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Filed under News

Seniors choose alternate plans after high school

The pressure is on as the senior class takes their SATs, finishes essays, and completes the required A through G courses all in preparation for community and four year colleges. However, a small minority of the seniors are able to shake off these common stresses and prepare for their slightly different future.

“About 15% of the Carlsbad High School graduates will choose not to go to a community or four year college, “ Pauline Diamond, guidance counselor, said. “Most of them will go to a vocational school and the lower 2% will enter into some type of military work.”

Those who are interested in cosmetology, engine repair, the music business and the culinary arts are attracted to vocational schools that can offer a more hands-on experience in the line of work they wish to do. Although the price tag on these schools can be the same as or even higher than those on a four year college, for some, the benefits are worth the while.

Senior Megan Stang plans to attend a vocational school for a career in cosmetology after graduation this spring. For Stang, the most appealing aspect of vocational schooling is being able to pursue her passion in a place that can offer her the most help.

“Cost isn’t the issue.  It’s more about doing what I want for a long term career and getting there as fast as possible,” Stang said.

And getting to a career is no problem for students of a vocational school. Most vocational schools can offer 80-90 percent job placement; something not promised to graduates of even the most prestigious colleges. They also offer a setting that differs from that of a traditional school.

Senior Cole Huntzinger is interested in attending the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI), a vocational school which branches out from the Universal Technical Institute (UTI), and looks forward to the benefits MMI can offer him.

“MMI is known for its really high job placement and is associated with all the major [motorcycle] corporations,” Huntzinger said. “The classes are way more interesting but it requires a higher commitment. People actually care if you show up or not.”

And vocational schools aren’t the only places that require high commitment after high school. High school graduates who choose to enter the military instead of college are prepared for their drastic change in life style.

Senior Trevor Story, who plans to join the U. S. Marine Core after high school, takes pride in his decision and looks forward to the life of a marine.

“The idea of being something bigger than yourself, and the sense of adventure…it’s something that I don’t think college can offer as much as the [U.S. Marine Core] can,” Story said.

As the students at CHS remain enthusastic about their plans, counselors and parents alike stay supportive and offer advice worth listening to.

“I think students really have thought about the long term [aspects] of their decisions and some just aren’t ready to go to college,” Dimond said. “A lot of them will realize that going straight to work isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and they go back to school on their own. However, I recommend that all students who graduate get some type of additional education.”

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