What do you want to be when you grow up? It is a great way to start your student thinking about their future at any age. However, it becomes a more critical question as students move into High School. The Foundation High School program, that began with the Class of 2018, wants students to begin making plans for their future by choosing a pathway leading to an endorsement. The intent of the pathways or endorsements was to combine rigorous course work with relevant technical skills so that students would be prepared for any post secondary option: workforce, military, community college, or University degrees. The Achieve Texas is available to help students with those choices.
When you begin to work with your high school student on his/her future plans, remind them to take the most rigorous of curriculum while in high school/always staying with the 4x4 plan, score as high as possible on any & all assessments, and take advantage of dual credit classes then as they progress closer to high school graduation the more options for post-secondary they will have to choose.
Where to start when talking about careers? Texas Genuine is one of most inclusive sights offering career assessment, jobs with in those career choices, job outlook, salary range, along with the amount of school needed and the schools that offer those programs. The Texas Workforce Commission has several sights you can research for current job trends, current labor market, and trends for upcoming careers.
Once your student knows what he/she wants "to be when they grow up", the next step is earning the certification or degree. Hopefully, your student has taken advantage of a rigorous high school program, taken and earned the scores needed for admissions, and knows the deadlines for the college or program. Certification programs can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months and have various start times through out the year. College or 2 yr Associate programs are set up to be completed in 2 yrs or 4 semesters; if it is taking longer and your student is attending full time there could be a problem! University programs take 4 yrs for a Bachelor's degree, however, some programs such as engineering or accelerated BA with a Masters Degree can take 5 yrs or even 6 yrs. * NOTE: According to Tx Higher Ed Coordinating Board 2015, students who began at a 4 yr University had a graduation rate average of 60%. Whereas students who began at a 2yr College program with the intent to transfer to a 4yr University had a graduation average of 29%.
It is important to not only look at the cost of a program but looking at the graduation rate. The overall cost maybe much higher in the long run. If your goal is to earn a Bachelor's degree, starting at the University allows you more choices in courses, times, is more willing to look at CLEP or AP tests, and you are not at risk of loosing your credits through the transfer. * Now that does not mean 2 yr programs are not a good option even when you plan to transfer to a University; just be smart start with the degree plan at the University & even ask if they have articulated agreements with any colleges; with an articulated agreement the University has set up a program with the college and you are less likely to loose credits.
Career choices........start making them early. If your student changes his/her mind, the multi-disciplinary endorsement in high school allows for that just make sure you are taking 4 years of English , 4 years of Math, 4 years of Science, and 4 years of Social Studies courses.