If you are like me, high school was not the best time of your life. I am not an academic by any means and struggled with the required classes I had no interest in. I passionately despised those classes and they made my high school career miserable. I remember thinking to myself, “if only college allowed students to take only the classes related to their career, and let them forget the rest!” I would have loved for this to be the case, but it wasn’t. Fast forward 10+ years, and now community colleges are offering programs to accelerate your career path without all of the classes unrelated to your major.
Workforce Solutions has partnerships with many of the community colleges within the Gulf Coast region and these institutions are providing paths to get you into the career you want as fast as possible. Imagine learning a skill that exactly matches the High-Skill, High-Growth (HSHG) career you are pursuing without needing to know the twelfth president of the United States or having to recite lines from Hamlet. I would like to share some of my findings with you.
For those of you who may be lacking a high school diploma, I discovered that passing either the General Education Diploma (GED), High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), or Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) tests will earn you a Texas Certification of High School Equivalency (TxCHSE). GED is the most popular and nationally recognized, while the other two are nationally recognized, but not as popular. If you’re interested in GED testing locations, you may visit Workforce Solutions and find additional Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) Services as well. For more information about each of the tests, you can also visit the Texas Education Agency. You may also call 877.392.6433 and speak with a customer service representative if you have additional questions.
If you would like to go ahead and get started on coursework towards a new HSHG career and do not have a high school diploma, you may have the ability to benefit from college courses. Ability to Benefit (ATB) allows students who do not have a high school diploma or GED® certificate to enroll in a career pathway program and receive federal student aid including Pell Grants, if they can demonstrate that they have the “ability to benefit” from postsecondary education and training and can meet certain other requirements. Students are tested with the ACCUPLACER to determine college readiness.
My best advice to you is to visit the Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) departments at local community colleges or a Workforce Solutions career office and speak to their staff. We will be more than happy to assist you with linking you with local training providers to get you on your way to an awesome career.
Diego Trevino is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions in the Houston – Galveston area. Before joining the regional team, he served as a greeter, employment counselor and staffing specialist. Earlier in his career he traveled to South Korea where he taught students English. He uses past teaching experiences and present workforce knowledge to conduct job skills seminars throughout the 13 county Gulf Coast Region.