Post Secondary Options
Postsecondary is a reference to education beyond high school. The four-year university is not necessarily the path for all students and many want to join the workforce, apprenticeship programs, or attend technical/specialty training (schools) after graduation. Our goal is to provide opportunities and clear pathways for every student we serve. There are many postsecondary options available. Students can scaffold certificates and degrees, which is a great way to determine which pathway is right for you.
An apprenticeship is a great option for students who want to earn while they learn. Apprenticeships combine a full-time job with training and prepare workers to enter in-demand careers.
Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training (OJT) and related classroom instruction under the supervision of a journey-level craft person or trade professional in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation. Some apprenticeship programs also have dual accreditation through postsecondary institutions and allow students to earn an Associate Degree.
Some students decide to enter the workforce to help determine which career path is a good fit for them. There are many free services to help students find employment.
Career One Stop: Your source for career exploration, training, and jobs WorkSource WA: Statewide partnership of state, local and nonprofit agencies that provides an array of employment and training services to job seekers and employers in Washington.
Serving your country as a member of the armed forces allows graduates to earn while you learn. The military has options available to help students continue their education.
The ASVAB test or Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test is a test used for admission into the US armed forces or a great tool for career exploration. This test is will help determine individual strengths and weaknesses needed in a variety of occupations. Information on testing dates at your school is available from the Career Center or your counselor.
Community and Technical Colleges
Community and Technical Colleges help students get ready for a career, transfer to a university, or learn new skills for a better life. The State Board of Career and Technical Colleges works with students, universities, employers, and industry to make sure the offerings are what students need to graduate on time, with less debt, and ready for the next step in life. Some of these institutions offer bachelor degree options. Technical colleges offer open-door admissions and lower tuition rates. Students who complete associate degrees and certificates are more likely to move into higher-status management and professional positions with higher earnings. An investment of a few thousand dollars now will likely pay lifelong dividends, as students who earn associate degrees’ average lifetime earnings of $250,000 more than those without degrees.
What to Know About Choosing a Community College vs. a Four-Year University
Four-Year Colleges and Universities
Washington state is home to six public four-year colleges and universities and more than 300 independent colleges, universities and career schools. Colleges and universities that offer bachelor's degrees are a good choice for students focused on a career that requires a four-year degree.
Paying for Postsecondary Education
Washington State College Bound Scholarship Program: In 2007 the Washington State Legislature established the College Bound Scholarship. This program was created to provide state financial aid to low-income students who may not consider college a possibility due to the cost. The scholarship covers tuition (at comparable public college rates), some fees, and a small book allowance.
There is a lot of information to help you make the decision that is right for you. In addition to these helpful links, speak with your counselor or career specialist:
Access Washington Colleges and Universities
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Washington Career Bridge
Washington Student Achievement Council