with the Credential that interests you?
- What their experience has been (if any) with graduates from the School(s) that interest you?
- Can New Hires get started on the job quickly (right away), or does the business have to do a lot of its own training?
- Visit more than 1 school, if at all possible, to make your own comparisons.
- Take a tour.
- Is the atmosphere something you'd be comfortable with for the months or year-plus of training?
- If permitted, sit in on a class, silently, to observe what a class is like.
- If there are Clinicals, Internships, or Externships ask the names of some of the facilities (businesses) where the School's students currently get their hands-on practice.
- Do those places seem like they would offer good experience/practice?
- If allowed, ask to speak with a Student who is currently over half the way through with the Program that you are considering. Ask them:
- Is the training about like what they expected?
- What are the best and worst parts of training?
- How much of the Program is sitting in a classroom, and how much is hands-on?
- Then, take a little time to decide if the Program and the School seems right for you.
- ALWAYS remember, "Buyer Beware." If something sounds too good to be true, count on that being the case. Yes. There are people and businesses in the education sector that are in it to "rip people off." To learn more about Scams, check out the Federal Fair Trade Commission (FTC) link of the Forms and Resources Page.
FAQs for Student Information
The Frequently Asked Questions section of the website and corresponding answers are intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice nor should be considered such, neither is it intended to be an exhaustive reference on the Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational School’s laws.
Other Useful Resources
These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by OBPVS of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. The OBPVS bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links.
Types of Schools
Animals & Wellness
Do you have a passion for working with people or animals? Since you were a little kid, did being around others (animal or human) fascinate you . . . or gross you out? OBPVS Schools offer alternative Training Programs in these fields. Year after year, many of the wellness fields (like nursing, dental assisting, and phlebotomy) are included in Oklahoma's own Critical Occupations. Those ae the jobs that expected to have the largest shortages of available employees over the next 5 years.
- Dog Grooming
- Dental Assisting
- Yoga Teacher
- Nursing Students
Instead of being around animals or people, do you have a mechanical aptitude? Do you like to "build or fix things," or to "operate machinery"? From Heavy Equipment to Big Rig (Over the Road) Trucks to Aeronautics . . . many of these fields also frequently appear on this State's Critical Occupations. Do you want to impact people's lives and business operations on a daily basis? Think about Heating & Air, Electrical Technology, Auto or Diesel Repair, etc.
- Truck Driving
- Heavy Equipment
- Aeronautics & Aviation
- Car Bodywork
If animals and wellness or heavy equipment don't seem to be your thing, there is a large variety of "Other" training available from OBPVS-licensed Schools. Such training includes wide-ranging Programs such as Ballet, Bookkeeping, multiple Computer-related occupations, Court Reporting, Early Childhood Ed., Medical Billing & Coding, Office Technologies, Paralegal, Security Guard (CLEET), Sound Engineering, and more.
- Cyber Security
- Medical Coding
- Court Reporter
- Unarmed Guards & Firearms