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College & Career Training in Alaska

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?

A. Listening to a teacher, reading about a subject, and possibly hands-on application once I’m knowledgeable about the subject

B. Small classes that combine listening to a teacher and book work

C. Small classes that combine listening to an instructor, watching an instructor perform an example, book, work, and hands-on training

D. Instruction combined with watching an example and then hands-on work

Which would you rather do?

A. Get involved in a campus community (Greek, Sports, Clubs)

B. Gain professional knowledge that can be used to provide paid professional consulting to my community

C. 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

D. Gain a set of specialized skills tailored to an employer’s needs, and get paid in the process

How much variety would you like?

A. Education that includes a variety of topics and subjects

B. A framework of information that I could directly put to use

C. Some variety in my education but focused on hands-on skills

D. Focus on one field, and acquire a set of specialized skills in that particular field

Which interests you the most?

A. Researching, analyzing, and synthesizing information to become highly knowledgeable about the world and my field

B. Combining research with pertinent information from a teacher to gain understanding about a topic that will directly benefit me or my community

C. Learning a set of skills through hands-on that lead directly to a specific job/career

D. 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 SuccessCenter for free assistance!

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