If the Purpose of Education is enlightenment, then obtaining a degree is not the final frontier. Many of the successful entrepreneurs and artists would agree to this point that the knowledge obtained through real world experiences is far more valuable and resourceful.
There are many universities that provide students with the luxury to take classes on campus without enrolling in any degree program. Such programs may not come with the essential credentials at the end, but they are still preferred by those who are looking for a learning experience in US. The benefit of such programs extends further, with the availability of courses that can satiate every little interest.
The omnipresent and easily accessible Summer Schools
Almost every university in the US offers courses during the summer. These courses are open to everyone. Unlike the degree programs, the Summer schools do not have tedious admission processes. Even their eligibility criterion is pretty much lenient. The only grudge here is that, the syllabus that is normally covered in 12-15 weeks is covered in less than 5 weeks. The entire course is going to be pretty much fast-paced. Also, these schools may not offer other services such as student advising, tutoring or residential facilities. However, the tuition fees would be much feasible than the regular programs. Since the enrollments are less, the tutor to student ratio would also be less.
The much endorsed Certificate Programs
If credentials are what you look for and long durations are what you refrain from, then Certificate Programs are the obvious choice. These programs are mostly preferred by the undergraduates and graduates for credit. However, it is not necessary that all certificate programs would avail you with academic credits and some of these may only embellish you with mastery in a particular vocational or professional skill.
They often last one academic year or one season. If you ever plan to complete a degree in the near future, then the graduate certificate programs can provide you with the credits to attain that degree. In the end, Certificate Programs are the best option to enter the profession of your choice.
There are many training programs to enter professional fields that include, export management, graphic design, et al. These programs mostly last for 1 to 6 weeks. These programs are designed in a way such that, it helps to build and update practical and professional skills to meet a variety of career needs.
Such training programs are extensively conducted in schools, university departments, business houses, government agencies and private organizations. One such popular program is the English language training program. English for Specific Purposes (ESP) provides instruction in the terminology of a specific field, such as law or engineering. In some cases, ESP gives the opportunity to complete a brief internship in the specified field.
Speaking of internships, it is the best way to get some hands-on experience in an area of interest without a commitment to the organization. Some of these are available for people who are not enrolled in any academic program. Most of these internships are arranged by the training institutes themselves for an extra premium. For international participants, it is advised to research properly in advance about the internship program. They have to know the intricate dealings related to the legal regulations that are primarily designed to protect the jobs of valid US citizens. Those who are reluctant to deal with the paper work involved must take the consent of any of the sponsored work exchange programs under various US organizations.