Are students prepared for life after school?

The definition of what it means to attend school has begun to change because of alternatives available to meet the different needs students.  According to Print Casting,  “many modern parents are dissatisfied with the existing education system. The main reasons: low quality and development of complexes in children. Therefore, a certain popularity was gained by alternative education. It carries both undeniable advantages and conceals drawbacks.” Different types of schools allow parents to choose the type of education that best fits the needs of their child. 

Vocational schools

Vocational education has become an alternative to enrolling in traditional high school for several reasons.  Graduating with large amounts of debt has become a growing crisis for millions of students enrolled in community college or four-year university.  Entering into the workforce with a skilled trade right after high school can eliminate that debt burden. Often universities or colleges offer a well-rounded education which includes different classes that may be out of your field of study, while vocational studies lets you narrow down what you have to study and mainly focus on your designated field.  Aims Education stated, “Most vocational programs skip general education courses altogether- making for a more efficient use of your money. So if you don’t need any time to decide what you want to do, a shorter program of study is a good option. If you’re not sure what you want to study before you begin, consider going on informational interviews.”  College and universities offer a well-rounded education so that includes general education classes so it takes more time to get your degree in a specialized field. Also, as a result of entering your field earlier than most people, you get to meet professionals in your field.

Online schools

Removing the physical building from your studies is an unconventional style of gaining knowledge. It has received some negative reviews saying it does not offer the full educational experience with friends, extracurricular activities and in-person study time. Nevertheless, with advances in technology the number of students enrolled in online schooling is increasing. Studying online can allow students more free time, as well as being more independent in their studies. According to Illinois Education, “studying online gives you more flexibility. You can work and fit your work schedule (and your hobbies) around your coursework more easily; even more so if you are taking an asynchronous class: an online class where you don’t have to log in at a specific time for a live session but you can study and interact with your instructor and your classmates at your own pace through, for example, the discussion forum.”

School for students with learning differences

Research from Our Kids found that, “Students get the support they need to get the most out of their education. This may include accommodations, modifications, or remediations. Teachers have specialized training in special education. Instruction is tailored to individual students to meet their unique learning needs. Special resources and services may be available.” These schools provide students with academic and psychological counseling, tutoring programs, and speech-language therapy. These students can face many different challenges include learning, developmental, behavioral, and physical challenges.

The pathway to educational enlightenment, for a very long time only had one direct path. Now that there are many different avenues in which students can take to realize their own specific goals. It is a step in the right direction in bridging the gap between more socially acceptable education systems and less socially acceptable education; therefore, making the educational system more equitable. 

Why different pathways matter 

Everyone is unique and everyone has a different path to success.  Frequently, a four-year university or college is seen as the only way to achieve the societal definition of success. However, some individual learning styles are not a good fit for a four-year university.  In order to offer an equitable education, it is imperative that the American education system offer options that can accommodate many different learning styles and versions of success. 


Written by: Renin Broadnax

Yamasaki_Are students prepared for life after high school_ V4

Created by: Ariana Yamasaki

Learning the trades

Training For Trade Work As An Education Outcome

Many students go into college unprepared and don't know that they can pick up a skilled trade instead of attending higher education. Trade work is a viable career choice divergent from the expectation of college.

Produced by: Alex Maiorana

mechanic by trade

Cameron Craddock has been a full-time working mechanic from a young age. Although he is mostly self taught, he attended high school and trade school in New Jersey. He currently works for a management company that maintains golf course equipment across Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This equipment often needs precise and proper maintenance in order for the golf courses to be properly maintained. He sometimes works closely with the Philadelphia PGA to maintain proper cutting heights on greens. Outside of work he enjoys doing his own mechanical work on the side.  This includes cars, trucks and marine equipment.

Photography and Written by: Ashley Moore


Created by: Ashley Moore

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