What are the other options beside High School?

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Posted on : 27-06-2013 | By : My Study Coach | In : Improve Your Concentration
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I am currently a freshmen in high school, and I am not fitting in as well as I hoped in high school, and I think this is the wrong environment for me to learn in. And I am dealing with way too much stress because of it.
I was wondering, if I was to drop out of high school, what my other options would be to still graduate high school?

Thanks for your help!

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Comments (3)

Homeschooling? I don’t know…

Well, you can transfer to a middle college. You would take classes that would allow you to receive both high school and college credit. It would also mean you get to finish college faster.

Before thinking about dropping out of HS, first talk with your school counselor about other programs that may exist within your school system. Try to explain what specifically makes you uncomfortable in your current setting. It may be as simple as getting involved in one thing, such as a club or after-school activity with people you might have more in common with. That would give you something to look forward to each day/week. Or maybe a class or program that you find more relevant to your learning style or your goals would be what you need, such as a work-study class in which you earn some credits by working at a job that interests you while getting valuable career skills.

Or if the problem is your school itself, there may be an alternative school that accepts students your age for various reasons. I don’t know how old you are, but many alternative high schools accept students who are 16 and up. Usually the school counselor gets the initial information for you, and if you are interested in learning more about the program, you make a visit and then your counselor works with the alternative school to complete the application process. They often have flexible scheduling, different ways of teaching, smaller classes, and more opportunities for independent work. Sometimes they offer students a chance to earn more credits per year than in a traditional high school and thus a chance to graduate early with a regular HS diploma and move on with life. Most community colleges will accept students under 18 as long as they have a HS diploma or GED.

Speaking of a GED, there may be a program run through your school system that takes motivated students under 18 and helps them prepare for the GED test. Usually the program will require students to attend GED prep classes a certain number of days/hours per week, and to work a certain number of hours per week as well. When the student is ready, they sponsor the student to go and take the GED. Most states won’t allow a student under 18 to take the GED without this sponsorship by such a program.

BTW, you may not even be legally allowed to drop out of HS at your age. Often, a parent has to sign for a student to drop out before the age of 18, and the parent is required to describe exactly what educational plan the student will be following. Most states have this rule in place to prevent students from dropping out young with no other program in place. But there are provisions under which a parent can home-school a student. Even if your parent can’t personally teach you, you could enroll in a program approved by your school system.

For example, if you are able to complete work independently, you might consider a correspondence or online school. First check with your school system to see what programs they will take credits from. It needs to be an established and accredited school, such as the American School of Correspondence. Some universities have online high school programs, such as the Brigham Young Univ. online program. Again, do the research, look at consumer review sites and forums, etc. and be very sure it is a REPUTABLE school program. The work probably won’t be easier than regular HS classwork, and it may actually be more difficult because of the lack of a real-time, face-to-face teacher, but depending on your ability and learning style, you might be able to finish HS credits this way in less than two years.

Remember that if you are completing HS on your own, you may feel isolated if you aren’t in a school building, so you’ll need to find other ways to stay in contact with other people your age. If you still like some of the social and educational aspects of high school, but just don’t like being there full-time, many school systems allow home-schooled students to take one or more classes at the regular HS, and to participate in many of the activities during and after the school day.

Another option for 16-year-olds is Job Corps. It’s a program through which students gain job skills while working toward a GED or earning HS credits. Most Job Corps sites are residential, but some have students who commute. Your counselor can help you with that and probably will have information about other local or regional programs for young people to complete their education and get work skills.

Whatever you do, please don’t just drop out of HS. It may be a relief for a little while and seem easier, but in the long run, you will have very few good job choices. Not only do people without a HS diploma earn much less money, you will find that the jobs that are available to you are boring, tedious, physically demanding, out in the heat and cold, odd hours, or any combination of the above. You won’t be respected as a professional and will always be at the bottom of the totem pole for promotions and raises.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

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