There are academic and nonacademic goals that students should achieve before leaving high school. Their participation in the graduation ceremony serves as evidence that they have achieved the academic goals set forth by the state board of education and the school system. However, there are nonacademic goals that students should achieve before leaving high school. Over the course of their compulsory education experiences, students should develop skills that will facilitate success in life, no matter what vocational path they choose.

Develop a Desire to be a Lifelong Learner

Some schools embrace developing lifelong learning as a major goal for students. Teachers try to expose students to concepts and ways of thinking that enable them to grasp the value of becoming a lifelong learner. This is accomplished by providing opportunities for students to use critical-thinking skills, understand self-empowerment, and establish and maintain personal and collaborative relationships with peers and adults. Teachers also help students to see how exposure to social and cultural diversity provides opportunities for personal growth.

Develop Self-Discipline

Developing self-discipline can be considered a universal goal of public education. Self-discipline, or the ability to control one's behavior, is an essential skill for success in school and in life. Fostering self-discipline is a goal undertaken by school administrators and teachers to help students learn the value of assuming moral and social responsibility for their actions.

Recognize that Attitude Impacts Destiny

A goal that should be attained before leaving high school is that of developing the ability to see the value in maintaining a positive attitude, regardless of the circumstances. This goal may be addressed under the topic of character education and embedded in the curriculum of virtually all disciplines. When included in the curriculum, students are exposed to how positive words, positive character traits and positive thinking can impact life immediately and in the future.

Recognize Limitations, Make Plans to Overcome Them

An important goal for students to meet before they leave school is developing the ability to recognize what limitations they may possess, while not allowing those limitations to stymie growth. If the limitation is physical in nature, students should be encouraged to continue their quest with accommodations, and not allow the limitation to be a roadblock. If a student possesses a personal limitation, such as low self-esteem, students should be exposed to strategies to help them lessen the negative impact of the limitation.