At a time when more and more high school graduates are enrolling in college and looking for work, YouthTruth explored what we can learn about college and career readiness directly from the source – the students themselves.
We analyzed data collected from some 165,000 high school students between the 2010-11 and 2014-15 school years and found a number of interesting results.
While this may seem intuitive since careers are further out on the horizon than college, it has important implications for high schools seeking to make learning relevant and prepare students for 21st century jobs.
Counseling about how to pay for college was least utilized, with less than a quarter of students reporting they had used this service, including 23 percent of juniors and 44 percent of seniors. While it may be tempting to isolate only the proportion of seniors utilizing these services, administrators, teachers, parents, and students themselves know that preparing for a future beyond high school is a process that begins well before 12th grade.
We believe that this data provides an important comparative context for understanding the student perspective when it comes to college and career readiness, and we hope it sparks conversations and ideas in schools across the country about effectively preparing students for life after high school.