Alternatives

Alternatives to enlistment

It is our firm belief, based on many conversations with students and our own experience as parents, that many, if not most students (including those that are planning to go to college) do not know what they want to do after high school. Despite the fact that nearly 80 percent of seniors state they expect to graduate from a four-year college, only about one-third enroll in a four-year college within a year of graduation, and only 35 percent of those who enroll receive a bachelor's degree within six years. (Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago, April 20, 2006).

At most high schools the focus is on the college-bound student. Largely this is a resource issue. The counselor to student ratio in Illinois is 690; fifth worst in the country. That leaves a large community of underserved students.

We provide information and resources that give students ideas for ways in which to serve their country, find adventure, get out on their own, mature and find their own way in life.

Here are some of the resources we employ -->

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Alternative Career Fair

After years of working with high school students we have learned that many high school students do not know what they want to do after high school. Many feel that if they don't want to go to college and/or can't afford it, their only other option is a minimum wage job or the military. Even those that are planning to go to college may not necessarily know what they want to do. (School counselors report that 75% of students change their majors after they enter college. Teen Health, 2006).

We also know that most high schools have only one or two college and career counselors per student body. In Illinois the counselor to student ratio is 690; the fifth worst in the country. The student that does not want to go to college or does not consider college an option is left out.

In fact there are many jobs that do not require a college degree. And despite the unfavorable job market, there are choices. We have assembled a representative sample into a fair of non-traditional careers aimed at those students that are undecided. Students will have an opportunity to explore careers that give them a chance to serve their country, have an adventure, learn a practical skill, discover what they want to do.

We have developed eight distinct 'tracks' from which you can choose. You can select one or two tracks or all eight. They are:

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