College and Training

Post Secondary Training / College Information

There are four types of colleges:

  • Four-year colleges and universities offer a wide range of subjects (from art to zoology) at varying levels (introductory to advanced). Public four-year institutions are usually less expensive than private institutions. You can also save money if your child chooses a public college or university located in the state in which you live.
  • Community colleges offer three types of credentials in programs of two years or less:
    1. Academic transfer degrees (which allow a student to move to a four-year degree institution, entering as a junior)
    2. Professional-technical degrees (leading to employment in a specific field)
    3. Certificates (providing entry level job skills, or additional credentials for advancement in a specific job). Tuition at a community college is less than at a four-year institution, so you could save money if your child attends a community college for the first two years and then transfers to a four-year college or university.
  • Technical colleges offer two-year degrees and shorter term certificates in technical programs. Tuition is comparable to community colleges.
  • Private career colleges offer specialized degree or certificate-granting programs. Tuition varies according to the degree or program. Many programs take less than two years to complete.

For More Information:

  • I hope you will consider linking to, a new web page which lists and links to virtually every post-secondary educational option in your state. You will also find information on scholarships, on-line colleges, & colleges that offer services for students with learning disabilities.
  • Student Aid has information on preparing for, choosing, applying to, funding and attending college. It also has information on repaying college loans.
  • The America's Career Resource Network (ACRN) website has information online about preparing for and finding colleges. Visit the ACRN Network page to find an ACRN office and contacts in your state.
  • The College is Possible website has a section on choosing the right college that includes links to additional websites and books.
  • The Campus Tours website offers online virtual tours of college campuses.
  • The College Board offers comprehensive online database to help students research college majors, financial aid, test prep, and planning.
  • The College Board College Search website will help match you to the college that offers the best fit for you.
  • The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation offers career information andcertified programs.
  • The Peterson's College Guide to post secondary education helps to find your perfect college fit.


Information For Students and Families

  • Computers and Technology at Virginia Tech for High School Girls- residential summer camp See for full details and application information.
  • FCPS Gap Year Fair- please encourage pre-registration
  • 2014 Guide to Gap Year Programs- please encourage pre-registration
  • Family Engagement Newsletter  This month’s newsletter on School Attendance: Separating Fact from Fiction, provides information to help schools and parents debunk common attendance myths, recognize and understand contributing factors to chronic school absence, and identify local and national resources (including print materials and public services announcements in English and Spanish) to reinforce the link between regular school attendance and school success from kindergarten through high school.  For more information, contact Mary Shepherd, 703-204-4340.
  • New Wizard Mobile App Available  Information on careers, colleges, and paying for college plus personal values and interests, college majors and programs of study across Virginia’s colleges and universities, and transferring from a community college to a four-year college or university. iPhone download, iPad download, and Android downloadYou must be on a Wi-Fi network during your initial install. Share any feedback at
  • Strategies for School Success  Web service provides daily tips, quizzes, and articles for parents of elementary through secondary school students. Users can search topics of interest and "ask the expert" by submitting questions online.