Technical schools are also referred to as trade schools. Usually, these schools require applicants to hold a high school diploma or equivalent, a GED®.
Sometimes it is possible, though, to sign up for these schools without holding either.
There are quite a few schools that provide free GED prep instruction and testing as part of their regular academic packages.
There are also schools that allow students to enroll in their courses based on factors other than just holding a high school or GED diploma.
Several technical colleges, or trade schools, require applicants to take and pass a proficiency test in a specific trade field in lieu of a high school or GED diploma.
Columbia-Greene Community College, for example, in Hudson, New York, is one of the schools that accept students without a GED or HS diploma as long as the applicants are meeting some other pertinent requirements in the field of their choice.
You should do some research on technical colleges that are offering the field of study that you’re seeking to pursue and make a list of the schools that have your interest. Go diligently over their admission policy to find out if they require applicants to hold a high school or GED credential or not.
You will see that there are quite a few trade schools and community colleges that require students only to pass a specific proficiency test in the desired areas of study before admission.
Contact all of the schools’ admissions counselors and explain your specific situation. You’ll see that quite a few schools can and will help guide applicants through their admissions processes.
You should prepare a list of your concerns and questions and jot down the answers that you’ve received including the names of the counselors you talked with. College may be hard but there are more options as you see.
You may also get in touch with a local high school advisor or guidance counselor near you and ask for advice and information. Often, these guidance counselors have lots of admission information on multiple trade schools, technical schools, universities, and colleges. It is their job to advise students about the best options if they want to continue their education even if they don’t have a GED or HS diploma.
When you drop out of high school, you may think that it means your education road has stopped there but you can always get back right on track. Even without a high school diploma or GED, you still have so many options available if you want to pursue a college education. Read here more about how to study for your GED diploma.
It is true that most 2 and 4-year colleges and universities require applicants to hold a high school diploma or equivalent for enrolling in their degree program. However, quite a few community colleges adjusted their admissions criteria and are now more flexible.
There are states, for example, California, where applicants without a GED or HS diploma need to be only 18 years of age to get admitted. Students will be required, however, to take a placement test and remedial course so the institution will know which academic courses these students may successfully complete. There are states that require students to take classes or the GED Ready practice test before they can take the GED test. Read about your state’s requirements here.
Students who can demonstrate evidence of their academic achievements via alternate projects and studies may also qualify. Several colleges additionally assess an applicant’s previous accomplishments, skills, and abilities through personal statements or essays or through recommendation letters from professional colleagues and/or teachers.
In many cases, applicants will be required to submit scores from standardized tests like the SAT or ACT. These tests are generally taken by high school students, but they are open to adults as well.
Learning a trade is a great way to enhance your earning potential and boost your career opportunities. Usually, a trade school education will take you less time than earning a bachelor’s or associate degree in college.
There are trade schools that do not require a GED or high school diploma but keep in mind that state licensing requirements for a number of professions vary by state. So please get familiar with your state’s specific licensing requirements to learn if you will be allowed to practice the trade you’ve learned for so hard upon graduation.
You should learn also more about “Ability to Benefit”, or ATB. This allows students that did not receive a GED or high school diploma to qualify for financial aid (Title IV aid). To be eligible, these students must successfully complete some government-approved exams and alternative requirements. These ATB provisions were cut in 2012 but were reopened after revision in 2015.
There are quite a few skilled trades that require apprenticeships and hundreds of on-site hands-on training but do not a high school or equivalent diploma. Front Range Community College in Colorado, for example, offers a series of certificate courses that do not require any educational prerequisites. Click here to access free GED practice tests.
Students can get hold of, for example, a welding certificate that requires just over forty school hours and can be completed in three semesters. A GED or HS diploma is no prerequisite. Students will be educated in fields like allied cutting processes, safety for welders, and fabrication and layout.
In every state, beauticians and cosmetologists need to meet licensing requirements but to apply for beauty school, not every state requires applicants to be holders of a GED or HS diploma. For example, the Georgia Beauty School merely requires applicants to be at least 16 years of age and in Illinois, you may apply to a beauty school in that state without holding a secondary education credential.
Keep in mind that your course load usually depends on your state’s licensing criteria and your field of concentration. In Georgia, at The Georgia Beauty School, students will be educated through courses such as the theory of hair cutting, the theory of nail & skin care, manicures and permanent hair waving, and pedicures & nail shaping.
Massage Therapy Academy
Massage therapists, just like cosmetologists, need to be licensed by states in which they want to practice and in some states, applicants must hold a high school or equivalent diploma. In those states that do not, you may be admitted to massage therapy school even if you didn’t receive any formal education.
In Maryland, for example, Community College of Baltimore County provides a program in this way where students need to partake in internships programs while they’re completing their academic course work.
Students are trained via courses such as the human musculoskeletal structure and system, massage introduction, and massage modalities. Keep also in mind that today, there are many jobs that didn’t even exist a decade ago and that don’t require a high school or GED diploma!
Certified Nursing Assistant
A certified nurse assistant (CNA) works alongside RNs (Registered Nurses and doctors. They usually will provide basic healthcare services to patients such as companionship and transportation.
Students may become licensed or certified nurse’s aids without holding a high school or equivalent diploma but please be aware that if you would like to go on with your education and become a nurse, finishing high school or getting your GED is required.
The U.S. Red Cross organization offers CNA training programs all across America. Completion of the program takes in total 160 hours of which 60 hours are classroom instruction in the theory of nursing and 100 hours include training in a supervised clinical setting.
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