The decision to drop out of school is rarely the result of a student just ‘giving up’ on their education. Things like family emergencies, a need to work, teen pregnancy, lack of transportation, and any other number of reasons may cause a student to drop out. Even when a student chooses to drop out when they are young, however, having a second chance at education can help them better their lives. Before they become the next trig problem solver or essay writer, however, steps must be taken to pursue further education.
High School Dropouts can Consider these Options
After you have made the decision to go back to school, the next step is to decide what options are available. For some, the best choice is a GED test or the General Education Development test. This allows students to show their knowledge of the common subjects explored through general education. There are also various programs available for high school dropouts, each of them designed to help those who dropped out of high school reach for a higher education. Alternatively, students could go the traditional route and finish up the classes they need through a community college or other institution.
Pursuing a GED Diploma
While you could just try to get a diploma on your own, most people benefit from taking classes. Classes are ideal for students who don’t learn well on their own or who may need guided help with knowing what materials to study. Community colleges and high school are the best places to start looking for help with a GED diploma in your community. These exist to bridge the education gap in communities and make it available to anyone, regardless of their age or the circumstances that led to them dropping out of school.
The Practice Test
Students who choose to pursue their GED diploma on their own should start with a practice test. The practice test can show you which areas you are strong in, as well as where you need to focus your energy to pass. This cuts back on the amount of time you spend studying and how long you need to commit to studying for your test.
Another alternative available to students pursuing their GED is online courses. Online programs are ideal for students who learn well alone, as well as those who do not have availability during scheduled program times. They are a great choice for parents, people who work long hours, and others whose commitments do not allow them to attend traditional schooling programs.
These are available through academic institutions. As you are browsing programs available online, something that you must be cautious of is accreditation. There are websites out there that guarantee to help you pass your GED test or that promise you will receive certification at the end of the program. However, these tests come at a cost. While you may have to pay for schooling, there is no accredited course that is going to guarantee you receive certification. Be wary of those that may be scams—there is no sense wasting your time and money if you will be unable to earn your diploma.
Finishing High School
Some previous students benefit most from finding a university that will allow them to finish their missing high school credits. This is ideal for students who have not been out of school long or only have a few classes to finish before receiving their diploma. The best place to look for these courses is through community colleges. Another alternative is Gateway to College, a program started by Bill and Melinda Gates to help bridge the gap between students without their diploma and college. The Gateway to College programs exist across the United States and are a great choice for students looking to pursue higher education.
Exploring Other Alternatives
For some students, their biggest problem is overcoming traditional schooling. Alternative options are ideal for students who may have been expelled from school or those who have behavioral problems. Some alternative options available include:
- Youth ‘CalleGNe’ Academy with the National Guard– This program exists for high school age students between 16 and 18 and is the ideal choice for students who may have behavioral problems. Their goal is to reduce the number of high school dropouts by giving students a chance to change their life for the better.
- Therapeutic Boarding Schools– For students who are struggling with mental illness, a drug addiction, or underlying issues, these types of school are ideal. Psychotherapy is combined with academics, letting students find underlying problems and work with professionals to help them find the path to academic success.
- YouthBuild– This program is designed for ex-students between the age of 16 and 24. They work with low-income families and the program extends GED training, as well as vocational training, leadership skills, and community service. For the average student, the program involves studying and preparing for high school courses or the GED and the evening involves job training and/or community service.
Regardless of the reason that a student chooses to drop out of school, they should still have a chance at a higher education and succeeding in life. By pursuing further education, you are opening yourself to more opportunities in the world. You will find yourself qualified for new life paths, such as pursuing higher education. You could also find better jobs as a graduate, such as working as a writer for thesishelpers.com or becoming the CEO of a business. The possibilities are endless.