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Voc-Tech Enrollment Increases Almost 200 Percent Since 2009

In 2009 the Ocean County Voc-Tech had 435 registered students in the evening classes. This year so far, there are 1236 registered students.

l, located in Toms River, is seeing record numbers of students registering for classes.

Frank Folinus, director of the Adult Education Division since 1992, attributes much of the school’s increase in registration to the tuition costs, which are quite low when compared to other colleges in the area, as well as the circumstances people are finding themselves in during the current economic situation.

“People come here to change their careers, or to begin a career that will keep them employable,” said Folinus.

In 2009 the school had 435 registered students in the evening classes. This year so far, there are 1236 registered students, an increase of 184 percent.

“We have over 40 courses closed due to full enrollment,” said Folinus, “and for most of those closed classes we have lengthy waiting lists.”

Aside from acting as a satellite campus for Ocean County high schools to utilize for students interested in trade classes that the high schools don’t have facilities for, the school offers classes in the evening for adults age 18 and older as part of the Adult Education Division — and these courses are where the school is seeing the increase in registration.

The course offerings in the Adult Education Division range from career-type classes and programs centered around career trades such as a Plumbing, Certified Fitness Trainer and Welding to avocational courses, meaning courses that don’t necessary lead to a career but are designed around people’s interests and hobbies, such as culinary seminars including learning to cook vegetarian cuisine, basic computer courses or introductory boat engine repair.

The tuition for classes range depending on the hours involved. For example, some of the cooking classes cost as little as $35 for three hours where the Certified Fitness Trainer classes (a total of 144 hours) will cost $630. 

The school is adding more classes every quarter to accommodate the waiting lists and student requests but Folinus and staff also are keeping an eye on upcoming trades that will be in demand in the near future, such as an Electronic Health Records Specialist. According to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Health Services is one of the most in demand jobs in Ocean County and with the Medicare mandate that all patient medical records be put into electronic form by 2014, a Health Records Specialist will be very much in demand.

Aside from vocational and avocational courses, the school offers a low cost and very popular Career Counseling seminar to help people determine what skill sets or career paths most interest them. Said Folinus, “that will probably be the best $40 you’ve ever spent.”

For more information on the course list, visit www.ocvts.org or call 732-473-3100, extension 1000.

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