Latest News And Updates For The Career College-Bound Student
In the midst of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus 2019) pandemic, many of us are wondering how to make the most of this strange and unprecedented period of time. The truth is that the world has changed dramatically over the last couple of months—and we don’t know quite what to expect for the future.
But try to see it as an opportunity!
This can be an especially great time for those who are graduating from high school this year or next, those who have been thinking about a career change or returning to school for a while, and those who are seeking a new path in light of this global situation.
Now is the perfect time to do your due diligence: figure out what you want to do, which program can help you prepare, where you can study, how to communicate with your school of interest, and how to set yourself up for success during uncertain times.
Before you choose a school, you’ll need to decide on what program you want to pursue!
Not sure where to begin? In order to move forward, it helps to figure out what your passion is and what your career goals are. Use this time for self-reflection, including thinking about what you’re good at, what you most enjoy doing, and where you hope to be five or ten years from now.
Ask yourself this: What do you miss the most that you can’t do right now because of COVID-19? Or what have you most enjoyed doing with your extra time, if your schedule has changed dramatically?
Still not sure how to answer? If you still feel stuck, we’ve got another resource for you:
There are plenty of schools out there offering great career training education. You just need to find the right one for you!
That starts with your chosen program and a location that works for you: Not all schools offer all programs, of course, so you’ll want to find one that specializes in your area of interest (and that may also include looking for national, regional, or programmatic accreditation).
Lots of schools offer online programs—or even have a 100% distance education model—
meaning that you can get started much more quickly, as long as you have a computer and reliable internet access. Choosing a campus location in the midst of the current situation may not seem quite as simple, but there are many schools that offer a hybrid offering —meaning that you could begin taking online courses sooner and beginning your in-person hands-on training once schools are reopening their campuses. Or you could decide that you want a fully in-person program that you’ll start later this year!
While many campuses have been closed to limit contact among groups, some are offering live looks at their school and conversations with faculty and staff—and others can even offer virtual tours of their classrooms and labs. If nothing else, you can almost certainly be guaranteed to be able to schedule a phone or video call with a representative even while the school itself is closed.
We know you have lots of questions. Will colleges start their summer terms on time? What about the fall? What about schools that offer more frequent start times—are they still on schedule? Are classes still available in a virtual learning environment?
At this time, we don’t have any clear answers for you: As COVID-19 spreads across the United States, most states and major cities are reacting on a day-to-day basis to this rapidly evolving situation, and schools may not all be handling their programming in the same way.
But what we can tell you is that our schools are doing everything they possibly can to continue supporting their students (and prospective students). For any questions about start times, the application process, and other enrollment details, we recommend getting in touch with the admissions department at your school of interest.
Yes! In fact, we recommend it! This is the perfect time to apply for scholarships. You can apply for our scholarships right here.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing situation that is changing constantly. The best thing to do is to contact your school’s admissions department and speak to them about their specific policies and updates.
Reach out to the admissions department at your school to discuss your options. You may even still be able to do a virtual tour! This pandemic will pass and you’ll need to be ready to make an informed decision, and the admissions team can help.
Contact the financial aid department at your school to figure out what you need in order to be ready to go for your first day of class. Most banks and financial institutions are still open, and there are lots of resources on Imagine America’s website to help you navigate the financial aspects of school.help you.
Make sure that you’re following your school’s social media accounts. It may seem silly, but many are using those platforms to quickly share updates. Most colleges also have an actively changing website to update their students and prospective students on what’s going on. Make sure you check out their website and social accounts to stay up to date!
Not all programs can be taught completely online, but there are more online certificate and degree programs than you may realize. As a matter of fact, even nursing programs can be completed using an online format!
If you’re ready to take advantage of the extra time you’ve gained while following social distancing, self-isolation, or quarantine protocols, an online career training program could be the perfect way to prepare for your next chapter.
Online education allows you to set your own schedule and set your own pace—meaning you may be able to complete your program in less time than traditional degree programs! But you do need to be prepared to be disciplined and keep procrastination in check, and to ensure that you can communicate effectively without the face-to-face in-person interaction.
Online education can open up a whole new world of possibility to prospective students who have been putting off attending an on-campus program—or those who don’t have a school nearby that offers their chosen career training program.
There are so many things to think about when choosing an online degree. The Imagine America Foundation might not be able to help you decide whether you want to be a nurse or an auto mechanic, but we can help you pick a school that will give you the career training program you need!
You know what you want to study and where. You’ve talked to the school and begun the enrollment process.
Sometimes we get so focused on the getting-started-in-school part that we forget to plan for how to succeed in school! But whether you’re starting next month or next season, there is plenty you can do to set yourself up for success.
That often starts with getting organized: working with your adviser to plan your first term, creating a schedule, sharing your plan with housemates or family members, creating a study space at home, and purchasing any books or materials you’ll need. This is also a good time to get to know your chosen field. Join industry associations and organizations, look for virtual networking events, and research changes and trends in the space.
But success isn’t just about what happens in the classroom! No matter what your circumstances—maybe you’re a recent high school graduate who hasn’t lived on your own before or a head of household with a family to care for—you’ll want to consider factors like your housing and financial health while you’re in school.
Already know where you want to go to school and what you want to study? Use this time to apply for scholarships! There are many scholarship and award programs available to students, including the Imagine America Foundation’s own $1,000 tuition reduction programs!
The Imagine America Foundation is dedicated to helping students get the education they need to pursue the careers of their dreams. That starts with our network of partner institutions, our scholarship and award programs, and plenty of online resources—including a mobile app and a brand-new podcast!
We’re honored to help you get ready to embark on the next chapter of your educational journey. Take advantage of this opportunity to prepare!