What is college & career readiness?
Degree/Credential for Employment
Ideally, College and Career Readiness and Post-Secondary Preparation means helping students navigate the process to pursue education past a high school diploma that leads to a living wage. That can mean not only taking the courses students need to graduate, but also the courses, tests, applications, FAFSA, and other items that enable a student to pursue post-secondary options that prepare them for their future career.
Financial Aid is a broad term that means understanding money sources to pay for post-secondary options. Some options like the military, apprenticeships, or trades, have programs set up where you earn money while serving or learning a trade. Other technical, 2-year, or 4-year college options have a “sticker price” that is often reduced through financial aid sources like grants, scholarships, and loans.
Start to Finish
One of the most difficult concepts to convey is how people take winding paths to get to where they want. Some students change their majors at a 4-year college, some students start at a 2-year college and transfer to a 4-year college. Some serve in the military then go to school after their term of service. The most important thing to understand is that students need to ask questions. Ask questions to those in career fields that you are pursuing. Ask them two questions:
- How did you get to where you are? (This question can help you understand which degrees/credentials supported them in finding their current career, as well as how they navigated financial aid and other difficult items.)
- Would you have done anything differently? (This question can get at some of the barriers or decisions that the person encountered along the way. Often people want to prevent others from making the same mistakes.)