Alternatives to College

Some seniors are not interested in attending a college with a four-year academic program of studies after Lake view high school. Junior colleges are one option. There are many vocational and technical schools that exist for students who want to learn skills that will help them in the search for a job. Alternatives to a four-year college include many community colleges, the military, business and industry, private vocational schools, and experiential learning. It is wise for students to investigate the possibilities for college and apply even if they think they want an alternative.

Community Colleges
When you enroll at an Illinois community college, you can choose to earn an associate degree and transfer after two years to a four-year institution, or you may choose a career program designed to prepare you for a job upon graduation. There are more than 1,200 courses of study available including engineering, computer science, pre-law, pre-med, nursing, marketing, psychology, law enforcement, film-making, business management, economics, architecture and fine arts.

Armed Services
There are opportunities in education and training available for men and women in all branches of the Armed Forces. Training varies from a few weeks to a year, depending upon the field of specialization. Your options include the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, and U.S. Merchant Marine.
On-the-Job Training by Business and Industry Business and industry spend as much money or even more educating employees than that spent by all formal schools and colleges combined. Training varies from a few days or a few weeks while some occupations requires frequent retraining as the employee advances in the company. Companies often will pay for all or part of the training for students who want to take job-related courses. As a result, more and more employees are working towards college degrees with financial assistance from employers.

Private Vocational Schools
There are numerous privately-owned schools that provide vocational training. Areas of specialization include broadcasting, fashion, cosmetology, medical and technical training and many more. When choosing a private school, carefully check the school’s credentials. Make sure that the school is licensed. Visit the school to check its facilities and equipment. Investigate the program quality and the school’s financial stability by contacting graduates of the school and their employers, the Better Business Bureau and the Illinois Department of Education. Remember, many community colleges offer the same programs of private vocational schools at a fraction of the private vocational school cost. Note: Please see page 50 for list of alternative programs.