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Alternative Schools in Pennsylvania with Program Options

Students seeking alternative high schools in Pennsylvania have several options. Read on to learn about some alternative schools and programs offered for both current high school students and adult learners.

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What Are Some Alternative Schools in Pennsylvania?

Alternative schools provide programs designed for students at risk of not completing their high school education for academic, behavioral or other reasons. In Pennsylvania, there are a number of schools that offer alternative education programs. These schools include specialty high schools aimed at helping students earn their high school diploma or GED and technology schools that offer vocational and technical programs for both current high school students and adult learners.

Career and Technology Centers

There are a number of career and technology centers located through the state that operate in conjunction with local school districts to offer career training, such as the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center and the Clearfield County Career & Technology Center. Current high school students can enroll in 2- or 3-year programs that start their sophomore or junior of high school and may include job shadowing or an internship during their final year. High school programs are available in areas such as:

  • Automotive technology
  • Drafting
  • Cosmetology
  • Carpentry
  • Welding technology
  • Computer programming

These schools also offer career training for high school graduates looking for technical training to enter a career. Options include individual courses as well as longer programs that result in a certificate or diploma. Some programs may even qualify students for industry certification, such as those offered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence or the American Welding Society. Some of the adult education programs offered by these schools include:

  • Medical assisting
  • HVAC technology
  • Practical nursing
  • Automotive technology
  • Truck driving
  • Culinary arts
  • Architectural technology

Alternative Education Centers

Current high school students who have trouble succeeding in traditional classrooms could consider enrolling in programs offered by the Alternative Education Centers, which are part of the School District of Philadelphia. Some of the available programs at these centers include:

  • A dual-enrollment program where students who dropped out of high school can simultaneously earn both high school and college credits.
  • GED and literacy programs
  • Accelerated programs for students looking to complete high school in three years
  • Transition programs for students who were expelled or received court-ordered placement
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