If you are considering applying to a career college in the US, your post-secondary planning process should begin as early as high school. Career colleges--or particular programs within a career college--can be competitive and rigorous; therefore, it's important to plan your high school courses accordingly. Your area of interest will determine what you should take. If you are considering a science or technology-based program, you should load up on courses in math, chemistry, physics and computers to ensure that you are well prepared for the schools and programs that make your list. If your high school offers courses in electronics, mechanics or other areas of technology, those are also recommended. Communication skills are always important in any profession, even the most technical fields, so don't forget your English! In general, English and math are the most-often required courses for all fields of study.
Since many career colleges do not have specific course requirements, there are several additional things that you can do to prepare for success in your career college application and studies:
Undertake to read and study independently. This is a good way to develop interests, expand your knowledge and improve your vocabulary and reading comprehension skills needed for these specialized programs. This will also help you if admission requirements include an interview, since you will be able to impress the interviewer or committee with the knowledge you have built up of terms and issues specific to your area or program of interest.
Career college admissions committees may also be interested in an applicant's personal qualities, which can be developed through participating in extracurricular activities. Consider joining or even starting school clubs, whether related to your area of interest or not. This is also a good way to develop demonstrated leadership skills, which are an important aspect of any application and will also help you once you get in and are dealing with course loads, instructors, peers, etc.
Prove your work ethic. Work experience -- paid or volunteer -- is an achievement often regarded highly by admissions committees. Any work experience related to your chosen field is extremely beneficial: career colleges often include practicum components, and you want to be able to show the school committee you are dedicated to, and have some experience in, the field.