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Are You College and Career Ready? What are You Ready For?

High school is just getting ready for the rest of your adult life. But what are you ready for when you graduate? There are lots of things to get ready for but what you want are options. People who never thought they would go to college find themselves wanting to go when they reach their senior year in high school. If you have taken the right classes and prepared, that could be one of your options. If you don’t want to go at least give yourself the option to go.  Here are the basic degrees of readiness.

Work Ready. This is the most basic. Work ready means you are capable of getting up and getting to work every day. You are able to get along with people and follow directions. These are usually labor intensive jobs with very few skills and low pay.

Job Ready. This means you have skills in addition to the most basic of work collegestudentsonlawnready. These will be entry level jobs where you are trained to do a specific job. Training for these positions are typically done “on the job” and is completed in several weeks. They generally start with low pay. You probably did pretty good in high school and are a reliable person. You can write well and you can do basic math. Sometimes these jobs can lead to careers in some companies but you have to work your way up from the bottom.

Career Ready. Now you are talking about some post high school training in which you can move up the ladder in a career pathway. You have a good foundation of knowledge, skills and general learning strategies to start in a pathway leading to a decent paying career and some security. These careers typically require at least a certificate from a community college or tech school.

College Ready. This is the best type of readiness. You have all of the options at your door. When you graduate from high school and you are college ready, you have all of the knowledge and skills to enroll in and pass college level courses. Just graduating from high school does not make you college ready. At a local community college, 75% of enrolling freshmen have to take remedial English or math (or both). They did not learn the English and math skills in high school to do college level work even though they graduated.

The lesson? You want to have all of the options. You change a lot from a high school freshman to your senior year. Take the classes. Get the grades. Do the work. You may not head to college right out of high school. Maybe the military or a tech school is more like you. That’s great and I don’t want to minimize those paths, but give yourself all the options. You may be glad you did.

© 2015 Roger D. Chamberlain

Roger Chamberlain
Roger Chamberlain works for a university helping low income and under represented high school students prepare for and be successful in college.
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