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Top 5 Reasons to Further Your Education at a Career College [Infographic]

Posted: October 4th, 2016   |   Author: Jamie Wilke

Have you graduated from high school and wondering what you should do next?

If you know you need more education than a high school diploma, but you don’t want to go to a 4-year college, then a “career college” may be the right option for you!

Did you know you can train for a rewarding career in less than two years – while also getting your Associate’s (Occupational) degree or certificate? Yes you can!

Checkout this infographic to find out more…

Top 5 Reasons to Further Your Education at a Career College


Looking for a Great Job with Only Some College Required? Become an HVAC Technician.

Posted: September 28th, 2016   |   Author: IntelliTec Colleges

HVAC and HVACR technicians are in high demand. In fact, in Colorado, more than 1,000 new HVAC job openings are expected to be added by 2017.

HVAC and HVACR technicians are in high demand. In fact, in Colorado, more than 1,000 new HVAC job openings are expected to be added by 2017.

Skilled HVAC Technicians Are In High Demand.

For many students, going to college isn’t the best option. This often has nothing to do with someone’s intelligence or ability. Many people are simply better with their hands or may not be interested in a job working in an office.

There are a number of high-paying jobs that don’t require a college education. For example, HVAC and HVACR technicians are in high demand. In fact, in Colorado, more than 1,000 new HVAC job openings are expected to be added by 2017.

Here is information about what these techs do, what types of jobs are available and what you can expect to make as a tech.

What Do HVAC Technicians Do?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Most people who are HVAC techs work on heating and air conditioning systems in either private homes or businesses. Their job is to control the temperature and air quality in buildings. Some technicians work in hospitals or commercial buildings on complex systems.

HVAC technicians are important because they make sure that homes and buildings are comfortable. They are also responsible for keeping air quality high. When HVAC systems fail, it can lead to high power bills, rooms that are too hot or too cold and even illness.

HVAC jobs are in demand. Learn what skills are most needed.

HVAC jobs are in demand. Learn what skills are most needed.

What Are the Most In-Demand HVAC Jobs?

Many technicians choose to focus on installing, maintaining or replacing HVAC systems. These are the most common types of HVAC jobs. However, most are familiar with all of these tasks. For HVAC installation technicians, the job usually involves connecting different systems. Installation techs may connect air ducts, heating and cooling units and water and fuel lines.

HVAC Repair and maintenance technicians normally test that parts of a system are working. If things aren’t working, broken items are replaced or repaired. Techs that do maintenance and repair may also adjust systems so that all rooms are heated and cooled evenly. They may also help keep systems from wasting energy.

Along with installation, maintenance and repair, some people choose specialized jobs. These jobs usually require at least a few years working as a tech. People may also need more education or certifications.

Fabrication mechanics make ductwork and need to be able to use metal fabrication machinery. Another specialty job is working as an HVAC system designer. This job requires techs to use computers to create HVAC systems. People can get both of these jobs without going to a traditional four-year school.

Daniel Kindred-HVAC Grad Success Story

HVAC graduate Daniel Kindred was 26 years old and still working at an hourly job in the food industry, he realized one day he had reached his earning potential. He was bored and depressed and “wanted to make more money by entering a growing career in HVAC”.

The Heating & Cooling Industry is Facing a Shortage of Qualified HVAC Technicians.

One of the many reasons to go into the HVAC field is that many businesses really need employees. A lot of jobs require a four-year degree. However, HVAC technicians can be trained in a much shorter time-frame. There is a shortage of HVAC technicians throughout the country, and Colorado is no exception.

Employers need about 29 days to fill jobs that are like HVAC jobs. For companies looking for HVAC techs, this can take more than 36 days.

What is Causing the Increased Demand for Techs?

The need for HVAC workers is expected to rise sharply in the coming years.

There are three major reasons for the shortage of technicians. They are that people are retiring in large numbers, fewer young people are becoming techs and new technology requires more workers.

  1. Workers are Retiring – One major issue is that baby boomers are retiring. This means that large numbers of experienced workers are leaving the workforce. It is estimated that about half of HVAC workers will retire in the next 10 years. Employers will have to replace old technicians and find new technicians as well.
  2. People Assume the Best Jobs Require College Many high school students aren’t choosing to become HVAC techs. There is a perception that the only way to get a good job is to go to college. In fact, many HVAC technicians make as much or more than people who go to a four-year school. This is especially true after someone has been working as a tech for a few years.
  3. New Technology Requires More Workers – Finally, there have been a number of new developments in HVAC systems. People are more interested in eco-friendly heating and cooling. Ductless systems and heat pumps have also been replacing old heating and cooling systems. New types of units require technicians to install and maintain them.
New HVAC-R program comes to IntelliTec in Grand Junction.

Employers are you looking for HVAC Tech’s? Did you know about the HVAC-R training programs at IntelliTec Colleges in Grand Junction and Colorado Springs?

HVAC Career Benefits

There are a lot of benefits of being an HVAC technician. They include good pay, benefits and the ability to start a business.

  • It Pays Well – Many HVAC techs can make anywhere from $42,000 to $67,000 a year. Starting pay may be lower, but people can increase their income with overtime. During the hottest and coldest times of the year, a greater need for techs opens up extra hours.
  • Good Insurance and Benefits – HVAC technicians tend to have good benefits packages, because they are in high demand. The benefits offered will depend on the employer, but health and dental are often included.
  • Job Security – HVAC techs don’t normally have to worry about being laid off. Many other workers are being replaced by machines or seeing their jobs outsourced, but HVAC techs have good job security.
  • Work Environment – You have the opportunity to work indoors and outdoors, you will be on the go working at different locations, and no two days will be the same.
  • Business Ownership – A person also may find it easier to start his/her own business if he/she is an HVAC technician. About 16 percent of HVAC technicians run their own business. If you are interested in being your own boss, this may be the career for you.

Basic Requirements for Entering the HVAC Technician Field

There are only a few basic qualifications people need to start working or training as an HVAC tech. They include:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Being 18 years of age
  • Having a valid driver’s license
  • Taking and passing a substance abuse test
  • Passing a basic math test
HVAC technician checking the amperage on a residential heat pump

HVAC technician checking the amperage on a residential heat pump.

Do You Love Using Tools? A Helpful Skill for HVAC Technicians.

To do their jobs, technicians have to be familiar with using a variety of tools. Tools used are:

  • screwdrivers
  • wrenches
  • pipe cutters

Some people will also need to be familiar with more specialized tools. These can include:

  • voltmeters
  • combustion analyzers
  • carbon monoxide testers
  • acetylene torches

HVAC Technician Training School vs Apprenticeship

While there are a few ways to become an apprentice HVAC technician, most people now attend Refrigeration & HVAC Technician Training programs. This can be easier than being an apprentice. Apprenticeships normally last three to five years. Apprentices also make less money.

Which Vocational Schools Offer Training for HVAC Techs?

It is often a good idea to go to a vocational school or college. Schools like IntelliTec College in Grand Junction and Colorado Springs offer programs just for Refrigeration & HVAC Techs. The programs can be completed in as few as 18 months and you earn an Associate of Occupational Studies Degree.

These programs can also help you prepare for professional certification tests and various licenses. Getting these can help you get a higher paying job right out of school.


Once you successfully complete your Refrigeration and HVAC training program at IntelliTec college, you will be prepared to sit for professional HVAC industry certification exams.

Look Into Becoming an HVAC Technician: Make a Short-term Investment for a Great Career

You don’t have to spend years going to college to get a good job as an HVAC Technician, because:

  • There are a lot of job openings for HVAC techs in Colorado and the U.S.
  • These jobs pay as much or more than some jobs that require a four-year degree.
  • This career may also allow you to start your own business.




Medical Assistant Graduate from Vocational College in Pueblo Pays it Forward to the Elderly and Military Veterans

Posted: September 12th, 2016   |   Author: Yvette de Ryk

Michael Ybarra - Medical Assistant at Sangre de Cristo Internal Medicine (SDCIM) in Pueblo, CO.

Michael Ybarra – IntelliTec College Medical Assisting program graduate – “pays it forward” at Sangre de Cristo Internal Medicine (SDCIM) in Pueblo, assisting the elderly and veterans with their medical needs.

Young father sets an academic example for his children by going back to school for medical assisting degree.

Michael Ybarra wouldn’t exactly describe himself as someone excited to return to the classroom. His previous challenges at school left him fearful of the idea of returning to the classroom, but his desire to leave his minimum wage job was even greater. After 10 years serving fast food, his wife and children inspired him to face his fears and enroll in the Medical Assistant program at IntelliTec College of Pueblo.

“My wife signed up for the same program at the same time. She was instrumental in convincing me that I could do this. Plus, I wanted my kids to know that I take my responsibilities as a father seriously, and that going back to school was the only way I could get ahead in life,” explains Ybarra.

Ybarra’s desire to become a medical assistant overshadowed his academic insecurities.

When Ybarra finished high school, he was certain it was the last he would ever see of a school environment. He is self-described as “anti-social” and always felt that other students judged him because he was not part of the popular crowd. However, Peggy Johnson, Medical Assistant Program Supervisor at IntelliTec College of Pueblo, describes Ybarra quite differently.

“Michael is a kind and respectful young man of character. He keeps to himself most times, remaining responsible to his school and his work, and it’s obvious he cares deeply for his family,” remarks Johnson.

His desire to become a medical assistant stems from a yearning to provide compassionate healthcare to the elderly and to give back to America’s military veterans. He believes both groups deserve a type of “pay it forward” approach as these individuals have contributed to our country in their own unique ways.

medical assisting school pueblo graduates

Husband and wife celebrate simultaneous graduations, completing their Medical Assistant degrees (occupational) from IntelliTec College of Pueblo.

Medical Assisting program graduate lands full-time work with professionalism, a strong work ethic and initiative.

Ybarra served his externship with Sangre de Cristo Internal Medicine (SDCIM) in Pueblo while completing his Medical Assistant degree, and he was immediately offered a full-time position once completing classes and his externship. Johnson is not a bit surprised at the offer.

“Michael’s ability to maintain a level of professionalism and respect in the workplace makes him a desirable employee. I can absolutely see how he is both equally liked and admired for his manner and hard work,” says Johnson.

Dr. Douglas Duffee, MD, maintains SDCIM’s small staff and believes it is imperative for the medical assistant to fit seamlessly into the culture of the office. According to Duffee, Ybarra was the clear choice.

“Michael communicates well on the phone and in the office, and he is able to manage a myriad of tasks. He’s dependable, conscientious, learns quickly, and takes initiative – a very important trait in a smaller, multi-functional office,” explains Duffee.

gradaute of medical assisting program in pueblo

An extended family has always played an important role in Michael’s life. (Medical Assisting graduate from IntelliTec College of Pueblo is pictured in red, back right.)

IntelliTec graduate credits parents in preventing him from following a potentially tragic path.

Michael gives a lot of credit for his work ethic to his mom and dad, who parented with equal parts of love and discipline. Ybarra is all too clear how his life could have taken a completely different path. Born and raised on the eastside of Pueblo came with inherent challenges of gang violence, and he witnessed first hand how children lacking proper parental modeling ended up on the streets or worse.

“My parents were my number one support through it all. I always knew I could count on them to step in whenever things became challenging,” says Ybarra.

And step in they did, assisting with daycare and offering an incredible amount of help and comfort during the birth of his son, and the death of his mother-in-law. As Ybarra explains, it sure “put the brakes on things”.

Pueblo dad hopes to have a positive influence on his children.

A lot has changed for Ybarra. He no longer has only five dollars left in his wallet after each pay period’s bills. He looks to the future, particularly his children’s futures, with confidence and determination.

“I want them to not be afraid of failure, because with failure comes opportunity. I really believe it’s better to have failed than to have never tried at all,” concludes Ybarra.


5 Top Reasons to Get Your GED Certificate – and How to Do It Quickly

Posted: August 22nd, 2016   |   Author: IntelliTec Colleges

The GED certificate proves that the holder has educational skills that are similar to those of a high school graduate.

The GED certificate proves that the holder has educational skills that are similar to those of a high school graduate. (Image Credit: © dolgachov –

If you do not have a high school diploma, one option for you is to get your GED certificate. GED training holds the key to a better future, for instance:

  • Getting your GED certificate will open doors to jobs.
  • If you want to go to college, you must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate to get in.
  • If your GED scores are good, you also may be able to apply for scholarships and other sources of money to help pay for college classes or trade school training.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Get Your GED Certificate Now

Getting your GED will help you for your entire life. It may help others, too.

Here are five powerful reasons to get your GED now:

  1. The job market has changed. In today’s world, most employers will not hire anyone who does not have either a high school diploma or a GED.
  2. A GED can make a big difference in future earnings. For example, a study by the National Center for Education Statistics revealed a difference of more than $6,800 per year in average earnings between non-graduates and persons who held either a high school diploma or a GED. This study included annual earnings from 2000 through 2013 and covered full-time workers ages 25-34. The total difference for those 13 years of earnings comes to $88,400.
  3. The more you learn, the more you can learn. The skills you gain in studying for your GED make it possible for you to be successful in other studies. Your self-confidence grows. You become aware that you have the ability to set career goals and figure out steps to reach those goals.
  4. Getting your GED helps you meet requirements to go to college or join a branch of the armed forces. Although military career opportunities are limited when you have only a GED, the GED makes it possible for you to take college or trade courses that expand your choices.
  5. You set an example for others to follow. Family members who are still in school see that education is important. Your determination to make your life better influences others who are struggling. The ripple effect of your efforts can have far-reaching results, doing much good.
How long will it take you to earn your GED? You might be able to earn your GED in less than three months. Read our suggestions on how to study for the GED.

How long will it take you to earn your GED? You might be able to earn your GED in less than three months. Read our suggestions on how to study for the GED. (Image Credit:

What Is the GED?

“GED” stands for general educational development. “GED” also refers to the certificate that you earn by passing certain tests. Each state oversees testing in that state and determines the test sites. The GED certificate proves that the holder has educational skills that are similar to those of a high school graduate.

You will be tested in these four subjects:

  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Reasoning through Language Arts (RLA)

Who can take the GED Test?

  • Anyone who is not attending high school and is age 17 or older may register to take the GED tests.
  • Sometimes, the age restriction is lowered to 16.
  • Certain students who are enrolled in school also may be able to test.
Do you have what it takes to get your GED? GED study materials and the testing program itself are designed to help you succeed.

Do you have what it takes to get your GED? GED study materials and the testing program itself are designed to help you succeed. (Image Credit: © dolgachov –

How Hard Is It To Get Your GED?

Among other questions, you probably wonder whether you have what it takes to earn your GED. Because you dropped out of high school, you may doubt your abilities. People become high school dropouts for many reasons.

  • Perhaps you left school to help your family.
  • Perhaps you got in with the wrong crowd or quit because you didn’t like the classroom environment.

No matter why you dropped out of school, you know more now than you did then.

  • You learned a little about how education helps grown-ups make good lives for themselves and their families.
  • This knowledge will motivate you to do well in your efforts to earn your GED.
  • Also, the study materials and the testing program itself are designed to help you succeed.
Getting your GED will help you - and those who depend on you - for your entire life.

Getting your GED will help you – and those who depend on you – for your entire life. (Image Credit:

How Long Does It Take to Get Your GED?

You might be able to earn your GED in less than three months. How long it takes to get your GED depends on what skills you already have. It also depends on the number of hours you study each week.

Take practice tests to find out what you know and what you don’t. Then, study only what you need to learn.

Each of the four content areas is tested and scored separately. If you do not pass one test, you only need to retake that test, not all four. Some states allow you to retake a test as many as eight times in one year.

National statistics for July 2014 through June 2015 showed that:

  • 77 percent of all GED tests taken received passing scores.
  • The pass rate for the GED test in New Mexico was 74 percent.
  • The Colorado GED test pass rate was 88 percent.
Getting your GED does not need to be expensive. Here are a few pointers. The GED testing fees vary from state to state. Read here for our tips.

Getting your GED does not need to be expensive. Here are a few pointers. The GED testing fees vary from state to state. Read here for our tips. (Image Credit: © pogonici –

How Much Does It Cost to Get Your GED?

Getting your GED does not need to be expensive. Here are a few pointers:

  • Testing fees vary from state to state. The average fee for taking the complete battery of all four tests is $120. Contact the GED Testing Administrator in your state to find out the exact cost for you to take the GED Test.
  • You do not need to schedule and pay for all four tests at the same time.
  • Free study materials are available at your local library.
  • Tutorials and practice tests are available at no cost through the GED Testing Service web site.
  • If you need to take classes or work with a tutor in order to succeed, costs may be a bit higher. Earning your GED, however, will make the results well worth the costs.
You must appear in person in order to take the GED test. You will use a computer to take your tests, but you cannot test online instead of at an approved testing site.

You must appear in person in order to take the GED test. You will use a computer to take your tests, but you cannot test online instead of at an approved testing site. (Image Credit: © georgejmclittle –

Can You Take The GED Online?

However, if you see an ad stating that you can take the actual GED tests online, run!

  • Legitimate testing takes place only at state-approved locations.
  • You must appear in person in order to test.
  • You will use a computer to take your tests, but you cannot test online instead of at an approved testing site.
How long does it take to get your GED? If you follow certain steps, you will have your GED faster than you thought possible.

How long does it take to get your GED? If you follow certain steps, you will have your GED faster than you thought possible. (Image Credit: © PaylessImages –

Learn the 5 Quickest Steps to Getting Your GED

If you follow certain steps, you will have your GED faster than you thought possible.

  1. Choose a state-approved location that provides GED testing. Ask your local librarian, or Check out GED Testing Service’s information page.
  2. Decide how to study for the GED. The best method will depend on your learning style. Sign up for help if needed.
  3. Obtain study materials and schedule time to study without interruptions.
  4. Take practice tests, then brush up on weak areas.
  5. Register for and take the tests. If needed, retake tests until you have passed each and are satisfied with the scores.

Various IntelliTec College campuses in Colorado provide GED training classes or GED testing.

At the time this blog was written:

Click here for more information: IntelliTec College GED Classes & Testing: Get Your GED

Additional Resources

  • U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics: Education Matters
  • Pew Research Center: The Rising Cost of Not Going to College
  • Colorado Department of Education: GED Participation and Outcomes FY 2014-15 Report
  • New Mexico Public Education Department: GED Home

Sources Used

  • National Center for Education Statistics: Fast Facts – Income of Young Adults
  • GED Testing Service: Protect Yourself From Fraud
  • GED Testing Service: There’s Never Been a Better Time to Test
  • IntelliTec Colleges: Get Your GED
  • IntelliTec Colleges Blog: IntelliTec College Offers Improved Online GED Testing to Grand Junction


Medical Assistant Graduate Fast Tracks a New Future After Years of Fast Food Employment

Posted: August 18th, 2016   |   Author: Yvette de Ryk

Valerie Valdez has a whole new outlook on her future as a Medical Assistant

Valerie Valdez – recent graduate of IntelliTec College of Pueblo – has a whole new outlook on her future with a new career as a Medical Assistant.

Pursuing a Medical Assistant Degree from IntelliTec College Runs in the Family

After eight years of struggling to make ends meet on a minimum wage salary, Valerie Valdez had enough. It was time to pursue a career: one that offered a better income now and and professional advancement and financial stability in the future.

“I wanted to provide a better future for my children,” says Valdez, “and I knew everyday I remained in fast food was one day less that I was doing the right thing for me and my family.”

Tragic Endings and a Blessed New Beginning Challenges Valdez During Her Medical Assisting Classes

Valdez’ mother pushed and encouraged her to enroll in IntelliTec College’s Medical Assistant Program in Pueblo, but she sadly passed away before she could attend her daughter’s graduation. Valdez knew the best way to honor her mother’s wishes was to finish what she started.

Coincidentally, Valdez’s mother attended the medical assistant program [tragically she did not complete it due to her illness and subsequent death], as did several other relatives, so a belief in the college ran several generations deep.

“She was my rock,” explains Valdez regarding her mother. “She always pushed me to do my very best, and even after I dropped out of high school, she believed I’d find my way back to school.”

About halfway through her Medical Assistant classes, Valdez found out she was pregnant, and while overjoyed, it meant missing some school. She soon discovered teachers and staff did more than teach and support at IntelliTec. One teacher made graduation not just possible but likely even in the midst of having a baby:

“They emailed me missed homework assignments and even threw me a baby shower,” Valerie remembers.

Valerie Valdez Medical Assisting College Pueblo and her family

Valdez celebrates Christmas with her husband, Michael, and their children, McKenzy (4) and Michael (almost 2).

Valdez Learns to Juggle Full-Time School in Medical Assisting and Full-Time Work

Valdez may have taken a short break to deliver her son, Michael, but for the most part, she worked a full workweek while attending Medical Assisting school. Her perseverance then helped her as she pursued a number of employment opportunities.

After several interviews she finally landed not just a job, but the right job. Family members recommended Valdez apply at the Pueblo Community Health Center, and after interviewing, Valdez knew immediately this was the place for her.

She was originally assigned to fill in with different medical providers, but Virginia Gillispie, FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner) was so impressed with Valdez’s organizational skills and interactions with patients, she requested that Valdez be assigned to Gillispie’s own panel.

“Patients of all ages really appreciate her smile and warm demeanor.  She is calmly able to multi-task on hectic days, and is a very quick learner,” remarked Gillispie.

Valdez Turns Tragedy Into Opportunity

Though her mother may no longer be with her, her unwavering belief in Valdez’s dedication endures long after her passing. When life became challenging, Valdez knew that her mother was looking down upon her with an unshakeable confidence. And it is with this belief that she had the conviction to change her life.

“Now everyday I look forward to going to the health center, and working with professionals who encourage me to pursue my dreams. I’m thinking about going back to school to become a registered nurse and maybe even a nurse in the near future,” exclaimed Valdez.

Celebrating is a pair of IntelliTec College of Pueblo Medical Assistant program graduates - Valerie Valdex and her husband Michael Ybarra.

Valerie Valdez and her husband, Michael Ybarra, celebrate graduating from IntelliTec College of Pueblo to become Medical Assistants.

Family Support Means the World to Valdez

Valdez recognizes her journey was possible with the help of family members, who stepped in to help care for her children while enrolled in school and even now while pursuing her career. She no longer lives paycheck-to-paycheck, and credits her husband’s family for helping make it all happen.

“They had my back when I returned to school and now while I work several 12 hour days. Quite simply, they’re a gift from God,” admitted Valdez.

About IntelliTec College of Pueblo

IntelliTec College of Pueblo, CO offers hands-on career training in the technical trades, cosmetology, allied healthcare, massage therapy, and personal training fields. These programs award either associate degrees or certificates and are designed to be completed in as little as 18 months or less. IntelliTec provides a supportive learning environment with small classes sizes and caring instructors. Learn how you can improve your life with a meaningful career by requesting information at or calling 719-542-3181.


After High School You Have Options: Explore 4-Year College Alternatives [Infographic]

Posted: July 25th, 2016   |   Author: Jamie Wilke

Congratulations – you’ve graduated from high school! Now what? High school graduates have some big life decisions to make.

  • Should you go straight to work and start making money right away?
  • Can you afford to take a year off before going to college to volunteer or travel?
  • Is going to a four year college your only career training option?

Check out this article for some surprising facts about going to college, and learn what other options are out there for you.



Letter to IntelliTec Students About Loan Repayment Scam Alert

Posted: July 18th, 2016   |   Author: IntelliTec Colleges

Dear IntelliTec Student:

We are writing to inform you that our current and former students (and even their families) recently have been targets of online and telephone advertising programs that purport to offer student loan repayment assistance and/or debt forgiveness. You may have seen such advertisements on Facebook or on the Internet. Many of these advertisements prominently use IntelliTec’s name and photographs of IntelliTec’s campuses in their ads.

Please be aware that IntelliTec College is not affiliated or involved in any way with any such loan repayment or debt forgiveness offers, nor does IntelliTec College endorse or approve any of these entities.

None of the companies and offers are legitimate. There have been many reports in the last few years of scams in the student loan industry whereby companies charge significant fees (often hidden or undisclosed) for performing tasks that can be done easily or for free without the need for assistance. In worse cases, the people behind the scams are actually just out to obtain social security number and other private personal and financial information.

These “offers” are not just targeting IntelliTec students, but are targeting students from colleges and universities around the country. We are actively taking steps to stop these companies from targeting our students and alumni, including reporting these scams to the appropriate federal and state agencies.

Please always exercise care and caution when receiving or responding to any inquiries or offers concerning student loans or debt consolidation or forgiveness.


  • All currently enrolled students should contact one of our Financial Services Representatives at their campus with any questions regarding their student loans
  • Former IntelliTec students should contact IntelliTec Colleges loan repayment advisor, Evelyn Mestas at or 719-632-7626.

Evelyn can quickly identify a student’s current loan circumstances and steer you

towards the appropriate official entity for further assistance.

  • Intellitec Colleges has also partnered with USA Funds to provide free loan counseling assistance and budget planning information.

Students can contact USA Funds at 1-866-497-8723, or at

  • All students can find information about their existing loans, by contacting their loan servicer (official entity hired by the Department of Education to service federal loans). The Department has currently 11 loan servicers. If a student is not sure who their loan servicer is, they can find that information
  • For additional federal student-loan repayment resources, visit


Scammers are constantly changing their scams, and sometimes it can be very hard to tell a scam from a legitimate offer. These guidelines may be helpful you. Before giving out your personal or financial information:

  • Treat all solicitations for debt relief or loan consolidation services as suspect until you can be sure they are legitimate.
  • Ask for the company’s physical address, direct phone number, and website. Check to make sure they exist and appear legitimate.
  • Check out the company’s listing with the Better Business Bureau to see if they have a record of complaints or if they are registered at all.
  • For debt management providers, see if they are registered with Colorado Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section, and consider any disciplinary history in the list posted at
  • NEVER give out usernames or passwords.


If you already have been the target of a scam, in addition to any money you may have lost, you might be at risk for identity theft. You may want to consider doing the following:

  • Review your credit reports from all three credit reporting bureaus for fraudulent activity. You may obtain a free copy of your credit report each year from
  • Place a fraud alert with each of the major credit reporting bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Get more information at
  • Report the scam to the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at
  • Report the scam to your attorney general’s office. Colorado residents may do so at


Colorado Springs Motorcross Athlete Races to a Career in Personal Training

Posted: July 13th, 2016   |   Author: Yvette de Ryk

Colorado Springs Personal Trainer graduate Brett Stralo - Motorcross athlete

Motocross racing is a serious passion for IntelliTec College Personal Trainer graduate.

Life-Long Athlete and Army Veteran Bret Stralo Overcomes Challenges

Words like commitment and drive are often overused, particularly when they relate to the effort necessary to change career paths. The journey to a new career generally includes learning the necessary content in the field, applying newly acquired skills and training, and hoping there’s a job available at the end of the academic tunnel. Or you can do what Personal Training graduate Brett Stralo did: transform his talents as a professional athlete into a successful career.

Personal Athleticism Drives IntelliTec College Graduate to a Career as a Personal Trainer

Stralo began motocross racing at the age of six. Over the years he has celebrated a number of successes, from regional and national championships to earning his way into the A class. He is currently working on a state title and anticipates receiving his professional license this year. This passion for motocross required extreme dedication and physical commitment every day of his life.

Personal Trainer Brett Stralo puts in long days at Tru Fit Athletic Club, but he loves every minute of it. He is a graduate of the Personal Training program at IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs.

Personal Trainer Brett Stralo puts in long days at Tru Fit Athletic Club, but he loves every minute of it. He is a graduate of the Personal Training program at IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs.

It’s not something you can do when the mood strikes. To be successful, it takes everything you’ve got,” Stralo emphasizes.

He recently graduated from IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs with an Associate of Occupational Studies degree in Personal Training. His take-charge attitude fueled the completion of his internship in half the expected time, but it is his personable approach that makes him a well-rounded trainer. Tru Fit Athletic Club in Aurora recognized his unique talents during Stralo’s internship there and hired him on as a permanent personal trainer at their facility. His days are long, but according to Stralo, it is a necessary time investment in order to build his client base.

“My days start at 4:00 am end at 8:00 pm Monday – Friday. These hours accommodate scheduled clients and allow for drop-ins looking for a trainer,” acknowledges Stralo. “Building a client base means you have to keep an open schedule at the gym, but on the plus side, these long hours allow me to be home on weekends.”

Stralo Balances Work Schedule With Family Life

Weekends are dedicated to his 5 year-old son, Blake, and to his new wife, Sarah. Family time reminds him of the need to strike a balance between work and play. Stralo admits this can sometimes be difficult. Once he determined it was time to switch careers [from a soldier in the Army] and pursue his degree at IntelliTec College, he put every ounce of effort into doing so with integrity and professionalism. He believes if he spends time now building a career he’ll lay the path to future success.

“I knew if I committed myself to school and the knowledge the teachers provided I’d have a chance to do something professionally I’d always been personally passionate about,” says Stralo.

TruFit Personal Trainer Brett Stralo and family.

Weekends are family time for Brett Stralo with wife, Sarah and son, Blake.

Exceptional Teachers + Dedicated & Passionate Student = Professional Success

Stralo credits Sarah Peterson and Timothy Agan, Personal Trainer Instructors at IntelliTec College, for sharing their knowledge and life experience in the personal training profession. He recognizes that their investment and encouragement in him (and all the students) helped him become one of the best personal trainers in the business. However, the praise is equally reciprocated.

“Brett is extremely dedicated and passionate about the field of health and fitness. He’s highly professional and – most of all – truly caring toward each and every client he worked with during his time as a student trainer,” observes Peterson.

Agan adds, “He’s just very approachable and personal. He always wants to learn new training exercises to help clients both physically and mentally.”

Stralo Takes Command of Challenges – Overcomes Them with Prayer, Determination, and Faith

Stralo believes the formula for success is fairly straightforward. Apply yourself to your education with a professional attitude and overcome challenges that threaten to block the path to your goals. He acknowledges everyone experiences roadblocks. However, it is how you face them that determine the outcome. His past included a period as a single father with no support system. This left him un-deployable in his military career and facing the need to establish a new career. So, he turned to what he knew best: fitness. With prayer, determination, and faith, Stralo now enjoys a career where success at the gym takes on an entirely new meaning.

About IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs

IntelliTec’s Personal Training program offers an Associate of Occupational Studies Degree that features step-by-step training using the official NASM curriculum.

IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs, CO offers hands-on career training in the technical trades, computer technology, allied health care and personal training fields. These programs award either associate degrees or certificates and are designed to be completed in as little as 18 months or less. IntelliTec provides a supportive learning environment with small classes sizes and caring instructors. Learn how you can improve your life with a meaningful career by requesting information at or calling 719-632-7626.


How to Choose the Right Career Path – Explore Your College Options After High School

Posted: July 6th, 2016   |   Author: IntelliTec Colleges

Hand holding Diploma wrapped with a red ribbon.

Explore the many college and career options that are available to you after high school. (Photo credit: © Teerawut Masawat –

Learn How to Get a True Career After High School

A “career” is more than a job—it’s a calling. A life-long vocation that not only gives a person a new level of respect among their peers, but allows them to provide for others. A career is about purpose, and having a place in this world. So why are so many young Americans no longer pursuing one?

High schoolers face daunting difficulties when planning for the future. It’s hard to plan a career in a world that demands a four year degree as the price of admission. As a result, many young people begin working right out of high school.

What many don’t know is that there is a third option—a way to have a real career without the substantial investment of a four year degree.

Think About Attending a Vocational School or Technical College

You can reach your career goals without going to a four-year college, and a vocational school can do this for you. By going to college for a shorter period – less than two years – you can increase your earnings over time and have an evolving career.

A vocational school (or sometimes called a trade or technical college) can give you:

  • The training you need for an in-demand career you will love in less than two years.
  • A way to start making money sooner than if you went to a four-year college.
  • A plan for your future. You can have a career where you can start making more money than you could have made with no college education. These careers also have advancement opportunities.

Career Options for High Schoolers Planning to Attend a Vocational School

If you decide getting an associate degree or certificate from a vocational or technical school in less than two years is the right decision for you, the next step is to pick a career path.

Hands of young student girl with a book on people group background.

You can plan your career according to what you like to do, what jobs are in demand, or even how much your job will help or impact others. (Photo credit: © Kurhan –

A large number of career choices exist in technical or vocational colleges, including:

  1. Fun Careers – You may be surprised at how many careers are a lot of fun.
  2. Careers That Are In Demand– Many of these careers are in fields that are in high demand right now, like nursing and welding.
  3. Meaningful Careers – Some careers are in fields that are focused on helping and lifting up others, such as physical therapy.

1. Fun Careers

Whether a career is fun is a personal choice. What one person thinks is fun, another may totally dislike. Here are some careers that many students find enjoyable and a little information on them.

Group of business people celebrating by throwing their business papers in the air

Choose a career doing something you love – matching your personal interests – and work days will go by much faster. (Photo Credit: © Wavebreak Media Ltd –

  • Personal Trainer – Those who choose this field are usually physically active and have a passion for physical fitness. They are up on all the latest trends in fitness. If you spend a lot of time in the gym, this may be the perfect career for you.
  • Cosmetologist – If you enjoy helping people feel beautiful, this may be the career for you. In this field you, can branch off into jobs such as Estheticians, who beautify and clean the skin, Nail Technicians who work on the client’s nails, and Hair Stylists who manage hair cutting, coloring and styling.
  • Construction Manager – Those who choose this field usually begin by researching programs available at many two-year colleges. Training is often available through the construction industry associations.
  • Aviation Maintenance – If you are interested in repairing motors, but want something different to repair, this may be the career for you. It is best to attend one of 170 Aviation Maintenance Technician schools that the FAA has certified. This can lead to jobs at major airports across the nation, as well as jobs for the U.S. Armed Forces at military bases.
  • Air Traffic Controller – Although it is a very stressful job, those who work in this field totally enjoy the work. Those in this field have vigorous training and testing, including health and mental stability tests.
Dustin Cooper Automotive Technician Graduate Success Story - IntelliTec College in Grand Junction

Dustin Cooper – Automotive Technician Graduate – IntelliTec College in Grand Junction.

2. Careers That Are In Demand

There are always jobs that the majority of people cannot do for themselves. However, there is a need for someone to be able to help him or her. This is where the following jobs come in. Depending on geographic location, these jobs are almost always in demand, and their need is growing, especially in the IT (Information Technology) areas.

  • Computer and Network Systems Technician – If you enjoy tinkering around with computers and the way they work, a career in this field may be right for you. Most companies employ computer and network systems techs in order to assure that their networks are always up to speed and working correctly, especially in today’s competitive world.
  • Automotive Technician – For those who enjoy working on their own cars, a job in this field might be the way to go. Many technical schools offer training in this field. You usually start your career working under the more experienced technicians. Sometimes, automobile manufacturers and dealers sponsor two-year associates programs where you take classes one week and work in the service department the next, alternating between the two.
  • Refrigeration and HVAC Technician – A career in this field includes working with heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems. Many trade and technical schools offer training in this field, and many times, the student is trained through apprenticeships.
  • Plumber – Those choosing this path for their career will rarely, if ever be out of work. At one time or another, almost everyone has to call a plumber. Technical schools or community colleges usually teach the skills needed to gain a license in this field. Apprenticeship programs are also encouraged. Many times, local unions or other national plumbing organizations offer them.
  • Electrician – Another in-demand career is that of an electrician. In today’s world, everything runs on electricity, and so there will always be a need for someone to repair it when there are problems. Training in this field is offered in trade/technical schools, as well as in apprenticeship programs. Local unions such as the National Electrical Contractors Association often sponsor the apprenticeship programs, and they offer pay for on-the-job training.
IntelliTec participates in Grand Valley Health Fair

Medical Assistant takes patient’s blood pressure at a local Health Fair.

3. Meaningful Careers

For those students who enjoy working with people and helping them in their daily lives, the following careers may be of interest:

  • Medical Assistant – A medical assistant works in the offices of hospitals, doctors and other types of healthcare facilities. They complete tasks such as measuring vital signs, recording patient information, giving patients injections and preparing blood samples for various lab tests.
  • Nursing Assistant – A nursing assistant will provide basic care for patients who are in the hospital or in a long-term facility, such as a nursing home. They help clean and bathe patients, dress the patients, help transfer the patients between their bed and wheelchairs, just to name a few of their duties.
  • Pharmacy Technician – Those who are interested in medications and how they can help their customers might enjoy this career. Pharmacy technicians help the pharmacists to collect information to fill prescriptions, measure amounts of medication for the prescriptions and disperse medication to customers. They also help organize the inventory and let pharmacists know if there are any shortages.
  • Dental Assistant – Those who are interested in the study of dentistry may enjoy a career as a dental assistant. Dental assistants have many duties, such as preparing the patient for their treatments, handing the dentist the dental instruments, keeping the patient’s mouths dry using the suction hoses and processing x-rays and other lab tasks, to name a few.
  • Massage Therapist – Another popular field is massage therapy. The massage therapist uses touch to manipulate the soft tissues of the body, such as the muscles. They can help to relieve pain, improve circulation, heal injuries and relieve stress in their patients, along with other benefits.

Other Career Ideas – Career Options That Don’t Need a Four-Year College Degree

Listed below are a few other career choices that a high school student might find interesting:

  • Real Estate Broker
  • Landscape Architect
  • Freelance Photographer
  • Freelance Writer
  • Online Advertising Manager
  • Web Developer
  • Paralegal Assistant
  • Stenographer-Court Reporter
  • Construction Machine Operator
  • Teacher’s Aide

Consider Training at a Technical College for an In-Demand Trades Career in Less than Two Years

As you can see, there are many careers to choose from if going to a four-year college is not in your plans. It is important that you explore your career options thoroughly, including a 2 year college degree or professional certificate in an in-demand trades career. There is something for almost everyone.

The good news is, if you put the time and effort into making it in one of the careers above, many times you can earn the same, or, in many cases, more than a student with a four-year degree. If you are able to train for a job that you really love, you will be successful.

Sources Used


Is College Overrated? The Top 21 Highest Paying Jobs with NO College Degree



Get The Facts: College Degree vs High School Diploma? Learn the Top 5 Benefits of Going to College

Posted: June 13th, 2016   |   Author: IntelliTec Colleges

Hand holding Diploma wrapped with a red ribbon.

Did you know? You can enjoy these “Top 5 Benefits of Going to College” –  without getting a 4-year degree at a traditional university? (Photo details: © Teerawut Masawat –

Congratulations! You’ve Graduated from High School – Now What Will Your Next Move Be?

Many high school students, and perhaps their parents, often wrestle with these questions:

  • Does a person earn more money with a college degree vs high school diploma?
  • Is it worthwhile to go to college?

Research shows that yes, those who know the value of a college degree usually do make more than those with only a high school diploma do.


Here are the ‘Top 5 Benefits’ of Going to College:




Massage Therapist Translates Computer Hobby Into New Career as Help Desk Specialist

Posted: June 10th, 2016   |   Author: Yvette de Ryk

Rebecca Annis computer network systems technician graduate

A fun hobby translates into a new career for Rebecca Annis, a Computer Network Systems Technician graduate of IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs. She is currently employed as a Help Desk Specialist at Progressive Insurance.

Computer Technician Graduate Believes: Better Care of Self Leads to Better Care of Others

Rebecca Annis’ long-time massage therapy clients knew she had it in her to follow her dreams. Not that massage therapy was not a satisfying career for her. After 13 years in the industry she had a loyal client base and owned her own business. But she just needed the encouragement to turn her love of computers into a new career path where she could potentially earn more money and become part of a growing industry. And though she was hesitant to begin the Computer Network Systems Technician (CNST) program, when she finally leaned in, it turned out to be a perfect fit.

“To be honest, I had a bit of an attitude toward the idea of enrolling in a ‘trade’ school. I’ve always believed the more traditional colleges offered a stronger curriculum and employers looked to these schools when hiring employees,” admits Annis.

Rebecca’s Interviewing Confidence Leads to Job Offer from Progressive Insurance



IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs to Give Free Fitness Assessments & More During its Personal Training Clinic Grand Opening: June 13-16

Posted: June 8th, 2016   |   Author: Yvette de Ryk

IntelliTec College Personal Training Students Perform Fitness Assessments & Design Client Workouts at a Discount

Receive a free 30 minute personal training session during IntelliTec College's Personal Training Clinic Grand Opening June 13th-16th from 1-5 pm

Receive a free personal training session during IntelliTec College’s Personal Training Clinic Grand Opening Mon-Thurs, June 13th-16th, from 1-5 pm.

Press Release – For Immediate Release

Colorado Springs, Colorado –IntelliTec College is offering free, 30-minute personal training sessions during its Personal Training Grand Opening Clinic the week of June 13th – 16th from 1– 5 pm. The one-on-one training sessions include a 30-minute workout, which can be scheduled at the event for individuals 18 years and older. IntelliTec’s Personal Training Building is at 2260 E. Pikes Peak Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80909. There is no appointment necessary for training sessions during the grand opening.

Daily door prizes include four free 1/2-hour personal training sessions and gift certificates to Whole Foods, GNC and Sprouts. Winners need not be present. Healthy snacks and refreshments will be provided during the clinic.

Guests who attend the Personal Training Clinic’s Grand Opening can sign up for deeply discounted fitness programs. Interested participants can schedule their personal training sessions during the Grand Opening or contact the Clinic Monday through Thursday from 2:00 – 5:00 pm. The Clinic is open to the public, and students currently enrolled in the personal training program will design individualized workouts. Make an appointment today to schedule your first session by calling Sarah Peterson, Personal Training Instructor at IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs, at (719) 201-4361.

Personal trainers and staff will be available to provide clinic information, answer questions and offer personal trainer program information for those interested in a career as a personal trainer.



Get Jewels on Your Teeth!

Posted: June 7th, 2016   |   Author: IntelliTec Colleges

Jewel Bonding is Only $30 per Jewel!

Work is performed by IntelliTec College’s Dental Assisting program students.

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 5.52.11 AM    Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 5.52.25 AM

Call to Schedule Your Free Appointment Today:

  • 970.245.8101

IntelliTec College of Grand Junction is at:

  • 772 Horizon Drive, Grand Junction, CO 81506


Colorado Springs Medical Assistant Practices Professionalism Beyond the Office Doors

Posted: June 1st, 2016   |   Author: Yvette de Ryk

New IntelliTec College Grad’s Likable and Easy-Going Personality Well-Suited to Local Optometrist’s Office Environment

Shauna Matthews displays a calm and caring demeanor at her new job with Our Eye Doctor

Shauna Matthews displays a calm and caring demeanor at her new Medical Assisting job with Our Eye Doctor in Colorado Springs. 

Shauna Matthews is a walking endorsement for the saying, “smile – it’s contagious.” She brings a light and positivity into every room she enters, and her self-assuredness lets patients know they have come to the right optometrist’s office.

That’s exactly what Dr. Kara Fedders, O.D. with Our Eye Doctor recognized when she first met Matthews and immediately hired her. Fedders knew she wanted Matthews’ smile and cheerful attitude to be the first thing to greet her patients.

“You can train skills, but I always hire personality. I knew she [Matthews] would fit right in the moment I met her. She comes across as genuine and caring, and patients respond to that,” says Fedders.

Recent Medical Assisting Graduate Overcomes A Lackluster Academic Past

Matthews’ determination helped to increase her 2.0 high school GPA to a 4.0 GPA and placed her in the National Honors Society throughout her entire Medical Assisting program at IntelliTec College in Colorado Springs, CO. (more…)


Automotive Technician Appreciates Fun and Friendly Atmosphere at Grand Junction Subaru

Posted: May 11th, 2016   |   Author: Yvette de Ryk

Dustin Cooper Automotive Technician Graduate Success Story - IntelliTec College in Grand Junction

Dustin Cooper, Automotive Technician working at Subaru in Grand Junction.

New IntelliTec College Graduate Dustin Cooper Finishes What He Starts – an Associate’s Degree and a New Career

Cooper had a lot of experience working on cars in his free time and at his gas station job, but his knowledge ended at the basics. Now that he’s completed his hands-on career training as an automotive technician and works full-time as an Automotive Technician at Grand Junction Subaru, he’s proud of the new skills in his toolbox.

“Now when you hear that knocking sound in your car, I can diagnose it when you bring it in,” jokes Cooper.

Helpful Colleagues and an Easy-Going Attitude Make Going to Work Enjoyable

According to IntelliTec’s Automotive Program Supervisor Mark Faudree, Cooper can do a lot more than diagnose car troubles. He was a top performer while enrolled in school, and he made sure to both learn and master a skill before moving on to something new.

“Dustin is a self-starter; dedicated, dependable, and steps in willingly to help out. He’s a real asset to the automotive field, and I think any company would be proud to hire him on as a technician,” says Faudree.

Dustin Cooper Automotive Technician Graduate Success Story - IntelliTec College in Grand Junction

Dustin Cooper and fiance – Automotive Technician Graduate Success Story – IntelliTec College in Grand Junction

Cooper Stays Focused in College to Earn a Successful Career as an Automotive Technician



Explore College Alternatives: What Are Your Options After High School?

Posted: May 10th, 2016   |   Author: IntelliTec Colleges

What to do after High School Graduation

How do you decide what to do AFTER high school graduation? You may have more choices than you think!

You Have More Choices than Simply ‘Going to Work’ or ‘Going to College’.

What to do after high school graduation is a question many students, recent graduates and their parents face. Should you go to work, go to a traditional four year college, or look at college alternatives after high school? This is a valid question, and the answer is not as clear as it was a generation ago.

Take a Look at Some College Alternatives

You have several options after high school instead of going straight to work. Each of these choices allow you to expand your knowledge and continue your education without attending a traditional college. Some of these include:

  • Two-year Community College
  • Trade SchoolCareer College, or Vocational School
  • Apprentice Program
  • Volunteer Program – such as Americorps or the Student Conservation Association
  • Student Exchange Program
  • Joining the Military
Sometimes it makes dollars and "sense" to work right after high school graduation.

Sometimes it makes dollars and “sense” to join the workforce immediately after high school graduation.

4 Top Reasons to Go to Work after High School

There are several reasons a you might decide to work after high school graduation rather than go immediately to college.

  1. College Costs Money. For some, the deciding factor is the cost of attending college. You may not qualify for financial aid or a loan. Sometimes, personal or family debt may make it difficult to attend college at this time in your life.
  2. The Need to Work While Pursuing Another Career. Sometimes students, especially those in performing arts careers such as dancing, music or acting, need a “regular job” to pay bills while pursuing that career.
  3. College May Not Teach What You Want to Learn. If a student is presently working in a job they hope to turn into a career, it would be better for them to remain in that current job. It might be possible to become an apprentice to someone skilled in that field.
  4. You May Already Be Skilled in Your Career. Some students may be qualified in their work area before they graduate from high school. They include those who took vocational training during their high school years. Most high schools offer training in a variety of fields.
  5. The Demand for ‘Skilled Trades’ Workers is High. Working in a trade means you have the skills and knowledge necessary for a particular job or career field. Many of the jobs in skilled trades are in high demand and are expected to remain this way. Since more students are choosing to attend traditional college rather than trade school, the shortage of skilled workers is growing.
Dustin Cooper Automotive Technician Graduate Success Story - IntelliTec College in Grand Junction

Automotive Technician Graduate – IntelliTec College in Grand Junction

Have You Thought About Attending a Trade or Vocational School?

There are many skilled trades you might have interest in studying. It is important to choose a school that offers the hands-on training for the skills you want to study. This is where the benefits of attending a trade or vocational school become important.

Some of these benefits include:

  • Hands-on Learning. If you are a student who learns best by physically doing a task, then you will be an ideal match for a trade school.
  • Real-world Externships. Many trade schools offer externships, providing students with real-world experience prior to working on their own. Externships are good for your resume, and they are beneficial when potential employers are looking for “experience” in the field.
  • Experienced Teachers. The best way to learn a skill is by actually doing it, and the best teacher is one who has been doing it for many years.
  • Cost Saved. Attending a trade school can allow you to complete a program in a much quicker period of time, without the same expenses of a four-year college.
  • Time Saved. A traditional college usually requires four years or longer to earn a degree, and community college takes two years. Training at a trade or vocational school school can usually be completed within a year and a half.
  • Professional Certification. For many trades, it is important that you be certified in their field in order to work. Most trade schools will arrange for students to take the tests required while the training is fresh in their minds.
  • Specialized Classes Focusing on a Single Trade. By attending a trade school, a student is able to focus solely on the skills they need for their particular field. There is no need to branch out into other educational areas like those that most traditional colleges or community colleges require.

Examples of Trade or Vocational Careers

Below is a partial list of some trades or vocational careers that a student might want to investigate. They include:

Statistics Supporting Success of Trade/Vocational School Graduates

Research has shown that:

  • Only 30 percent of adults feel that a college degree is necessary to attain middle class, down from 37 percent previously.
  • 44 percent of recent college grads – people aged 22 to 27 with at least a bachelor’s degree –  were working in jobs that do not require a college degree.
  • In the long-term, a college graduate – who is at the 25th percentile in income – can earn less than the typical high school graduate working in a trade. This pattern shows that the economic benefit of a college education is quite small for at least a quarter of those graduating with a bachelor’s degree.

Important Things to Consider Before Making Your Decision

For many students and their parents, the decision to attend a traditional college or to investigate college alternatives after high school graduation is a difficult one. Some things for you to consider include:

  • The student’s career interest
  • The student’s goals
  • The student’s aptitude
  • The student’s high school records

After weighing the pros and cons, the student and/or parent may decide that attending vocational or trade school is the way to go. Later on, if the student wishes to obtain a four year college degree, they will always have the option to do so.

In Summary

As can be seen, there are several options after high school for those who wish to try something other than college after their graduation.

Additional Resources

  • Vocational Information Center – – An education directory that provides links to online resources for career exploration, technical education, workforce development, technical schools and related vocational learning resources.
  • Choosing a Vocational School – from the U.S. – Federal Trade Commission
  • Choosing the Right Career Training School – – Better Business Bureau
  • Career Colleges and Technical Schools – Choosing a School – – U.S. Department of Education

Sources Used

  • Why Young People Shouldn’t Go to College (At Least Right Away) –
  • IntelliTec Colleges –
  • College vs. Work –
  • Life After High School –
  • Is There a Viable Alternative to College? –
  • What Americans Say It Takes to be Middle Class –
  • Major Decisions: What Graduates Earn Over Their Lifetimes –
  • When College Grads Earn Like High School Grads –
  • Discover the Benefits of Trade School –
  • Top 3 Advantages of Attending a Trade School –
  • Another Option After High School: Trade/Vocational Schools and Career Colleges –


IntelliTec Colleges In Colorado and New Mexico Log Over 16 Million Steps During Contest

Posted: May 5th, 2016   |   Author: Yvette de Ryk

IntelliTec College Refrigeration & HVAC Technician program awarded pizza party for winning "Lace Up & Go" Walking Contest

IntelliTec College in Grand Junction’s Refrigeration & HVAC Technician program is awarded a pizza party for winning the “Lace Up & Go” Walking Contest in April.

Students & Staff “Lace Up & Go” to Celebrate the American Heart Association’s National Walking Day

In recognition of the American Heart Association’s National Walking Day, on April 6th IntelliTec College devoted the entire month to a step contest among all four campuses.

  • The total number of steps all campuses reported for April’s month-long contest was 16,676,609 steps.

“We had an incredible number of participants who not only pushed to achieve their best, but they rallied on behalf of others as well. This was a wonderful team and individual program effort,” sad Leslie Barlow, Director of Education at IntelliTec College in Grand Junction.

All 4 IntelliTec College Campus Locations Participate in the American Heart Association's "Lace Up Go" Walking Contest in April.

IntelliTec Colleges In Colorado and New Mexico Log Over 16 Million Steps During Month-Long Walking Contest in April.

Refrigeration & HVAC Technician Program Participants WIN “Lace Up & Go” Contest

  • Students, staff and faculty members were invited to “Lace Up & Go” to build awareness of the benefits of a more active lifestyle.
  • The program with the most steps logged at the end of April was awarded a pizza party.
  • The winners: the Refrigeration & HVAC Technician program logged 8,440,066 steps!  
    • They averaged 281,335 steps per person for the month of April.

All 4 IntelliTec College Campuses Walked Their Way to Better Health

Participants used smart phones or health bracelets to track and log total steps daily.

“This might have been the first step to a healthier lifestyle for some of the participants,” said Barlow. “We wanted to present an opportunity for campuses to be more active and have fun while doing it,” she added.


According to the AHA: "There are countless ways you can get active, but walking has the lowest dropout rate of them all! It’s the simplest positive change you can make to improve your heart health." (Copyright:

According to the AHA: “There are countless ways you can get active, but walking has the lowest dropout rate of them all! It’s the simplest positive change you can make to improve your heart health.” (Copyright:

Walking 20 minutes a Day Can Decrease Fatigue and Increase Brain Power

  • Society is less active than ever before. Too much time is spent sitting in front of a screen during the day and at night, leading to predominantly sedentary lifestyles.
  • Increasing activity levels by just 20 minutes a day makes a truly significant difference in your health.
  • According to NY Times columnist Maia Szalavits, it can dramatically reduce the risk of a whole host of diseases, particularly diabetes, heart disease, dementia, as well as cancer.

Barlow agrees and advocates walking 20 minutes a day to help focus the mind and help aid in its productivity. She adds,

“It’s very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at increasing overall cognitive function. This is especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.”

About IntelliTec Colleges

IntelliTec Colleges provide hands-on career training in Colorado and New Mexico with associate degrees (occupational) and professional certificate programs, designed to be completed in as little as 18 months or less. Campus locations include Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and Pueblo. IntelliTec provides a supportive learning environment with small classes sizes and caring instructors. Learn how you can improve your life with a meaningful career by requesting information at or calling 1-800-748-2282.


Pueblo Business Graduate Follows Strategic Path to Success: Set Goals, Show Up and Do the Work

Posted: April 27th, 2016   |   Author: Yvette de Ryk

IntelliTec Grad wants to pass on the message to her son "never give up."

IntelliTec Grad wants to pass on the message to her son, “Never give up!”.

Business Graduate’s Well-Prepared Portfolio Convinced Parkview Medical Center Employers of Her Skills and Professionalism

Raven Saccomanno found herself accepting her first job offer in her chosen career within weeks of her graduation from the Business Office Administration and Accounting (BOAA) program at IntelliTec College of Pueblo. While it all happened fairly quickly, she felt ready to take on the challenge of a new career as Admitting Representative at Parkview Medical Center. Parkview is a private, non-profit healthcare facility in Pueblo, Colorado.

Saccomanno Enjoys a Family-Like Work Environment

Raven loves that she found a job specifically related to her degree, but mostly, she loves the people and the place where she works.

“For me it’s like my second home, and everyone is like family. I felt welcomed from the start,” said Saccomanno.

IntelliTec Graduate’s Patience and Composure Ensures Parkview Patients Stress-Free Admittance

Saccomanno is the first person an admitting patient speaks to. She creates a relationship with that individual sets the tone for his/her experience at Parkview.

Her ability to competently enter new patient data, and at the same time calmly address the individual’s concerns, speaks to her newly acquired business administration skills and training at IntelliTec College.

“Everything I learned at college (computer skills and customer service) is basically what I do everyday. And the smaller class sizes helped me to experience more one-on-one time with super helpful teachers and supervisors. At this school it’s obvious they want you to pass,” explained Saccomanno.

BOAA grad Raven Saccomanno and her son share in her special moment

Business Adminsistration and Accounting graduate Raven Saccomanno and her son share in her special moment.

Help From Her Mom Made Pursuing Her Degree a Family Affair

As a single parent, Saccomanno wants her son to know that no matter what, she’ll always be there for him and to never give up. Just as her mother provided the time and support Saccomanno needed to completely focus on school, she wants her son to recognize the role his family plays when challenges arise. Saccomanno’s mom sacrificed sleep time to ensure her son had proper care, allowing school to remain a priority for this IntelliTec College graduate.

“She was my rock. I can’t begin to thank her for all she’s done for me,” said Saccomanno.

Business Administration Graduate’s Academic Commitment Leads to 4.0 GPA

Raven made three promises to herself at the very beginning:

  1. Strive for a 4.0 GPA.
  2. Maintain perfect attendance.
  3. Take advantage of any study time available to complete her work.

Her promises paid off in spades. She was recognized as a Student Ambassador and received a scholarship, and she also enrolled in the National Technical Honor Society. Teachers and staff at IntelliTec College of Pueblo immediately recognized her efforts.

Program Supervisor Julio Martinez explains, “What set her apart from most of the other students in the program is her commitment to the program. She had 100% perfect attendance during her entire 18-month program. There were even times where she would come wrapped in a blanket and bring her own box of tissues because she did not want to miss a single day of class.”

Saccomanno’s Efforts Extended Beyond the Classroom, Offering Assistance to Those Less Fortunate



Student Cosmetology Salons in Grand Junction and Pueblo to Host Cut-A-Thons Wednesday April 27th to Raise Funds for Charity During Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Posted: April 21st, 2016   |   Author: Yvette de Ryk

Press Release – For Immediate Release

Public Invited and No Appointment Needed: Free Style Consultations and Haircuts starting at 10:00 a.m. – Donations to Benefit Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA)

IntelliTec College hosts 2 Cut-a-Thons

IntelliTec College’s student cosmetologists in Grand Junction and Pueblo will accept donations for all men’s and women’s haircuts on Wednesday, April 27th. Proceeds raised during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) will benefit the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA).

Pueblo, CO and Grand Junction, CO – April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and the student cosmetology salons at IntelliTec College in Grand Junction and Pueblo are each raising funds for the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA) by holding Cut-a-Thons on Wednesday, April 27th. The public is invited to participate and donate.

In addition, all four IntelliTec College campuses are participating in month-long activities to raise money and awareness during SAAM. Students, faculty and staff are participating in the upcoming April 27th Denim Day, selling teal ribbons for donations to CCASA, and providing on-campus educational resources for sexual assault awareness and prevention.

IntelliTec Hosts 2 Cut-A-Thons to Raise Money During SAAM – Accepting Donations for “Free” Haircuts and Style Consultations

Student stylists will accept donations for all men’s and women’s free haircuts and style consultations. No appointments are needed as clients will be seen on a first come/first served basis. Proceeds raised during SAAM will benefit CCASA. Refreshments will be provided, and donors will receive a teal ribbon with their haircut.

The Pueblo campus will hold their event on Wednesday, April 27th from 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and Grand Junction’s campus from 10 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

IntelliTec College’s Cosmetology Salon in Pueblo is located at 3691 Parker Blvd, Pueblo, CO 81008. The Grand Junction campus’ Cosmetology Salon is located at 2464 Patterson Road, Grand Junction, CO 81506.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Student cosmetologists actively raises funds and awareness during the month of April in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).

Sexual Assault and Violence Awareness is Important in our Communities

In the United States, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it. Sexual violence occurs more frequently than most people realize. 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime, according to the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN).



Pueblo Beauty School Grad Extends Passion for Make-up Into Cutting Edge Cosmetologist

Posted: April 1st, 2016   |   Author: Yvette de Ryk

IntelliTec College Cosmetology Graduate Brings Newly Earned Skills to Family-Owned Salon

IntelliTec College in Pueblo Cosmetology graduate Evany Andrews puts her new skills to work at a family owned business

PHOTO: IntelliTec College in Pueblo Cosmetology graduate Evany Andrews puts her new skills to work at a family owned business.

Evany Andrews knew there was no fast and easy way to reach her professional goal. This graduate from IntelliTec College of Pueblo understands it’s really about staying focused every day in order to keep things constantly moving forward. When she began Cosmetology classes at IntelliTec, she was already working full time and single parenting two children. As if that wasn’t enough, her car broke down just to test her limits. But Andrews is no quitter.

“I struggled – no doubt about it. But I was determined,” she said.

Cosmetology Graduate Focuses on Styling African American Hair in Pueblo

The struggle paid off, first with  her professional cosmetology certificate and next with a job at her brother’s salon, Evan’s Heaven in Pueblo. Their specialty is African American hair, and Andrews credits one teacher in particular who challenged her with learning specific cutting and styling techniques on African American hair.

“As an African American, I felt that [styling African American hair] was something I really needed to know,” Andrews maintained.

She’s had an ongoing love affair with make-up since childhood and knew that in order to pursue her passion she’d have to first complete her Cosmetology certificate.

“I chose IntelliTec because I’d heard lots of positive things about it from my boyfriend who was in the auto program at the Colorado Springs campus. Plus, I really believe they have the best school for cosmetology with the most qualified instructors,” said Andrews.

Andrews plans a future for herself and for her kids

PHOTO: Andrews plans a future for herself and for her kids.

She also liked that there were no prerequisites to complete and that she could immediately learn the necessary content and practical application to help her begin working in the cosmetology industry.

“They offer so many opportunities while you’re there and help you find jobs even after you finish. They even help you find daycare for your kiddos if you need it!” commented Andrews.

Skilled Cosmetologists Can Look to a Variety of Opportunities

What Andrews has noticed is that the whole cosmetology vibe has changed in the last several years, and she no longer feels she has to choose between hair and make-up; Andrew’s wants to do it all! Her goal is to be a respected businesswoman in the community where one day she’s recognized for her on-trend skills as well as possibly her own cosmetic line.

“I know it’s a very ‘in the future’ goal, but I think it’s important to professionally evolve every five years. When corporate trainers presented on campus, I learned to look ahead at what lay in the future for cosmetology and think in broader terms,” said Andrews.

Evany Andrews - Professional Cosmetologist, IntelliTec College of Pueblo graduate.

PHOTO: Evany Andrews – Professional Cosmetologist, IntelliTec College of Pueblo graduate.

After high school it was eight years before she decided she needed a career and not just a job. At that point she had two children to support, and it was tough to get back into the groove of classes and homework. But from the moment she enrolled she found an incredible amount of support from all the teachers at IntelliTec College of Pueblo.

“Peggy Gunther was instrumental in helping me with anything I needed. It really felt like every teacher was invested in my success,” Evany recalled.

Andrews Encourages Others with Her Contagious Laugh and Welcoming Smile

Cosmetology Program Supervisor Peggy Gunther knew there was something special about Andrews that couldn’t be taught in the classroom. Gunther noted how Andrews made people feel instantly welcome, which in turn made people want to be around her. And when she came to IntelliTec, she came prepared.

“She recorded a number of tutorials and created a portfolio on make-up applications long before attending IntelliTec. These are just a couple of examples of how Evany actively sought out educational opportunities to always improve her skills,” added Gunther.

Andrews felt like she had many positive messages from teachers at IntelliTec. These were the ones she turned to most when times got hard and she struggled to keep her focus.

“Life happens and even though you might get discouraged, keep your head up and your goals in mind. Look toward graduation so you can envision life in the real world. And keep it moving forward – always forward,” she said.

About IntelliTec College of Pueblo

IntelliTec’s Cosmetologist certification program is designed to be completed in 15 months. The program will prepare you to sit for the Colorado State Board of Cosmetology exam. Students learn the value of clear client communication and how to apply styling techniques on real clients in the College’s own cosmetology school salon.

IntelliTec College of Pueblo offers hands-on career training in the cosmetologist, automotive technician, medical assistant, nursing assistant, business office administration and accounting, and personal trainer fields with associate degree (occupational) and professional certificate programs. Request information at or call 800-724-9636.