12th Grade

Finalizing Your College and Career Plan

Finalizing Your College and Career Plan (Senior)

With the holidays approaching and Christmas break around the corner, this email may seem like just another addition to your to-do list! But if you have a few minutes this month, December is a great time to sit with your senior to finalize your college and career plans.

No plan needs to be written in stone, especially in the ever-changing climate of the teen years. Even so, tangible goals for this final semester of your student’s high school career are incredibly helpful as you decide what’s next.

I always suggest creating a list of possible careers (I encourage this from as early as 9th grade, but if your student still isn’t sure, start by taking a career test and scheduling job shadow appointments at local businesses). From these careers, find out what degrees (if any) are necessary, and what colleges offer those programs. With a list of 3-5 colleges, trade schools, or training programs, evaluate the following questions:

Should we consider a gap year or an alternative to traditional college?

Things may have not gone according to plan this semester. Or perhaps your not sure that college makes the most sense, or don’t have an idea of a direction yet? If that’s the case, revisit where you are and what makes the most sense for your teen. Remember, you are homeschooling so that you can adapt educationally to your student’s specific educational needs, and that approach should hold true even after graduation, so don’t hesitate to consider different timelines or alternatives to the traditional college route.

Does this college/program meet my needs?

If you haven’t already created a list of priorities with your student, do so this week! Any higher education opportunity is an investment of time and money, and it needs to be worth that investment. Make a list of what you’re looking for in a school: attentive professors, excellent academics, athletic opportunities, and discipleship commonly make the list. Compare each potential school with your list and make sure it measures up to your expectations. Also, schedule college visits so you can see the school in person!

Will this college/program equip me for God’s call?

Many students consider both Christian and secular colleges for their education goals. Sometimes a secular school is more cost-effective, but students should be concerned about whether or not such training will equip them for where God is calling their lives. Whether you attend a Christian or secular college, God can work through the program to strengthen you for what lies ahead. What matters most is the student’s dedication to God’s purposes, whether under the influence of Christian leaders or in standing on Truth at a secular university.

Will I be spiritually discipled at this college?

Regardless of where a student pursues his dreams, challenges will lie ahead. One of those challenges is discipleship. While Christian universities and Bible colleges seem like the natural choice for discipleship-based education, discipleship is only as effective as the hearts involved are receptive. At Christian schools, it can be easy to become apathetic to the Truth repeated over and over throughout the year. At secular schools, it’s easy to compromise to the level of your peers. Either way, look for opportunities for discipleship that will continue the legacy begun in your homeschool.

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Have questions? Email [email protected]!

Teach Them Diligently wishes you and your family a merry Christmas and a happy new year!