Students across the nation are increasingly gravitating towards magnet schools to get experience as well as knowledge of their future career path before they even set foot on a college campus. Now you are probably wondering, “What exactly is a magnet school?” Magnet programs are established within schools to help students gain knowledge and direct them down a specified career path or field.
Currently, I am attending a medical magnet school, and I’m completely happy with my choice. I have gone on multiple field trips to hospitals, had the opportunity to shadow a nurse, and the best part, have medically licensed doctors as teachers! Although the field trips were a nice bonus, the main reason I decided to make the hour long trip from my home to attend this school is for the head start I receive in the medical field. Every year, I have taken classes from teachers knowledgeable and experienced in different aspects of the field. I have seen many sides of the medical field and I’m not going to lie, some sides made me want to rethink my choice. The teachers and faculty in the medical program make us learn extensive material at a college level. I have even had a crazy teacher decide to teach us PhD material. When I first heard of magnet programs, I was a little skeptical at first. I have now realized it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Getting a Feel of the Career Path
Many of my peers came into the program thinking that they were absolutely certain about what they wanted to do later in life. My school also has two other programs, an engineering magnet and a teaching magnet. Being that my school is the only engineering magnet in the county, so many people flock to my school for the program. After freshman year, there were an abundant number of students who decided that the career path just wasn’t for them. Most decided to switch programs within our school, while some decided to attend their home school or another magnet school. A lot of parents put their kids in magnet schools for this reason. Your first choice career path isn’t always going to be the one you stick with in the end. Getting the opportunity to see if it is the right path for you in high school will save you money and time in the long run.
Magnet programs have field trips and activities geared towards the career of your choice. The teaching program at my school often has weekly field trips to a neighboring elementary school where they get to work one on one with the kids and gain firsthand experience in teaching. My absolute favorite medical field trip so far, was the trip in which I was able to shadow a nurse. I was directly able to see what they do and even was able to have brief conversations with patients.
Benefits for College
One reason so many people flock to magnet schools is because it looks good on college applications. Colleges believe that you are serious about your education and that you have a feel for your specific field if you attended a magnet high school. Some magnet schools even let you walk away with a college degree or a special high school diploma or honor.
Better School Education
There is always a group of students in the magnet school just attending because they want to go to one of better schools in the county. There is nothing wrong with getting a better education, just make sure the program is worth going the distance. I’d be lying if I claimed the long commute to school does not get rough for me and there are people at my school that have even longer bus rides than me. I had a friend who decided to attend a school an hour and a half away from where she lived, only to find out that the magnet program wasn’t as good as she thought. She ended up making the switch to a much better program closer to her home.
It is Your Decision
All in all, the decision to go to a magnet school should be a decision that should be talked about with your parents. You guys should go over the pros and cons of doing so and make a decision as a team, because attending a magnet school can affect the entire family. Just remember that you should always make the best choice for you and not for anybody else.