Requirements for Most Postsecondary Schools

Postsecondary education is the non-compulsory level of education that a student can avail, after completion of secondary education from a high school or its equivalent. Postsecondary education includes undergraduate, post graduate, and vocational education. Universities, community colleges, and vocational schools are the institutes that provide postsecondary education. You can opt for a four-year graduate degree, a two-year associate degree, or a less than two-year certificate program. You can start out with a two-year associate degree from a community college and then transfer to a four-year program at a degree college. There are technical schools and trade schools that make you skilled in any particular trade from welding to cosmetology. The options available are varied. However, postsecondary colleges need you to meet their qualifying standards. Consider reading Options for Financial Assistants if you have to finance your postsecondary education.

Postsecondary Admission Requirements
Colleges, which are selective in their admission process and have higher standards, look for high grades in the 12th standard. They give preference to students who have completed higher level science and math courses beyond that required by general high school courses. Computer skills and sometimes additional foreign language fluency is also a criterion with some colleges. You need to find out specific requirements and consult your academic counselor.

If you have taken an Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam while in high school, then some colleges give you extra credit or an advanced placement offer.

High School Courses Recommended for Postsecondary Education
Counselors recommend certain courses, which will give you an edge while applying for your postsecondary degree. Whether it is a graduate degree, an associate degree, or a certificate program that you are planning, taking these courses increase the probability of getting into good colleges. Academic requirements vary across colleges, so it is advisable to do your own research.

Things to do if You are Looking for Admission in a Trade School or Technical College
If you are looking for a technical program or want to join a trade school, then you can choose some technical course, related to your field of interest, in addition to or in place of the elective courses that you can check out, Courses Recommended for College Students. Most technical courses such as engineering and computer sciences will need advanced courses in math and science. So, it is better to take the suggested courses in any of the core areas such as math, science, English, history, and geography.

Networks of high schools and local colleges have many programs that are entirely modeled for specific careers. These are the 'tech-prep' and 'two-plus-two', or 'school-to-work' programs. The advantage of these programs is that the course work that is followed at the college is linked to the high school course structure. This helps to prepare you better for the college course. Educators at the local colleges and the high school, where you are already studying, will be able to provide more details. For more information on tech-prep and two-plus-two programs check, Resources to Help You Prepare for College.

Take the Standardized Tests That Many Colleges Require
Colleges also need some standard tests; you will need to appear for the SAT exams, if you are applying to colleges in the East and West. Colleges in the South and Midwest usually ask for ACT grades. Check the requirement of the colleges to which you are applying. Take the tests in your junior or senior years at high school. You can appear more than once and try to increase your score.

Preparing for Postsecondary Education - Some Tips
If you are serious about postsecondary education, then start preparing from your senior years at high school. Here are some tips to make the process easy:

  • Postsecondary schools across the country has different grade criterion. Check Advancededandtech.ca, to know the details.
  • Apply for your Social Insurance Number and create a checklist of deadlines, whether it is filling up of admission forms, applying for financial aid, looking for your accommodation, the documents that you will have to submit, etc.
  • Send your school transcripts to the appropriate address; check the college website, if you are not sure.
  • College education will be expensive; check out the financial aid availabilities and scholarships that you can apply for. Some colleges will have a financial aid application form called Institutional Aid Applications.
  • Check out application deadlines; visit college campuses if possible and apply for accommodation, which is often on a first come basis.
  • Check the Transcript Verification Report to confirm that your transcripts have been sent.
  • Send your AP or IB courses to the colleges where you have applied to avail the credits offered.

Some sites, which will help you to make an informed decision, are:

Office of Postsecondary Education
Alberta Learning Information Service
Advanced Education and Technology
U.S. Department of Education

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