Choosing the Right Pathway

Community College

  • learn practical skills rather than ideas about literature, art, etc.
  • Open admissions policy; students with a high school diploma or equivalent may enroll
  • No minimum grade point average
  • SAT I or ACT test scores not required
  • Placement tests given prior to class registration
  • Lower tuition and fees
  • No room and board costs
  • Flexibility to pursue education while working

Vocational School

  • a school offering training relating to the special skills, training, etc., that you need for a particular job or occupation
  • To see a list of Vocational, Technical /Trade schools in North Carolina go to the NC Vocational and Technical school website to learn more about other skills or vocation of interest to you.

Military - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp, Merchant Marine, Coast Guard


  • The mission of the Air Force is to preserve national security through the use of advanced aerospace forces. The Air Force flies and maintains aircraft, like bombers, supersonic fighters and radar planes.
  • The Army defends the interests of the United States and its allies through land-based operations around the world. Army personnel work in jobs that range from general administration to the operation and maintenance of Army weapons, vehicles and aircraft.
  • The Coast Guard protects U. S. coastlines and inland waterways by enforcing customs and fishing laws, combating drug smuggling, conducting search and rescue missions, maintaining lighthouses and promoting boat safety. The Coast Guard is part of the U. S. Department of Transportation, but it may be placed under command of the Navy in time of war.
  • The Marine Corps was created in 1775 by the Continental Congress. Marines serve on U. S. Navy ships, protect naval bases, guard U. S. Embassies abroad and serve as a rapid strike force to protect the interests of the United States and its allies around the world.
  • The U. S. Merchant Marine is not a branch of the armed services. It is operated by the Maritime Administration of the U. S. Department of Transportation. Graduates of the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy become officers of privately owned cargo vessels. These ships are vital to our national defense and economy. Merchant Marine graduates receive a bachelor's degree and often accept commission in the U. S. Naval or Coast Guard Reserves.
  • The Navy defends the right of our country and its allies to travel and trade freely on the world's oceans. It also protects the United States during times of international conflict. Navy sea and air power make it possible for our country to use the oceans.