Exploring Different Academic Pathways

It’s not outrageous to say that there are many pathways to personal success, each suited to an individual’s needs, taste, and resources. Because each person has a unique journey, it makes sense that there are a variety of academic routes to pursue. Whatever your goal, as long as you have the energy and ambition, there are people and programs out there in academia who can and will aid you on your way. Even if you have been out of school for many years, or never completed a prior educational qualification, opportunities abound.

GED testing: For many, earning a high school diploma would be a major personal achievement. If you are interested in pursuing your General Education Diploma (GED), your community may offer free, low-cost, or subsidized GED programs. Alternative educational programs through traditional high schools are also available in some states and are geared towards serving adults who wish to complete their high school education in a conventional academic setting.

Vocational School: While we may be familiar with hearing Vo Tech programs mentioned as part of a high school, these schools often have adult-oriented courses dedicated to hands-on learning or a trade or specific employment skill, generally over a shorter time frame, such as 6-18 months. If you are looking for a career in a trade such automotive repair, HVAC, cosmetology, or the like, a Vocational School is a great resource!

Training or certification programs: Not every area has a vocational school program or offering for adults. Or, the program may not be aimed at your career goals. That’s where a different type of program may be more suitable, offered through a local community college, online college, or career college. These programs may be general, such as earning an Associates Degree, or very specific, in a wide array of areas, from paraprofessional skills to medical technicians, and more.

Community College: For those who wish to save money, or stay closer to home, community colleges are no longer a “second tier” educational option! Whether you want to improve your GPA before transferring to a University or simply find classes that are designed to fit around your work schedule, community colleges can be a terrific way to earn a well-respected degree.

Traditional University: Many returning students decide to dive back into school full-time. Whether through a collegiate recovery program or community college, returning full-time is a serious commitment of time and resources, financial and otherwise. Beyond the cost of college courses, there will inevitably be some social aspects to adapt to: as fast as modern life changes, student life can move even more quickly.

Many who return to study as adult find that the process is one of experimentation, trying to find the “right fit.” Don’t be discouraged if your first idea or plan doesn’t pan out the way you hoped: with so many opportunities and paths to educational success, you are certain to find the right one if you are persistent and dedicated!

Financial worry is the biggest issue cited by people who wish to return to or begin their academic journey.  The Ammon Foundation provides monetary support for people in recovery from substance use disorders who are following their unique educational pathway, at university, in job training, or through community college. Please visit our blog to learn more about the Ammon Foundation Scholarship program and details about applications!