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Hilltopmom

Choosing vo tech program?

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Dd 16 is trying to decide between 2 vo tech programs through her high school- 

cosmetology or Early childhood Education

she likes hair & makeup but has no experience in this area other than on herself. She thinks it looks fun though. She has a very significant math disability and this program does have a math component... not sure how difficult yet- meeting with guidance counselor soon. I have no idea if she will have an aptitude for this career nor how hard it is to pass the licensing exam. In the workforce, she would need to be able to cash out customers, mix chemicals, and she may not be able to handle that.

early childhood- she enjoys working with young children. She helps teach little kids dance classes at her studio, has volunteered in the kids room in the library, & Has done camp counselor in training for  last 2 summers waiting untiI shes old enough to be paid. Program gives a CDA upon completion “if” you pass exam and if you have a high school diploma. (She May not pass the math necessary for diploma in our state).

Early childhood jobs do not pay well, but I work as a special ed teacher in early childhood & know everyone in our area- I could get her a job immediately upon graduation. Seriously, we always need good aides.

She gets to visit one program again before deciding, had already visited both for short times before. She is signed up to visit cosmetology as she had to chose and thought that might be easier to get a job in and support yourself (not very well in our rural area though).

We need to find out if you don’t like what you start in, if you can switch programs.

She is not likely going to 4 year college so won’t then becoming a teacher later. She would like to go to CC if she is able to get her high school diploma.

I’m trying not to push her into “my” field but want to give a balanced view of each field for her.

I am able to get her into some preschools, special Ed agencies, and headstarts to visit and see what they are like.

Thoughts?

Edited by Hilltopmom

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Well... I don't know anything about cosmetology, but you're right that there will always be a need for aides in school. My school may need to hire as many as 3 1-to-1 aides for next year alone! The trouble is the pay... it stinks. How is the pay for cosmetology? 

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Can she do some job shadowing and information interviews before deciding?

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I don't have personal experience with either of those areas. But my sister-in-law's niece went all the way through cosmetology school and decided that she hated it and didn't want to do hair. So I think enjoying doing your own hair or your friends' hair is not, alone, a solid basis for that to be a career choice. It's also a demanding physical profession, with all-day standing, interaction with chemicals, etc., and is lower pay unless you own your own shop. Customer interaction can be challenging in many ways, as well, so good people skills with adults of all personalities is important.

It sounds to me like her skill set and experience go well with early childhood education.

I'm wondering about the math, though that is not the main point of your post. As a homeschooler in your state, do you make your own diploma? Does she has to meet the state graduation requirements? In our state, even for students enrolled in school, there are alternate paths to a diploma for those who cannot pass the state end of course exams. Pursuing career training is one of them. I'm wondering if there are alternate paths toward graduation in your state.

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New York is really strict, from my understanding, as far as high school diplomas.  I have heard that here.  

I have heard they will lower a test score but still have a minimum test score, on some state exams they have, but won’t do exemptions.  

Edit:  my understanding is you get a lower diploma, and many things are strict about requiring a higher diploma.  

Edited by Lecka

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Yeah it’s a N.Y. thing. She’s in public school now but as a homeschooler again we would have the same issue.

Without the math she would not get any diploma- just a “certificate of attendance” that cannot be used like a diploma for jobs, licenses requiring a diploma (nurses aide, etc), or college. Sigh

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