Pennsylvania is home to several alternative schools for high school and adult learners alike. Learn about thee options students can explore and what kind of programs and courses they offer.
Schools and Programs
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.
Schools At a Glance
Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center
- This vocational school is located in Altoona, PA.
- Online and on-campus programs are available.
Clearfield County Career & Technology Center
- This public school is located in Clearfield, PA.
- There are online and on-campus programs available to students.
Parkway West Career & Technology Center
- This public school is located in Oakdale, PA.
- Only on-campus courses are available at this school.
Career and Technology Centers
There are a number of career and technology centers located throughout the state that operate in conjunction with local school districts to offer career training, such as the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center, the Clearfield County Career & Technology Center, and Parkway West Career & Technology Center. Current high school students can enroll in 2- or 3-year programs during their sophomore or junior year 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, veterinary technology, cosmetology, carpentry, masonry, welding technology, computer programming, and culinary arts. Online programs are also offered by the former two technology centers, as well as evening classes.
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, and 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. Other program options include GED and literacy programs, accelerated programs for students looking to complete high school in three years, and transition programs for students who were expelled or received court-ordered placement.
Three options for alternative schools in the state of Pennsylvania are the Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center, the Clearfield County Career & Technology Center, and Parkway West Career & Technology Center. These centers offer adults and young adults a number of career and educational opportunities to learn valuable skills for obtaining a job.