YouthTruth has recently come out with a new survey, College and Career Readiness, of 165,000 high school students “between the 2010-11 and 2014-15 school years,” and found a vast amount of information that shows that high school students want to go to college, but “most feel unprepared to do so.” High school students also feel less prepared for future careers and are “not taking advantage of support services,” such as programs presented at libraries and more. Along with high school students, middle school students also feel unprepared for college and a future career.
As presented above, 45 percent of high school students feel positively about their college and career readiness. With this in mind, 59 percent of students expect to attend a 4-year college. Students also feel less prepared for careers than they do for college. This could be because schools focus so much on getting into college, but not so much on what majors students will focus on. The library, along with other community resources, could be a great place to hold career readiness programs and career fairs for middle school and high school students.
Another resource that is not being utilized by high school students is “counseling about how to pay for college…less than a quarter of students report[ed] they had used this service, including 23 percent of juniors and 44 percent of seniors.” To fill this gap, libraries could find resources through colleges and the community to present ideas to students and parents on how to pay for college. College is very expensive, and having programs, resources, and being a go-to staff member is a great way to better educate your community.
In my library system, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, we offer may programs for high school students to prepare for college and their careers. It is important to reach out to the school system, parents, after-school care programs, and more to advertise these programs as best we can. This way we can garner more interest and get students and parents the information they need. The above graph illustrates how important it is to offer programs and services to students and parents when it comes to college and career readiness.
What programs have you done to help high school students prepare for college and a future career?