ERIC Number: ED339814
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Vocational Education and the At-Risk Student. TASPP Brief.
Vocational education is one of the strategies most frequently cited as a dropout prevention measure, and some schools can document such program outcomes as increased student attendance, retention, and graduation rates. Disadvantaged youth who take vocational courses are less likely to be unemployed and more likely to obtain better-paying jobs. Dropout rates for youth from households with low-income, low-skill wage earners and limited educational backgrounds have been reported at about three times the rate of those from the high end of the socioeconomic scale. Dropouts are 2.5 times as likely to be unemployed as are their peers who graduated. By age 25, even employed dropouts earn only two-thirds the income of graduates. The costs of dropouts to society are staggering: $41 billion per year spent on welfare programs; $16 billion annually spent on teen pregnancy welfare; $25 billion spent on remediation and lost productivity in U.S. businesses every year; and $240 billion in lost lifetime earnings and taxes for each year's dropouts. Recent school reforms have negatively affected potential dropouts by producing watered-down courses for at-risk students and by requiring more academic courses at the expense of vocational course. A 2-year study of the plight of 16- to 20-year-old noncollege-bound students recommended continued public and private sector attention to cooperative education, internship, apprenticeship and other forms of hands-on, experiential learning. (The document contains 24 references.) (CML)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Dropout Prevention, Dropout Programs, Dropouts, Educational Change, High Risk Students, High Schools, Noncollege Bound Students, School Holding Power, Vocational Education
Technical Assistance for Special Populations Program, 345 Education Bldg., 1310 South Sixth Street, Champaign, IL 61820.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, Berkeley, CA.