Casey Middle School

Technology Education •Career Project

Career 5

Technology Education


Career 5: Leaps in time






Now that you have some basic information about your job, it's time to prepare for and find it. For this activity, you will take 2 leaps into the future. The first will move you to high school graduation and the second will lead you past your "college years" to the point of seeking a job.


The first leap


Your first big leap brings you to your high school graduation. What will your next step be? Realistically, your choices are limited.
At this age most will:

  1. Go to college or a technical school
  2. Look for a manufacturing, service, or other entry level job
  3. Serve in the armed forces

So what will be next for you?

This activity will provide basic college information and will require you to choose a college/univerisity and an academic degree.


Review the following information and answer the questions on Worksheet 5-1.


Getting a College/University Degree


In section 3, you learned the economic or money value of higher education. Colleges and University offer a wide range of degrees and study programs.


A college degree is an award granted by a college or university signifying that the recipient has satisfactorily completed a course of study.


Types of Degrees

Undergraduate Level Degrees


An associate's degree is typically awarded by community colleges, junior colleges and some larger colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study normally lasting two to three years (60 semester hours). It is the lowest  academic degree offered. Many will transfer with a two year degree into a bachelors (four year) program.


A bachelor's degree is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for a course or major that generally lasts for three, four, or in some cases, five or six years (120-130 semester hours).  Today, the most common undergraduate degrees given are the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science.


Graduate Level Degrees


A master's degree is usually awarded for completion of a postgraduate (or graduate) course that may last up to three years in duration (36-60 hours). Master's programs normally require taking classes along with an in-depth research project called a thesis or dissertation paper. Most master's programs require students have bachelor's degree and pass an entrance exam.


A doctorate degree is the highest academic degree. Doctorial degrees require students to have a master's degree, and will take between 2 to 4 years to complete. There are three types of doctorates: research,  professional, and honorary.

Research doctorates are awarded in recognition of academic studies and research.
Professional doctorates are awarded to certain professions such as law, medicine, music, or ministry.
Honorary doctorates are awarded for substantial contributions or to a field of study.

College Schedule / Course Load


Most colleges are on Semester schedules. There are usually three semesters that run from August - December (Fall), January  - May/June (Spring) May/June - July/August (Summer).


Each class you take will typically have a value of 3 semester hours. Some exceptions include classes with labs that may have a value of 5 semester hours or orientation classes that will have a value of 1-2 semester hours.


To be considered a full-time student, you will need to take a minimum of 12 hours (4 classes) each semester. Most students will have a course load of 12-18 hours (4-6 classes) each semester.


College Catalogs


When you enter college you will be assigned a "Catalog Year". A College Catalog lists all the core and degree courses required for your to receive your degree. The Catalog Year is the amount of time that a catalog is valid or legally binding. Think of it as a sales paper or catalog from your favorite store. Each week the items or prices change. In the same way, available or required course may change from one catalog to another.

Consider the following example:

You enter college in the year 2015 and graduate in the year 2020. Your college catalog  is dated 2014-2017.All students that began college programs between the years 2014-2017 will get their course listings from this catalog.


Students that enter college in the year 2018 will use a different catalog. The new catalog will contain a new list of requirements for core and degree programs.

Even though you graduate after the new (2018-2021) catalog was printed, you began school and will graduate with the 2014-2017 catalog.


Where can you get help?


Before you register for classes, most schools will require you to meet with an advisor. Academic advisers help students develop an overall course list and schedule. Advisor are familiar with the University and recommend  classes, insure degree requirements are met and provide information on University policies, procedures, and resources.

Your advisor will provide you with a list of core and degree requirements.


Core Curriculum / Degree Requirements


Core curriculum is a set of classes that a college or university requires all students to complete. These courses usually include the major areas of humanities (think English or history), sciences, mathematics, and social sciences (economics, education, or politics).


Degree requirements are courses or projects required by your specific degree or program in addition to the core curriculum requirements.

Now that you have this basic information, you need to choose a college and an academic degree. Be sure to save the information to your Career Cruising portfolio and complete the questions on the Career 5-1 worksheet.


Click here and follow video instructions. Click here to access the CareerCruising webstie.

If you have difficulty finding a college or degree information click here to see how the Career Cluster can help.


Area Colleges and Univeristies

Illinois Technical Schools

John A. Logan Kaskaskia McKendree
Murray State Rend Lake SEMO SIU



When you have completed Worksheets 5-1 return to this web site and continue with Careers 6.

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