Could President Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts Affect Your Trade School?

In late May, President Trump released his first full budget proposal, titled “A New Foundation for American Greatness.” The plan includes significant cuts to government agencies to free up funds for increased defense spending. Trump’s 2018 budget calls for a 21% decrease in Labor Department funding, including a $1.3 billion cut to programs associated with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

WIOA, which was signed into law in July 2014, funds grants that help job seekers get the training, education, and support they need to secure employment. Thus, cuts to WIOA funding mean cuts to critical job-training programs—like those offered by trade schools. Without WIOA funding for vocational training, many trade schools could experience a drop in enrollment. In turn, industries that rely on the skilled labor force could experience a shortage of properly trained workers.

The good news? The President’s proposed budget isn’t set in stone. According to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), “The President’s budget is a suggestion. We will take a close look at his budget, but Congress is mandated by the Constitution with key spending responsibilities and will ultimately decide what the nation’s fiscal priorities will be.” This means the WIOA could still be fully funded in 2018.

The bad news? The proposed budget cuts indicate that the current administration doesn’t fully understand the benefits of vocational training and apprenticeships. To turn this around and influence the President’s workforce development approach, trade schools need to step up and spread awareness of the viable career paths that exist beyond a traditional four-year college education.

Has Your Trade School Adopted Modern Learning Principles?

Important shifts are happening in education today. With access to a world of knowledge online and opportunities to obtain degrees and certifications from countless schools and institutions, modern students are empowered to take ownership of their learning.

What does this mean for your trade school?

To be effective, schools need to shift their focus towards developing students as engaged learners. Educators must stray from irrelevant, dated systems of education and develop new ways to prepare students for the ever-evolving workforce.

According to Gallup, only a third of business owners say students are graduating with the necessary skills to succeed in their companies. How can you reverse this trend and differentiate your school as an innovative educator?  Will Richardson and Bruce Dixon, both recognized as thought leaders in education and learning technology, recently published a whitepaper entitled, 10 Principles of Modern Schools. These 10 principles detail how education providers can adapt to today’s modern world and help students live up to their potential as learners:

  1. Have clearly articulated and shared beliefs about learning that are lived in every classroom.
  2. Live a mission and a vision deeply informed by new contexts for learning.
  3. Have cultures where personal, self-determined learning is at the center of student and teacher work.
  4. See curriculum as something that is co-constructed to meet the needs and interests of the student.
  5. Embrace and emphasize real-world application and presentation to real audiences as assessment for learning.
  6. See transparency and sharing as fundamental to a powerful learning environment.
  7. Use technology first and foremost as an amplifier for learning, creating, making, connecting, communicating, collaborating, and problem solving.
  8. Develop and communicate in powerful ways new stories of learning, teaching, and modern contexts for schooling.
  9. Encourage community-wide participation in the equitable, effective education of students.
  10. Embrace and anticipate constant change and evolution.

To learn more about creating a culture of modern learning at your trade school, check out Modern Learner’s e-book below.

“10 Principles for Schools of Modern Learning”

The Key to Boosting Enrollment at Your Trade School

Over the last five years, post-secondary enrollments have been on the decline. Many believe this steady drop in college attendance numbers is largely linked to lack of affordability. And they aren’t wrong. Young adults are increasingly leaving four-year institutions with mounds of debt and no job prospects.

The good news is that there is another option: trade school. Trade schools are significantly cheaper than traditional colleges, the programs they offer can typically be completed far faster, and the job outlook after graduation is usually pretty bright. Even so, these schools are not without affordability issues.

Many people considering trade school are looking to break into an in-demand field—such as manufacturing, healthcare, or engineering. They believe learning a trade and swiftly entering the workforce is a better path than attending a traditional college. But here’s the thing: these willing trade school applicants often need financial aid to afford the necessary skills training. One study found that low-income students are 3.5 times more likely to attend for-profit institutions like trade schools than higher-income students

If you work in the trade school industry, you should know that offering school financing options is the key to increasing enrollments. Sure, you can up your marketing game to garner more interest in your school, but it won’t do much good if those who are interested can’t afford to attend. Providing custom financing that brings in students who otherwise couldn’t afford the tuition is the best way to increase the number of eligible applicants and, subsequently, enrollments.

Trade schools are likely to continue growing in popularity among those looking to streamline their education and career advancement (and cut down on educational debt). And the schools that best give under-served students a way to pay for school will see the most success.

The Case for Trade School Over College

Why is this important?

With the average millennial taking on close to $30,000 in student loan debt, trade schools not only cost a fraction of what private and public schools cost, but they also allow you to enter the workforce much sooner. In contrast to the days of only being offered to those looking to become a mechanic or cosmetician, these schools offer an enormous variety of professional training to choose from.

Check out some of the following articles for more insight on why trade and career schools are starting to look like the education of our future!