Whenever I present on postsecondary options, I always start by explaining what I mean by “postsecondary education” – any educational program after high school or GED such as: workforce skills & career training, vocational/technical program, apprenticeships, associate & bachelor degrees, or military career/ROTC.
It is important to know that there are many options underneath the umbrella of postsecondary education – which is great because one option may work for one but not for another. Some prefer the classroom setting; others prefer hands-on training, or a hybrid of both. The questions below are a great way to gauge what postsecondary path aligns with your preferred style of learning.
How do you prefer to learn the basics?
- Listening to a teacher, reading about a subject, and possibly hands-on application once I’m knowledgeable about the subject
- Small classes that combine listening to a teacher and book work
- Small classes that combine listening to an instructor, watching an instructor perform an example, book, work, and hands-on training
- Instruction combined with watching an example and then hands-on work
Which would you rather do?
- Get involved in a campus community (Greek, Sports, Clubs)
- Gain professional knowledge that can be used to provide paid professional consulting to my community
- Gain a set of skills in a particular field in a relatively short period of time, and use them later on to provide a paid service to my community
- Gain a set of specialized skills tailored to an employer’s needs, and get paid in the process
How much variety would you like?
- Education that includes a variety of topics and subjects
- A framework of information that I could directly put to use
- Some variety in my education but focused on hands-on skills
- Focus on one field, and acquire a set of specialized skills in that particular field
Which interests you the most?
- Researching, analyzing, and synthesizing information to become highly knowledgeable about the world and my field
- Combining research with pertinent information from a teacher to gain understanding about a topic that will directly benefit me or my community
- Learning a set of skills through hands-on that lead directly to a specific job/career
- Starting a job with progressive wage increases as my knowledge and skill levels increase
Which letter did you select the most?
A Four-Year Colleges & Universities – offer a broad array of bachelor’s degrees, also called the baccalaureate (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science). Many also offer vocational certificates, associate and master’s degrees.
B Community Colleges – usually serve city, borough, or region residents. They typically offer vocational certificates and associate degrees and have minimal entrance requirements.
C Vocational Schools & Colleges – offer career and technical training in a hands-on environment near your community.
D Apprenticeships – start you working from day one with on-the-job training and technical instruction. It can take one to six years for individuals to receive an industry-recognized credential that certifies occupational proficiency.
Remember, every postsecondary path – regardless of which path – leads to a destination; a postsecondary credential!
If you need any assistance with navigating any postsecondary process and/or developing a plan for your postsecondary endeavors, contact the ACPE Success Center for free assistance!