Looking For a Change


College representative Sally Difani speaks to a student about the perks of attending State Tech. “We are really trying to give our students the college experience during the 2 years they are with us,” Difani said.

Traditional school isn’t for everyone. Some people don’t mind long lectures over criteria in their field of interest when they know it’s going to get them where they want to go in the future, but not every student learns the same way. College and Career counselor Michelle Breuer provides students with insight into the best college alternatives for those looking for different ways to further their education. 

“I suggest trying community college first, keep working, you may realize you need more school to make more money, said Breuer.”

Other than a traditional four-year college, trade schools are the most popular alternative to further education after high school through hands-on learning and realistic job-like environments. The secondary schools specialize in teaching skills for specific jobs or careers and are completed in less time than traditional college to help students get where they want to go in half the time.

Ranked the best two-year college in the country for the 4th year in a row, State Technical College of Missouri has gotten students to their dream jobs in half the time a regular four-year college does. The small school in Central Missouri has over 37 different programs to help give students the tools they need to succeed in their future careers. With over 500 industry partners reaching out and trying to attract our early graduates, 99% of students are employed within six months of graduation.

Juniors from FHC and Union high school fill the large gym for the annual college fair. Surrounded by students, UCM college representative talks about a possible future at their school. (Makenzie Solis)

“We have a wide variety of programs that are teaching students the skills they need to hit the ground running when it comes to their careers. And they’re really going into high paying careers too with great earning potential,” St Louis Admissions Representative Sally Difani said.

Most students don’t even realize that they have the opportunity to start a trade school in high school. Trade schools like Lewis and Clark Career Center, offer high school credit with dual enrollment as part of their teaching programs. The career center offers classes within its eight different fields of study to appeal to students’ interests.

“I want to do something in the health occupation field,” former Lewis and Clark student Braden Miller said. “Going to the trade school I got my CNA (Certified Nurses’ Aid) certificates by the end of the year so it was definitely worth it.” 

Dual enrolled medical field students attended hospitals and nursing homes every few weeks to help assist nurses with patients and learn about new job environments. Students so much as even receive their CNA (Certified Nurses’ Aid) certificate by the end of the year. The professional environment is intended to give students the most realistic experience possible to prepare them for the real world.

“They don’t treat you like you are in school, they teach you like this is your profession. You always had to dress nice. Especially when you’re at the hospital because you were representing the trade school,” Miller said.