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NSBA’s Center for Public Education report finds few high school graduates don’t go on to college

The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA’s) Center for Public Education (CPE) today released “The Path Least Taken: A Quest to Learn More About High School Graduates Who don’t Go on to College,” which shifts the discussion about college and career readiness from graduates who go to college after high school, toward non college-goers. CPE’s analysis shows the non college-going group to be much smaller than previously thought--only 21 percent of high school graduates don’t proceed to a two- or four- year college by age 20 and by age 26 that percentage reduces to 12.

Drawing on data from the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES’s) Education Longitudinal Study (ELS:2002), the CPE report examines the characteristics, expectations, and academic preparation of non college enrollees.

CPE’s big takeaway in the report: While only a small proportion of high school graduates never attend college, it’s important for public schools to prepare all students to be life-long learners, regardless of whether or not they go on to college.  Such preparation includes rigorous courses and more student support, especially in bridging the gulf between aspiration and attainment.

In the next installment of the analysis, CPE will look at the after high school outcomes of non college-goers and the steps high schools can take for such students to succeed after high school.

More information about “The Path Least Taken” is available here. The press release is also available here.

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