For most of a child’s education, parents are aware of planning for the years after K-12 schooling. Whether a child decides to attend college, technical school, or move directly into a career, knowing what is expected in those environments helps families to make plans and decisions while there is ample time to do so. Some typical activities in preparation for the future include:
- Taking the right courses in school,
- searching for funding for any post-high school education fees,
- seeking scholarship and grant information, and
- finding out about trends in careers and hiring.
Not only do teachers and guidance counselors have information to help students and parents find helpful information as early as middle school, but there are also free, reliable Websites to assist in the search.
It is wise to begin studying how to manage the process of career choice and post high school plans during middle school. Waiting until grades 11 and 12 to begin the study of schooling and careers puts extreme pressure on families. However, keep in mind that students’ interests and self-awareness related to their skills and learning styles change dramatically during their middle and high school years. Therefore, families should be flexible about making adjustments as new information becomes available about interests, careers, and opportunities.
The following Websites offer guidance that can support families in the search for the best path for a student to pursue.
College Preparation and Testing
All data used on the page and in our search tool comes from government databases such as the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System (IPEDS). You can check out our Tennessee colleges guide and the search tool here:
Tips for preparing for college
Mapping your future
ACT Information for College and Career Planning
http://www.act.org/ and http://www.act.org/content/act/en/education-and-career-planning.html
ACT Information on Assessments (Explore, PLAN, ACT)
ACT Learning materials and webinars
Scholarships and Student Aid
Federal Student Aid – Finding and Applying for Scholarships
Guide to Financial Aid
Post High School Application requirements
College Application and Career Search Checklists
Five Tips for Acing College Applications
Bureau of Labor Career Information Website
Discover career interests and find schools and programs
Quarterly Report of Occupations and Careers
Career and Technical Training