ERIC Number: EJ851058
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: N/A
Our Most Valuable Population: The Case for Disconnected Young Adults
Donohue, Nicholas C.
New England Journal of Higher Education, v24 n1 p31-32 Sum 2009
In May, President Obama stated the need for every American to have at least one year of postsecondary education. That sentiment echoes the Nellie Mae Education Foundation's 2008 report, "What It Takes to Succeed in the 21st Century--and How New Englanders Are Faring." The report cites a growing consensus that reveals the minimum indicator of the skills and knowledge necessary for success as a two-year postsecondary credential of some kind. Working toward this goal becomes even more challenging when one considers the large number of young adults, ages 16 to 24, across the region who are unemployed and not enrolled in school. There are now far too many disconnected young adults across the region and nationally. While more likely to be from underserved populations, disconnected young adults are still a diverse group: (1) teen parents; (2) adolescents in the foster system; (3) youth involved with the juvenile justice system; (4) recent immigrants struggling to learn English; (5) high school students who are one or more years behind their graduating class; and (6) youth who have already dropped out. The longer young adults are disconnected, the less likely they will ever engage with the postsecondary opportunities that could turn their lives around. Today's disconnected young adults are at high risk of spending the rest of their lives as members of the working poor. To reverse this trend, it is important to work harder to engage this population with postsecondary opportunities. In this article, the author describes some of the model programs that are trying to engage New England's disconnected young adults with postsecondary opportunities.
Descriptors: Graduation Rate, Young Adults, Late Adolescents, Juvenile Justice, Immigrants, Low Income Groups, Postsecondary Education, Higher Education, Foster Care, Minority Groups, African American Students, Hispanic American Students, Accountability, Adult Basic Education, Adults
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nebhe.org/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Rhode Island