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Post Secondary Options

Colleges offer a four-year program in the arts and sciences usually leading to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in a major field of study such as english, chemistry, business, etc. These schools are usually, but not always, the liberal arts “regular decision” schools. Colleges may also offer degrees in pre-professional areas such as law, theology and medicine; which then require that a student continue with advanced study in a graduate school or a medical school. Students could also move on to a university to obtain a master’s or doctorate degree.

Universities offer both four-year undergraduate degrees and graduate study. After earning a bachelor’s degree, students may continue their education either at this school or at another by seeking a master’s degree and then a doctorate, if desired. These schools are usually, but not always, larger public schools, i.e. “University of….”

Junior Colleges or Two Year Colleges offer a two-year degree, which is the equivalent of the first two years of the regular college program. Students may then transfer to a four-year school, usually as a junior.

Community Colleges or Technical Schools offer two kinds of programs: “college transfer” and “career.” Students in the “college transfer” program will take traditional freshman and sophomore college courses to earn an Associate of Arts or Science degree (AS or AA) and may transfer to a four-year school. Many careers are open with only an AA degree such as nursing, computer networking, welding, construction management, etc. This can be a good option as community colleges cost much less than four-year colleges, thus saving money for the first two years. Students in the “career” track are working toward a certificate study specialized areas such as computers, real estate, medical assistant, etc.

Specialized Schools offer programs in areas such as cosmetology, music, computers, graphics, etc. Students do not receive the liberal arts part of a college curriculum, and instead train for a specific career.

Military Academies offer a four-year course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree and a commission as an officer in the military. See more information about this later in this handbook under “Military Option.”

Military Service in any branch offers a wide variety of training opportunities for qualified persons both while in the service and after the service obligation is completed.

Apprenticeship Training is where an employer agrees to teach someone the skills necessary for a certain job and to give on-the-job experience. This program may or may not require related technical instruction at a school. At the end of the apprentice period, the trainee becomes a journeyman or a qualified craftsman. Examples of careers in this area are electrician, plumber, HVAC, welding, construction, etc.