Montana Youth Transitions


Montana Trade Schools

Is Trade School an option for me? (Also known as Technical Centers, Vocational Schools and Colleges of Technology)

Trade schools are a great option to consider when thinking about what you want to do when you graduate from high school. A trade school is a school in which students are taught the skills needed to perform a particular job. There are many different training programs available in many areas. A few examples include mechanics, carpentry, cosmetology, health care, and office work.

Another option is the Job Corps. Job Corps is a no-cost education and vocational training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 through 24 get a better job, make more money, and take control of their lives.

At Job Corps, students enroll to learn a trade, earn a high school diploma or GED and get help finding a good job. When you join the program, you will be paid a monthly allowance; the longer you stay with the program, the more your allowance will be. Job Corps provides career counseling and transition support to its students for up to 12 months after they graduate from the program.

What Can I Do in High School To Prepare Me for a Trade School?

Your Individualized Education Program (IEP) team can help you prepare to successfully transition from high school to a trade school by doing the following.

  • Help you build the skills you will need at trade school.
  • Help you find out what accommodations and technology may help you to attend a trade school.
  • Help you and your family learn what your civil rights are by going through the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Teaching you learning skills related to self-determination. Self-determination is knowing and doing what is right for you. Skills that you and your teachers can focus on to help develop self-determination are: 

  • Choice making and decision making. What are my options, which match my need, and who do I tell?
  • What do I want to accomplish and how do I do it? What should I do about this, how do I do it, how do I know it worked?

As a trade school-bound student with a disability, you need to contact the schools you are thinking about attending to ask about available services. You should also ask if you need documentation to verify that you have a disability. Vocational Rehabilitation can help IEP teams in planning the transition between high school and trade school and in finding any disability documentation needed.

  • If the school has a Disability Services for Students ( DSS) office, register with the DSS office and find out about accommodations. Register with the DSS as early as possible, preferably before the start of the first semester to find out about accommodations. Regularly checking in with DSS is a good idea to make sure that accommodations are being used for all classes.
  • Explaining your disability. At the trade school, it is your responsibility to explain your disability and its impact on your functioning. It is also your responsibility to ask for specific accommodations that will help you access the learning material. You will need to do this when you apply with the admissions office and with each of your instructors.


A partial list of Trade Schools and Vocational School in Montana can be found at:

Information about the different Colleges of Technology in Montana can be found at:



®2008 Montana Youth Transitions - All Rights Reserved
Website Design by Shortgrass Web Development, LLC