Feeling Unprepared for College and Career

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”
-Arthur Ashe, American tennis player

In a blog post from earlier this month, Background Information, we provided study results which clearly stated that most students do not feel prepared for college and career. This means teachers have two big jobs in high schools:

  1. Prepare their students for the future
  2. Making sure their students feel prepared to take on the future

What happens when individuals do not feel prepared to take on life after high school? Most people get frustrated and/or discouraged; therefore, they:

  • decide not to pursue a higher education: In 2016, the United States’ Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that 72.3% of high school graduates did not enroll in college.
  • either go to college but never graduate: According to Forbes, only 28% of students completed a bachelor’s degree in the expected amount of time at various schools in 2016. This means that nearly 2 million students dropout each year before graduating.
  • or find a job that is not related to their college degree: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that in 2010 only 62.1% of college graduates had a job that required a college degree and only 27.3% of college graduates had a job remotely related to their major.

This is very unfortunate because according to SmartAsset, the average yearly salary for a worker with a high school diploma is $35,256 and $38,376 for a worker with some college but not degree. While the yearly salary for a worker with a bachelors degree is $59,124. That is almost a $24,000 difference that makes a big difference in a person’s lifestyle.

Join us at World Future Forum for more research findings and best practices on College and Career Outcomes of High Schools!

Current Programs

As we examined in the last blog post on background information, many students do not feel prepared for life after high school. In order to better prepare students for college and career, many entities have designed or established different programs to combat this issue. Here are a few current programs to prepare students for college and career while in high school:

  1. Some schools provide labs in which students can talk to a college and career guidance counselor, apply to universities and learn about alternatives to college. In addition to being available to students during the school day, the College and Career Lab at Lake View High School in Chicago provides a website with links to three different resources for students: Naviance, Common App and Choose Your Future (available to Chicago Public Schools’ students only). These resources help students figure out what their best option is after high school, apply to colleges, and set goals for their post-high school life. View Lake View’s College and Career Lab page here.
  2. The State of Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction created the High School & Beyond Plan. The HSBP is designed to get students thinking about their future goals and understand how to accomplish them starting in eighth grade. This plan also includes a one-year plan after high school, a career goal, an educational goal, a four-year course plan for high school, and identification of required assessments. To view the available HSBP resources, click here.
  3. The Alliance For Excellent Education, provides multiple ways to prepare students in three areas: college, workplace, and rigor (or academic preparedness). To read more on the various programs, click here.

These are only some programs in place at high schools. Does your school provide different programs to improve college and career outcomes of high school? Comment below.

Join us at World Future Forum for more research findings and best practices on College and Career Outcomes of High Schools!

Background Information on Outcomes of High Schools

While there is little argument that college preparation in high school is imperative​, there is debate ​among scholars ​as to what extent high schools should prepare students for college and careers. In order to better understand this, we need to recognize current statistics associated with College and Career Outcomes of High Schools. Here is some information by YouthTruth that we should keep in mind.

As you can see, in the survey below, most high school students feel unprepared for college despite wanting to go. Additionally, students feel even more unprepared for careers.

So what can high schools do to change these numbers? In our next blog we will discuss programs that have been put in place to make a difference.

Join us at World Future Forum for more research findings and best practices on College and Career Outcomes of High Schools!

College and Career Outcomes of High Schools

During the month of January, we will focus on College and Career Outcomes of High Schools, which will be one of the topics further discussed during the first annual World Future Forum.

Youth Truth Student Survey found that only 45 percent of students feel positively about their college and career readiness.

The question is: to what extent can high schools prepare students for college and career? This topic examines the different perspectives on college and career preparedness in ​high schools. We will discuss how prepared students feel for college and career, programs that have been implemented to prepare students, and the outcomes of being unprepared for college and career. Stay tuned to find out.

Join us at World Future Forum for more research findings and best practices on College and Career Outcomes of High Schools!