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Welcome to the Mentor Learning Center

Alternative Pathways for Post-Secondary Education

Alternate pathways exploration can happen with your mentee at any stage of the iMentor program. All of our students are required to apply to at least one college, but we encourage you to talk to your mentee about alternate pathways if they don't seem interested in college.  Some students may know in  11th grade (or earlier for those in the College Ready program in NYC) that they don't want to go to college, and others might not figure that out until PSP.  

There may be a variety of reasons why your mentee does not want to go to college after high school. Some might have ambitions that are best pursued in a certificate or technical program, others might want to go to the military or participate in a gap year program. And some might not be meeting graduation requirements, or have a lower GPA, and will want to explore non-academic options. Others will opt to find employment.

We encourage you to find out who your mentee wants to be after high school and what they want to do and then help them decide which post-secondary pathway is best for their aspirations. Learn more about how to help your mentee think about the following alternate pathway options with the handouts below:

If your mentee is not interested in pursuing college, but is not sure what they want to do...

If your mentee is not going to college, because they have to delay graduation...

  • They could retake courses at their high school if they haven’t aged out (under 21).
  • In all regions they can take TASC (formally known as the GED).
  • In NYC, they can make up credits at YABC or at similar programs.
  • In NYC they can retake Regents in August and beyond.
  • In the Bay Area, they can make up credits at Cyber High
  • In Chicago, students work with their counselor on credit recovery

If your mentee has to work, and they want to explore college as well, they have options. They could...

  • Attend college / vocational school part-time and work full time.
  • Defer acceptance for fall, and start in Spring after saving money.
  • Attend training programs or lower cost vocational programs, which may act as a quicker start to a career, although limited to the specialty and level of expertise.
  • Look for part-time internships to supplement a full-time job, and grow skills in their area(s) of interest.
  • Check region-specific support programs, like NYC's ASAP, SEEK and College Discovery (CD) programs, which aim at helping low-income students navigate, afford, and succeed in college environments.