High school students are constantly asked the question “Where are you going to college?” followed by “What are you going to study?” For many, the traditional path of entering a four-year college after graduation is best suited to their career goals; However, it is not the only option.
Stephanie Hines, educational coach at Mount Pleasant and Parents, has created a guide for parents as they navigate these conversations with their teenage sons. College Not Compulsory provides guidelines and tools, including lists of questions for students to consider and discuss as they consider their options.
said Hines, whose education background is as a teacher in California and most recently at Oceanside Collegiate Academy.
Open-ended questions start at the foundation level and allow students to consider their values and passions in relation to the profession. For example, Haynes said that if a student values service to others, spending the whole day in a cubicle may not be a rewarding career.
The next section of questions encourages students to research the list of industries and determine which industries stand out to them. Next, students delve into the specific certifications, training, or degrees required for the career field. Throughout the process, they take into account the cost of the program along with the potential income for the job.
Having a plan ahead of time prevents students from going to college to “find it out” and graduating with a degree they don’t end up using.
“This is a really expensive investment to try and figure out what you want to do in those four years,” Haynes said. She challenges the students by asking, “Is the investment worth the gains?” Oftentimes, there are other methods that can help a student reach their end goal.
Hines said a lot of the uncertainty comes from students who don’t know their options. There are opportunities for students to explore their interests apart from the traditional high school curriculum.
Students at Wando High School or Lucy Beckham High School can receive training and certification at the East Cooper Center for Advanced Study in specific professional areas including cosmetology, auto mechanics, health sciences, engineering, and multimedia arts. These professional certifications can lead to a full-time job after graduating from high school or prepare the student for an advanced degree.
Apprenticeships through community colleges, such as Trident Technical College, provide paid, hands-on opportunities with mentoring from an employee in the position. These programs can be completed during a gap year if the student is unsure of jumping straight into college.
Haynes emphasized that the role of parents in these discussions is to help adolescents understand their strengths and interests, identify job roles that align with their values and develop a plan for achieving the goal.
Hines had these “training talks” with her children, who have different skills and interests compared to each other. Her 23-year-old daughter attended cosmetology school where she can use her creativity and embrace her extroverted personality through conversations with clients; While her 19-year-old son, who has always enjoyed school and wanted to pursue athletics, plays football at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte.
Hines surveyed parents and students across the country to learn about the factors that led to a career decision after high school, including certifications about joining the military, taking a gap year to receive training, going to trade school, attending four years of college and going through the recruitment process as a student. Athlete.
Haynes offers one-on-one coaching with students. She works with students who are uncertain about their future careers, and she also helps students who are struggling in school with organizational advice and visual conversations.
Haynes is hosting a virtual book launch event on September 30th at 6pm. The event is free, but registration is required. Visit www.stephaniehaynes.net/press-and-events for more information.