Finding Your Education OptionsWhat Options Fit You Best?

As you narrow down to which careers you’re interested in, you can then begin looking at the options for education and training.  The LEAP Tampa Bay network is made up of partners from all kinds of post-secondary institutions – from universities, to state & community colleges, to career/technical institutions.  Each offers unique strengths and can help you in different ways.

There are a number of places to find answers to questions or get suggestions for how you choose a place to continue your education & training.

Florida Shines offers a “Virtual College Night” which has a variety of resources to explore where and how to go to college.

High school students in Pinellas and Hillsborough can turn to their schools’ counseling staff – and should ask questions well before their senior year. And don’t forget to ask about options for earning college credits while still in high school, such as AP classes, or Dual Enrollment.

Admissions Counselors or Financial Aid staff at any of our local colleges & technical colleges are also great resources for answering your questions.  Links to our LEAP Tampa Bay partners and supporters are below:

These schools can tell you about innovative programs they offer, as well.  One example is FUSE

FUSE is FUSE Admission Programa seamless transfer program between the University of South Florida and eight Florida Colleges, including LEAP Tampa Bay partners Hillsborough Community College and St. Petersburg College.

FUSE provides a timely graduation pathway for the completion of an Associate of Arts and Bachelor’s Degree. A pathway supporting a shorter time to graduation means fewer “extra” classes, less cost to the student, and a quicker start to your career!  And, thanks to our partners at Helios Education FoundationUSAB Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay there is now a FUSE Scholarship for low-income students.

Other programs

The building trades are a high-demand field in the Tampa Bay region and apprenticeships offer an opportunity to get on those career pathways.  Many apprenticeships are offered at no cost to the student, as you get on-the-job training and school at the same time.  The Association of Builders & Contractors Florida Gulf Coast Chapter has an FAQ page which can begin answering questions.

If you’ve already started school at some point and are looking to finish what you started, Complete Florida can be an option for you.  Complete Florida offers free Success Coaching from the moment you apply, giving you support with things like information and paperwork for the college you choose, financial aid, and more.  The state-funded program also has scholarships available for its students.