Aimless students more likely to drop out, lack employment, survey confirms
EAST LANSING, Mich., May 29, 2008 – One out of five young adults lack job or career goals, leading to increased dropout and jobless rates, according to a new survey.
Twenty-five percent of young adults say they didn’t get the direction they were seeking while in high school to achieve job or career goals, according to a poll of 500 Michigan residents conducted by the Lansing-based firm EPIC-MRA. Those lacking job or career goals are less likely to graduate on time and more likely to believe school isn’t relevant to their lives, the survey found.
“This confirms what educators and parents know – too many young adults are rudderless and don’t know what to do in the future,” said MEA President Iris K. Salters. “They’re going through life without direction. And when they lack clear goals and focus, they’re more likely to struggle.”
The survey shows that students with role models, career guidance and other vital supports are more likely to graduate and either find a job and or go on to other post secondary education. And yet, schools have cut the number of guidance counselors and often lack formal mentoring programs to help students. In many districts, for example, there is just one counselor to work with 500 students.
MEA commissioned the poll as part of an initiative to end the dropout crisis.
“We want to learn as much as we can about why students drop out of high school so we can work with community stakeholders to find ways to help them come back,” Salters said. “Finding solutions to end this crisis needs to be a top priority.”
Other key findings include:
The telephone survey was conducted May 12-21 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
Finding ways to fix Michigan’s dropout crisis is the focus of public hearings being held around the state. For more information about MEA efforts to end the dropout crisis and a schedule of upcoming hearings, visit www.mea.org/dropouts.
For a copy of the survey, contact MEA Communications at 800-292-1934.
CONTACT: Ed Sarpolus, Director of Government Affairs, 517-927-9776
Updated: February 17, 2009 4:35 PM