Moving on up

  • ERIC STEVICK and KARL SCHWEIZER / Herald Writers
  • Tuesday, October 31, 2000 9:00pm
  • Local NewsLocal news

More Everett graduates are attending college


Herald Writers

EVERETT — The number of high school graduates in the Everett School District who continue their educations has reached a five-year high, according to a survey.

Two-thirds of the district’s 1999 high school graduates went on to college or other schools, the highest percentage of graduates to pursue higher education in any of the past five years, a review of annual reports finds.

The percentage was 61 percent in 1996 and 1997.

Class of 1999 graduates continuing their educations either full or part time after high school were nearly evenly divided, with 47 percent at community colleges and 46 percent attending four-year universities. Others were attending technical or apprentice schools.

Among the community college students who graduated from Everett high schools in 1999, 79 percent intend to transfer to a four-year school.

A review of the reports also shows that increasing numbers of graduates are able to go to college full time without having to work.

Thirty-eight percent of 1999 graduates reported going to school full time without holding down a job. That compares with 23 percent in 1996, 25 percent in 1997 and 27 percent in 1998.

The survey, by Decision Research of Santa Barbara, included observations about how prepared students felt they were for college and the job market and what high school subjects have proven most useful to them.

Ric Williams, in his second year as director of evaluation and research for the Everett district, said he was impressed with the percentage of students continuing their education.

"It might be a combination of several things," Williams said. "You need more education these days, and come from a community that values and supports education."

For 1999 Cascade High graduate Greg Huynhc, going to college is still the best way to a better life.

"The future is going to be all about computers. And if you don’t want to do manual work, college gives you a head start," Huynh said.

The 19-year-old is studying business and information systems at Everett Community College and plans to finish his studies at the University of Washington. He said he hopes to one day find work designing web pages and setting up computer networks for businesses. Huynh will have a hard time getting that job without college.

"If you were to just walk out of high school and find a job, it would be a pretty hard future. It wouldn’t be too good," he said.

Charles Abrams of Decision Research, which does similar graduate surveys in other states, said the trend is for students to continue their studies after high school.

"Increasingly, students are going on to higher education," Abrams said.

Fifty-one percent of the graduates are employed in either full- or part-time work, predominantly by retail/wholesale businesses (23 percent), service industries (17 percent), restaurants (16 percent) and finance organizations (7 percent).

The survey also reported that the most useful high school subject areas for their "current major activity," be it school or work, were English (57 percent), math (49 percent) and business and office skills (33 percent).

Variables such as gender, race and grade point average were figured into the survey. Of the 821 graduates from Cascade, Everett and Jackson high schools, 382 were surveyed and responses were received from 82 percent.

The study cost the district $8,000.

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