AP-Viacom Survey: Students Dissatisfied with High School Preparation

Education stakeholders continue to stress the need to prepare college- and career-ready high school graduates. However, a recent survey reveals students’ discontent with their high school preparation, and reveals a need for more focus on the “career ready” component of college and career readiness.

The Associated Press and Viacom recently released the results of a telephone survey of over 1,100 American young adults (ages 18 to 24) to gauge their perspectives on education today. Overall, most students rated their high schools poorly in areas that would ease the transition from secondary to postsecondary education and prepare them to enter college or the workforce. Career Technical Education (CTE) aims to help students with this transition by providing a pathway from rigorous, sequential secondary coursework into postsecondary education or a career.

About half of the respondents rate their high schools as fair, poor, or very poor in preparing students for further education. An alarming 57 percent of students report their high schools as fair, poor, or very poor at helping students choose or be prepared for future careers. Many students also say that high schools fail to help students find internships or other work experience. Less than a quarter of students credit their guidance counselor for helping greatly with these issues.

Despite respondents’ reports of not being prepared for further education, two-thirds of students believe that their peers should aim to attend college, and about the same number hope to attain a four-year degree themselves. However, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about one-third of today’s 25-to-34 year olds hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, and less than 10 percent receive an associate degree. This presents an alarming mismatch because, despite plans to attend college, many students are not attending or completing a postsecondary credential or certificate. As the survey results show, students entering the workforce after high school do not feel adequately prepared for this transition.

To access the survey results, please visit The AP-Viacom Survey of Youth on Education.

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