Explore vocational options

After graduating from high school many students wonder what they should do next. While some decide to attend a four-year university or community college, others choose to go to a vocational school.

Vocational schools offer employment training for adults interested in a wide range of occupations.

Ten percent of Leon County high school graduates attend a vocational school, according to the 2001 Florida Department of Education web site.

Lively Technical Center in Tallahassee provides hands on training for careers in accounting operations, medical assistance, web design services and TV production, among others.

Lively Technical Center has an estimated 1,500 student enrollment rate with a 90 percent graduation rate. And while there is no job recruitment fair, the job placement rate is 75 percent, said MaryAnn Blackburn, the intake specialist at Lively.

“Speaking from experience with my daughter, some people are not ready for college and college is not for everyone,” Blackburn said.

Vocational schools offer an alternative to students who just can’t get into the rhythm of a university.

“I went to a university and after a semester decided college wasn’t for me,” said Brian Green, 21, a computer programming student from Tallahassee.

“At a vocational school I am able to get more prepared for my job, by getting more of a hands on training.”

Core Institute School of Massage Therapy & Structural Bodywork in Tallahassee provides students with on-site training to become licensed massage therapists.

Each year the institute enrolls 80 students out of 300 applicants. Providing day or evening classes, Core has a 90 percent graduation rate and an 80 percent job placement rate.

George Kousaleos, the founder and executive director of Core Institute, said many of the students at the institute are FAMU, FSU or TCC students who major in a medical-related field.

Some students also use the institute as a stepping-stone before entering medical school. “There are students who perform better when taught hands on and use visual skills versus audio and theory teaching,” Kousaleos said.