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Rethinking College
April 5, 2015, 2:06 pm
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Helping students decide what to do after high school is no small task. This is especially true when it comes to assisting those students who do not plan to go to college and want to follow a more non-traditional path.

It is estimated that on average only half the students who pass out of high-school go on to pursue formal college degrees. There are a number of reasons for this, including cost and social factors, skills sets and academics.

Sometimes there are family struggles or personal issues that prevent a student from going to college even though he or she is a high achiever. Other times when there is not as much financial aid and the economy is not doing well, there could be a decrease in college enrollment.

Then there are students who want to go to college but do not quite make the grade; for them it is all about stepping-stones. They have to have an end in sight and make a step-by-step plan to get where they want to be.

For those students who are more self-aware and know they are not ready for a university environment, postponing or forgoing a college education can save a lot of frustration, disappointment, and financial stress.

But often there are students who do not even know what their goals are. Schools can help students decide on whether to go to college or not by talking to them on a case-by-case basis to find out what their individual likes, plans and goals are.

In this regard, it is important for schools to have competent and dedicated counselors who will go the extra mile to help students draw up goals and plans. The counselors will need to walk some of the students through the process, guiding and showing them what to do.

Students who do not want to go to college have various options to follow their ambition. They should be encouraged to get experience in a field that they are interested in.

Technical schools that provide training in specific careers or jobs should be figured out for those students who do not want to go to college. This is essential, because without some sort of post-school training — whether it is a formal college degree or vocational diploma — job options become limited.

Students can become easily discouraged and impressions they form can have long-term effects on the psyche. Encouraging positive attitudes and providing students with a progressive outlook will go a long way to ensuring they have a bright future ahead of them.

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