Are Alternative Colleges a Solution for All Students who Don’t Quite Fit the Mold - Student Research Foundation

Are Alternative Colleges a Solution for All Students who Don’t Quite Fit the Mold?

If you’re a high school college guidance counselor, chances are you are thinking that a certain number of your counselees should apply to non-traditional, alternative colleges. You might already be an expert on those colleges and what they offer. If you are not, you are probably thinking that when you have the time, you will investigate non-traditional colleges and make some recommendations about where your students should apply.

That is all well and good. After all, a guidance counselor’s job is to help students refine the lists of colleges where they will apply. However, doing just a little research into colleges makes it abundantly clear that . . .

There are dozens of kinds of “alternative” schools

In fact, the entire concept of an “alternative” college is almost certainly flawed, because there are so many different kinds. For just a quick overview of how different they are, consider the fact that a so-called alternative college could be any of these things . . .

  • Nurturing of independent study like Evergreen College, where students can design their own programs of study.
  • Focused on creativity like Bennington College where students can focus on writing, dance or other arts.
  • Environmentally committed, like Oberlin College.
  • Rooted in one educational philosophy like Deep Springs College, where students learn through a rigorous program of academic study combined with physical labor.
  • Supportive and humanistic like Wayfinding College, which is dedicated to developing the whole person and not treating students as “numbers.”
  • Dedicated to innovation like Olin College, a unique engineering school with an emphasis on developing innovative and creative products with the potential to succeed.
  • Supportive of students with special learning needs like Daemen College, which has a special emphasis on educating students who have autism.

There Are Many Kinds of Alternative Students Too

A high school guidance counselor we know reports that among her counselees is one ”late bloomer” who has no idea what she wants to do with her life and will need a college that can help her define her career options. But that same counselor is also counseling a student who is already completing advanced engineering projects and who needs a tech school that will let him dig in and learn more about the career path he has already chosen. And she is also counseling students who want to explore pursuing careers in modern dance, screenwriting, culinary arts, and automotive design.

Are all those students in need of an alternative college? In a sense, yes. But they are very different, and the colleges they attend should be very different too.

To Learn More about How Students Plan Careers

We invite all students to explore their career options by participating in our career and college studies. Students who complete the free career test for high school students will receive information on college and career opportunities which match their interests.

Summer Activities that Provide the Highest Value for High School Students - ideas from the Student Research Foundation

Summer Activities that Provide the Highest Value for High School Students

With the last day of school coming up soon for high school students, there are still some out there who are wondering, “What can I do this summer that will improve my chances of getting into college?” Read more

Free Online Career Test Review The Career Clusters Exam - Student Research Foundation

Free Online Career Test Review: The Career Clusters Exam

Plenty of online career tests are available online, many of them free. Today, we would like to direct your attention to the Career Clusters test, which is available at EducationPlanner.org. Read more

US Army’s Online Career Tests - Student Research Foundation

Check Out the U.S. Army’s Battery of Online Career Tests

Did you know that the U.S. Army’s website is home to a strong array of career exploration tests?

They are designed to help students test the interests and aptitudes that best qualify them for different specialties and roles if they enroll in the U.S. Army. As such, the tests could be classified as recruitment tools. But after taking the tests, we found that they are good, free online career evaluation tests that can be useful for students who fall into two categories . . . Read more

How Moms and Dads Can Help their Kids Discover the Right Career Options - Student Research Foundation

How Moms and Dads Can Help their Kids Discover the Right Career Options

Thoughts for Mother’s Day 2019 . . .

Happy Mother’s Day! All of us at the Student Research Foundation want to express our appreciation for the critical role that mothers – and fathers – play in shaping their children’s career choices.

But what kind of influence can parents really have on the way their high school-aged children are thinking about careers? It turns out, a great deal, as research conducted by the Student Research Foundation has found. Read more

Job Satisfaction, Humanities Graduates Are Nearly on a Par with Engineering Graduates - Student Research Foundation

In Success and Job Satisfaction, Humanities Graduates Are Nearly on a Par with Engineering Graduates

Do you know any educators who are advising future college students to focus on engineering and technical fields, and to stay away from the arts and the humanities? Read more

Explosive Growth Rates in Technical Careers - Student Research Foundation

Explosive Growth Rates in Technical Careers

CompTIA’s Cyberstates 2019 Guide Predicts Explosive Growth Rates in Technical Careers

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has released its 2019 Cyberstates Guide, based both on its own research and data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report points to an explosive rate of job creation in STEM and technical fields between now and 2026.

If you are currently helping students plan their careers, Cyberstates contains information you should know. Read more

Research study on High School students who want to major in Computer Science in college - Student Research Foundation

Research on Students Who Plan to Study Computer Science in College

Students Who Plan to Study Computer Science in College Still Need Lots of Career Advice

The Student Research Foundation asked 267,363 American high school students about their career plans. Of those students, 33,535 expressed interest in computer careers.

That sounds about right, doesn’t it? But the study also uncovered something that borders on the shocking . . . Read more

Living Sculptures Are Growing in a Philadelphia High School - Thanks to a donation from the Student Research Foundation

Living Sculptures Are Growing in a Philadelphia High School

Did you know that not all sculpture is made of marble, granite, bronze or concrete? Some of it can be made from living plants like rosemary, lavender and marigolds that are attached to underlying structures. And when you make a sculpture out of living plants, something interesting can happen. It can become a living laboratory where students can study how insects are attracted to plants, how predatory insects attack the first insects that arrived, and much more. The result? A living experiment where students can prepare for future careers in science and agriculture. Read more

Are Early Bloomer Students on Your Radar - Student Research Foundation

Are Early Bloomer Students on Your Radar?

Late bloomers command a lot of attention from teachers, guidance counselors and parents. Perhaps that’s to be expected. Late bloomers seem to need the most help to decide their preferred subjects and majors, to bring their grades up, to pick colleges to apply to . . . and to just generally get themselves on track. Read more