Our culture has bought into a formula that success=high school diploma + at least a four-year college degree. One size does not fit all in post-secondary planning. That formula does not guarantee success, in spite of the extensive student loan debt it frequently produces.
US News reports that half of the college graduates have attended two or more colleges. So for students wanting a four-year degree but needing a smaller class size, ease of living at home, or lower tuition costs, getting a two-year transferable AA degree and then moving to a four-year college could be a good option.
Or maybe a two-year degree is the goal. For a student who struggles with “going through the hoops” of a traditional education and doesn’t see the relevance of many classes, a four-year liberal arts program might not be compatible.
An article in Forbes (see link on https://www.facebook.com/LEAcademyWA) highlights many strong career possibilities this can provide. With 41% of students not completing the four-year program they began (http://nces.ed.gov) we need a well-thought out post-secondary plan for each student.
We have to personalize choices. Looking in our own neighborhood, Lake Washington Institute of Technology has an extensive list of two-year and certificate programs that might have more focus and relevance for your teen (http://www.lwtech.edu/academics/programs_of_study.html).
By determining each student’s strengths, interests, and maturity level we can align the post-secondary plan accordingly. Let’s help students find the right next step. Other plans can come later. This decision is a deliberate move forward. Let’s make it one that allows each student to be prepared with the skills to compete, succeed, and serve in today’s workforce.