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After High School

Options After Graduation

The possibilities after high school seem endless (which can cause anxiety in many young adults). Below you'll find some information about possible next steps.

Don't see information on options you're interested in? E-mail the Counseling Secretary, Amanda Adams, at, to request a topic.

Trade Schools & Apprenticeship Programs
Not all careers require a 4-year college degree, but nearly all require some type of schooling/training after completing high school. The Sacramento region has an abundance of trade schools, certificate programs, and apprenticeship opportunities. Most of these programs are run through the community college, though there are a few private for-profit schools that train people for specific careers. Below are links for each regional school and their specific programs. Reach out to your counselor if you would like to know more about the programs.

Attending Community College
Mesa Verde students are fortunate to have access to 5 outstanding community colleges within a 30-minute drive.

What makes this option even better, tuition for recent high school graduates is free - If you completed the FAFSA [Free Application for Federal Student Aid] or the California Dream Act Application [for undocumented residents of California].

After completing either the FAFSA or the California Dream Act, you can apply at any California Community College. Typically, this begins with an OpenCCC Account.

Which Community College Should You Go To?
That depends on your personal goals. Each college has unique offerings and special programs. Investigate each to see which program will best help you get where you want to go.

Not interested in a college degree? Most trade programs are available through local community colleges. Whether your interested in welding, construction, nursing, or numerous other careers, community colleges are a great place to check for certificate and apprenticeship programs.

Sierra College

American River College

Folsom Lake College

Sacramento City College

Cosumnes River College