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Originally published October 27, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified September 29, 2008 at 10:30 AM

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Traditional college doesn't fit? Consider these alternatives

Alternatives to traditional colleges include art schools, military academics, career schools and vocational programs offered by community...

Alternatives to traditional colleges include art schools, military academics, career schools and vocational programs offered by community colleges.

Some offer four-year bachelor's degrees; others award associate's degrees or certificates.

Here are some resources for investigating the possibilities.

Suzanne Monson

Information

Art Schools

The National Association of Schools

of Art and Design

nasad.arts-accredit.org

Links users to 248 arts and design schools from Seattle's Cornish College of the Arts to the crème de la crème Rhode Island School of Design.

www.allartcolleges.com

Link to Seattle Art Institute and dozens of other arts schools, arranged by city and state. Includes online programs and those specializing in digital design.

www.artschools.com

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Online programs, plus schools, colleges and hands-on workshops in everything from animation to shoe design. Lists of art scholarships and tips on attending art grad school.

Career Schools

Washington Higher Education

Coordinating Board

www.hecb.wa.gov/links/colleges/collegesindex.asp

Megalist of Washington schools, including community, technical and business colleges, plus schools that offer online programs.

Washington State Workforce Training

and Education Coordinating Board

www.wtb.wa.gov

Lists private vocational schools, tips on how to choose one. Links to "Where Are You Going?" -- a booklet (and electronic PDF file) to scan occupations and find out where to get training for each in Washington state and that occupation's hiring outlook.

Vocational Information Center

www.khake.com

Sorts vocations alphabetically -- from agriculture to welding -- or by state. Check to see if programs are accredited and meet professional standards, or if they qualify for federal grant and loan programs.

Military and Maritime Schools

The service academies:

West Point (Army): www.usma.edu

Annapolis (Navy): www.usna.edu

Air Force: www.usafa.edu

Coast Guard: www.cga.edu

The Association of Military Colleges and Schools

www.amcsus.org

Schools with military programs approved by the Department of Defense.

The Merchant Marine Academy

www.usmma.edu/

New York-based four-year program for folks hankering to traverse the trade routes of the seven seas.

Seattle Maritime Academy

www.seattlecentral.org/maritime/

Seattle Central Community College program; trains students to work in commercial fishing, with the Merchant Marines and on work boats.

Suzanne Monson

Suzanne Monson

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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