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A group of middle school students gather round a table for a lesson.

*This is part 4 of 9 from The Urban Difference: Report 2019

Helping youth to define career goals early can improve high school and college retention rates.

Early Career Goals Improve Retention

The Career Readiness for All (2019) report published by the Coalition for Career Development states that America has spent too little for resources in career development among middle and high school students. Student interests are usually developed by the eighth grade. However, many students enter and leave high school without clear career goals based on their interests and plans to achieve those goals. A third of these youth delay going to college, and if they do go on to college, many end up spending an extra year or two in school. This adds up to additional costs and time to earn a two-year or a four-year degree. Experts advise that youth explore career interests in middle school to improve the likelihood of identifying career options early. Career Countdown meets that objective by helping middle and high school students develop career and educational plans to get them on the right career path. 

In 2019, Career Countdown was implemented among 4,150 middle and high school students. Consequently, post-delayed survey data collected among 1,407 participants indicated the following:

  • 1,196 (85%) planned to conduct additional research on careers of interest. This was a 10 percentage point increase over the percentage of students who indicated plans to complete research on the pre-implementation survey.
  • 1,050 (74.6%) of participants indicated intent to complete an education plan, an 11.7 percentage point increase over the percentage of students indicating intent pre-implementation.
  • 1,180 (83.9%) indicated understanding that performance in school carries over to performance on a job; again an increase over pre-implementation results.
  • There was also a slight increase in the percentages of reported hours spent studying per week (3.1%).

Continue To

Part 1 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, From the Administrators
Part 2 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Alabama 4-H and Youth Development
Part 3 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Animal Science and Forages
Part 4 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Community Resource Development
Part 5 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Consumer Sciences and Personal Financial Management
Part 6 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Family and Child Development
Part 7 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Forestry, Wildlife, and Natural Resources
Part 8 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Home Grounds, Gardens and Home Pests
Part 9 – The Urban Difference: Report 2019, Human Nutrition, Diet and Health

 

Download a PDF of The Urban Difference: Report 2019, UNP-2175.

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