Byline: Rose Rennekamp Special to the Daily Herald
I recently met a woman whose son, two years out of high school, had just decided he wanted to go to college.
As we spoke, she explained that her son - while very capable - was never a great student. He also never took college prep courses in high school.
"Does he have a chance?" she asked.
Of course he does, I said. But it isn't easy to begin thinking about college when you're 20 years old. A lot of choices students make about getting ready for college are made way back when they are 12 or 13, when they decide to take pre-algebra rather than general math.
However, it's really never too late for anyone to consider attending college. The life expectancy for a 20-year-old is more than 70 years, giving someone a good 50 years to "catch up," get a college education and put it to good use.
But where do you start? Basically, it's a process of determining where you are and where you want to go - then determining the best way to get there. The nice thing is that many of the answers can be found at a local community college.
First, as a "late bloomer," you need to figure out where you are - what you know and are ready to learn next. This is usually best done with a placement test or a standardized achievement test, covering subjects such as math, reading and writing skills. Even if you didn't take college prep courses in high school, it's likely you learned some needed skills in the working world since high school. For example, a carpenter needs to learn and use algebra and geometry skills to do the job.
A community college is one of the best places to find this kind of assessment, which helps you determine what you know and what you're ready to learn.
Second, you need to determine a new direction in life - what careers interest you and match your values and skills. Again, …