At a glance.
- Many career paths can lead to a happy and meaningful life.
- A traditional four-year college isn’t the only path to a career.
- Two-year colleges, vocational programs and the military are just a few of the possibilities.
For many young people with learning and thinking differences high school may be a struggle.
There’s also a common belief that a traditional four-year college is the only career path after high school.
However there are many paths that can lead to a happy and meaningful life.
Here are the different options for life after high school.
Four-year college or university school.
A traditional four-year college or university can prepare young people for a wide range of professional careers.
College can a challenge for any student.
It requires hard work without a lot of structure and support.
Also, there are no Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) in college to help students stay on track.
Before high school graduation make sure to discuss what type of college is the right choice.
Students, families and school staff should part of this conversation.
Smaller schools may offer more attention.
Larger ones may have more resources.
When looking at colleges meet with each school’s disability services office to see what support is available.
Some colleges have special programs that offer extra services and support to students with learning differences.
Two-year college .
A two-year college can a great option for young people .
who are unsure about their career path and who aren’t ready for a four-year college.
These programs give students the option to move on to a four-year school.
they can strengthen skills and prepare them for careers.
Two-year colleges may offer tutoring and training to help students move into adult life.
They can help students build time management and study skills and get used to college life while still living at home.
Trade and certificate programs.
Trade and vocational programs offer a direct path towar specific jobs.
Many young people prefer this type of hands-on learning.
There are programs in a wide range of areas including things like web design electronics and medical assistance.
Many colleges offer certificate programs too.
Programs tend to provide more supervision to help students keep up with their work.
Many also offer internships and apprenticeships that help young people move into the workforce.
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This can a good option for young adults who thrive on structure and physical activity.
The training involves a lot of practice and repetition.
Service in the armed forces can lead to a job and to college-level education.
Before joining it is a important to think about how learning and thinking differences could impact training.
The military has rules for qualifying if a young person has taken ADHD medication in the past and needs special accommodations.
Gap year school .
Some teens don’t feel ready for college directly after high school.
One option for them is a “gap year.”
A gap year is becoming more common among American students.
And many colleges will now allow students to defer enrollment for a year.
Many students spend their gap year exploring interests through internships volunteer experiences a job and travel.
Work school .
If more schooling isn’t right going straight to work can a rewarding path for young people.
But in a tough job market young adults may have trouble getting a job especially if they have no experience.
If that’s the case they might consider volunteering for a while to build skills.
School guidance counselors and community centers can help young adults find internships and volunteer work.
Family members and friends may know of jobs too.
As a young person learns solid work skills independence will follow.
And they may discover a career path that leads to further training.