These are my thoughts, exactly. When I was a kid, not to be offensive, but the meme was that vocational schools (BOCES up here) were for mentally challenged kids. I had no idea what it actually was until... maybe senior year? And I was no longer eligible at that point. Hell, who says a vocational program has to be the last step? The way I see it, you teach kids a trade and they can either go that route as a career or take that information and apply it to their chosen career and education. Welding is a decent trade but if it's not for you, you get experience understanding the strength and use of welds, general metalworking skills etc. and if you pursue structural engineering, you've got firsthand experience with how the designs are implemented. Apply that example to whatever other trades that can be offered at that level. And the military thing is a great point, which I've been harping on for a while. Somebody in the armed forces could chime in with more details but I've been under the impression that for all the training you get in the military, none of that applies as credit/experience when you go to school and it doesn't get noticed enough on a job application. I'm not 100% on how accurate that one is but I've heard of issues there before. Totally with you on the credit transferring thing. A nightmare trying to transfer credits across state borders and almost as much trouble transferring credits across county borders, or CC to state or CC to private university; with some exceptions.