I did the same as some of you. I went to the local commuinty college photography dept. It didn't hurt that many local West coast fine art assistants taught while I was there. The school was raided by the local commerical labs for employees on a monthly basis. What's nice about a lab was the free film processing and low cost to printing.
But, that was sometime ago and digital is king amoung labs.
I think you need to ask yourself. What kind of photography are you interested in? Commerical, journalism, weddings (dread) or fine art. Then look to see what workshops are around you, what kind of schools and then test the waters,
Robert8x10