Earlier this month, the West Virginia Community and Technical College Education Council met to discuss, among other things, West Virginia’s low college enrollment rates among high school graduates. Less than 46% of public high school graduates go on to college.

National averages are hard to come by, but before the pandemic, 66% of high school graduates in 2019 went straight to college.

Here in Mountain State, the percentage of 2021 graduates is even lower than the 2020 graduates.

“Less than one in four students continue their post-secondary education.” Zornitsa Georgieva, head of research and analysis for the state Higher Education Policy Commission, told WV MetroNews.

“We want to know if the obstacles and barriers they are experiencing might be preventing them from taking that extra step. We hope that you will be able to use the Georgieva said.

Anyone in West Virginia can name half a dozen barriers without needing a wealth of data. Students are not convinced of the value of education. Our routinely dying last K-12 public education system is not preparing them for college. There are many socio-cultural challenges.

If government officials are to do anything from dramatically improving the education (and experience in formal learning environments) these potential college students receive while they are still in the public system, You can get started. Then you can look for ways to make college education more affordable and more relevant.

Employers can discuss the training and education needed for good jobs here. And help them pay for it. Oh, and admit how unnecessary most of the traditional college experience seems to children who have grown up understanding the urgency of getting paid.

Yes, post-secondary education and training can lead to a more financially secure future and positive career experiences. If higher education officials are unable to convince students of this, students should be honest about why.

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By admin1