Tech School and College? Both—? Wow!

You’ve heard that two years of tech school education could get your kid straight into a well-paying career as early as age 20.

Still, you hesitate to even suggest it. Mostly because you’ve always thought of your child as college material.

How about this radical idea—doing college and tech school both.

In many states, it’s possible for a student to earn a 4-year college bachelor’s degree and a two-year tech school degree—both—by age 22.

Students who do this can earn extra job qualifications that put them in hot demand for well-paying jobs for a lifetime.

(Plus—help the world overcome its dire shortage of workers skilled in the trades.)

How can students complete both tech school and college by age 22?

tech school

Students, consider this strategy:

1. While you’re still in 10th grade, find out if you can take dual enrollment college courses while you’re in 11th and 12th grades.

Do this, and you could earn two years of high school credit and two years of real college credit at the same time. (In many cases, with the state you live in footing the entire bill!)

Many students who do this are able to walk across their high school graduation stages with 2-year associate’s degrees already completed—debt-free at state expense—while still enjoying the full high school experience.

No one ever asks these high school students if they’re college material—because at age 18 they’re already halfway to the 4-year college completion finish line!

(To learn your state’s rules regarding dual enrollment, google the name of your state along with the words “dual enrollment.”)

If you’re already past 10th grade and you wonder if it’s too late for you to use this strategy, do this.

Whatever age you are now, go to your nearest high school guidance counselor and ask, “Can you help me figure out how I can squeeze the maximum number of dual enrollment college courses into the rest of my high school career?” (Be prepared to argue that AP is not the same as dual enrollment.)

2. Start thinking early on about what kinds of tech school programs might be fun to pursue.

Quit worrying about “following your passion.”

Watch the short video here to understand why “follow your passion” is some of the worst career advice ever.

Go to a tech school near your house and ask what kinds of skilled job training programs they have available. (Tech schools have a wide variety of offerings you’ve likely never thought of before.)

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Secret Weapon for Multiple Choice Tests

Which of these multiple choice testing strategies have you never heard of before? That’s your new secret weapon.

Share this article with a student you care about.

multiple choice

1. Before you start, note the structure of the test and plan your timing.

Here’s a nightmare you want to avoid. You turn to the final page of a test with two minutes left on the clock, only to find that the last question is a long-form essay question worth half the test points—and you’ve got zero time to write it.

If you know what’s coming, you can plan your time accordingly.

2. Read the question stem twice, then try to think of the answer yourself—without peeking at the choices.

The “stem” means the question itself, not including the answer choices.

Reading the question stem twice will help ensure that you won’t get answers wrong due to easily avoidable reading errors. And thinking up the correct answer in your head on your own—when possible—will help you instantly recognize the right answer when you see it.

3. Always read all the multiple choice answer choices.

Yes, the correct answer might jump right out at you, but carefully read the other choices as well. Sometimes you’ll realize that your original prediction actually needs to be reconsidered.

4. Don’t assume that the most familiar sounding answer choice is the right one.

Sometimes, the familiar sounding choice was planted there specifically to distract you from the right answer. When you’re choosing a correct answer, quietly ask yourself for some logical reasons why that answer is probably right.

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5 Good Reasons to Take a Gap Year (And 2 Bad Ones)

Your child doesn’t seem quite ready for college yet. Would it be a good idea for him or her to take a gap year? Malia Obama did it, after all. Here are 5 good and 2 bad reasons for students to take a gap year between high school and college.

gap year

5 Good Reasons to Take a Gap Year

1. <Good Reason> Your son’s fallen into a pattern of being unwilling to work hard in high school.

Has he gotten mediocre grades? Is he dragging his feet on filling out college applications and applying for scholarships? Taking a gap year where he lives in a tiny studio apartment and works for peanuts can actually teach valuable life lessons that no college program can.

2. <Good Reason> It could do your son great good to learn what life without education or job training is actually like.

Here’s a good line for parents to practice saying: “Well, you’re welcome to live here at home with us, as long as you’re enrolled in (and succeeding in) a full-time academic or job training program. If you’re going to stay out of college and work during this gap year, let’s go find you a small apartment you can rent!”

The struggle to pay for rent, food, transportation, and a cell phone may help your son feel eager to apply to (and work hard in) college or technical school at the next possible opportunity.

For more help on this subject, see this article I wrote on the 7 things every parent should carefully think through anytime kids over 18 ask to—or expect to—live with you.

3. <Good Reason> Colleges will still accept a student who takes a gap year. No problem.

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Could Your Kid End Up Wealthier by NOT Going To College?

Think About This Before Your Kid Jumps Into College Life

There are a massive number of students in this country who should not be attending four-year colleges and universities.

Why?

Because these students are desperately needed in well-paying jobs that require more specialized kinds of training than four-year colleges can provide. Read on, and I’ll help you to determine whether your son or daughter might be a good fit for one of these excellent careers.

technical college

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