Tulare County Office of Education

Tulare County Online College Guide

Choosing a College to Attend

There are more than 3,000 colleges and universities to choose from in the United States. They offer a wide variety of programs to meet the needs of many different kinds of students enrolling in college today.

In California, we are fortunate to have a wide variety of institutions offering degree and certification programs. These include the University of California (UC System), the California State University (CSU System), independent institutions and California Community Colleges.

There IS more than one school that would be right for you. But how do you choose?

STEP 1: Know Yourself - Identify your personal needs. Examine your personality style.

STEP 2: Ask the Advice of Others - Discuss the results of your self analysis with your high school guidance counselor and teachers.

STEP 3:  Learn More About Colleges - Use Internet sites and college search engines to begin gathering information about colleges.

College Search Engine Links:


Network Systems Analysts - 55% growth
Physican Assistants - 50% growth
Computer Software Engineers - 48% growth
Hydrologists - 32% growth
Employment Specialists - 31% growth
Environmental Engineers - 30% growth

All of these career choices require a Bachelor's Degree.  Find out about other growing career opportunities at the Tulare County College Night event!

The Internet offers virtual tours, videos of the college, college catalogs, e-mail addresses for questions, and many other channels of communication with the college.

Virtual Tour Site Links:

STEP 4: Make a Preliminary List - List 8-10 colleges that interest you. Get information from each of the schools. Your college list should have colleges in three categories: "dream" colleges, (where you are not sure you would be accepted); "probables," (where you are fairly certain you would be accepted); and "safeties," (where you KNOW you would be accepted).

STEP 5: Visit Colleges - If possible, plan to visit colleges during the school year, when classes are in session. Many colleges schedule campus tours and will arrange for you to spend the night in campus housing if you write in advance. Many colleges hold open houses for prospective students in the fall and again in the spring.

STEP 6: Finalize Your List and Make Applications - Once you have gathered information, visited campuses, and talked to others, take your preliminary list and reduce it down to 1-3 colleges in each category. An average number of colleges to apply to is 5-6.

STEP 7: Make a Decision - For more details on the decision-making process, and to get valuable information first-hand from a college representative, attend our College Night event!

Tulare County Online College Guide