Postsecondary Options

What are you going to do after high school graduation?  There are many options!

4-Year College – After completing coursework at a 4-year college, students earn a Bachelor’s Degree.  Entrance into most 4-year colleges requires the following at minimum:

  • Specific High School Coursework including:
    • 4 credits in English
    • 4 credits in Math (Integrated I/Algebra I or higher)
    • 3 credits in Science (2 lab-based)
    • 3 credits in Social Studies
    • 1 credit in Foreign Language
    • 2 academic elective credits
  • Certain cut-point ACT or SAT scores (varies by college)
  • Completed application with essay, letters of recommendation, and application fee

Community College – Community colleges generally offer a variety of 1-3 year programs in which a student can earn a professional certificate (such as Medical Assistant or Veterinary Technologist) or Associates Degree.  Most community colleges are less expensive than 4-year colleges, provide specific job training, and have fewer entrance requirements.  For entrance to most, students must have earned a high school diploma or GED, complete the application, and pay the application fee.

Military – Students who want to gain job skills, serve our country, be part of a team, and work right out of high school may want to look at military options.  With 5 branches and various ways to join (active duty, reserve, guard, academies), there are many options within the military.  Each branch and section has different entrance requirements.  More information about the various branches, jobs, and entrance requirements can be found at:

Career and Technical Schools – These types of schools provide job specific training to students.  Programs will range in length from a few weeks to 2 or more years.  Students come out with the skills and certifications for jobs such as certified nurse assistant, automotive technician, cosmetologist, or computer technician.

Apprenticeships – Some students want to gain professional job skills, but do not want to attend formal college.  Apprenticeships may be a good fit for this type of student.  Students can gain the skills, education, and certification to become Electricians, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Carpenters through job specific apprenticeships.  Generally, apprenticeships last several years with workers getting paid while they train.

Volunteer Programs – Volunteer programs are for students ready to explore their interests but not ready to commit to college, the military, or a particular career.  For these students, volunteer programs such as AmeriCorps may be a strong option.  AmeriCorps provides learning opportunities to young people throughout the country.  Students are provided with housing, food, training, and unique learning/working experiences.  Successful completion of an AmeriCorps program helps students build their resume, gain skills, and provides them with an education stipend (money for future educational endeavors).  More information can be found at:

Employment – Students who are ready to join the workforce following high school graduation will want to explore their employment options.  While it is often challenging to find a well-paying job without training or college, students ready to work right out of high school do have options.  Some companies offer paid training and advancement opportunities.  Having a strong resume, cover letter, and letters of recommendation will help students as they enter the workforce.