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Increase in college enrollment is welcome

Increase in college enrollment is welcome

By Anonymous
Posted Mar 25, 2013 @ 12:00 PM
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The issue: Percentage of Stark students in college
Our view: Encouraging trend should be helped along by economic recovery

Sometimes major changes don’t become apparent until they are well under way. This is the case with the remarkable increase in the number of Stark Countians who are working toward college diplomas.

For many years, Stark County has fallen below the state and national averages for percentage of degree holders. But according to the Stark Education Partnership, Stark has seen a rate of increase of nearly 50 percent in the number of college students in just a decade.

The Partnership notes that according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse, 73 percent of the students in the Class of 2010 in Stark County’s high schools went on to college. The national average is 68 percent.

It’s no coincidence, as the Partnership notes, that this same decade has seen major successes in local dual-credit and Early College High School programs, in which students complete college courses while in high school, along with the expansion of Advanced Placement programs and College Tech Prep courses.

Stark County has the second-largest dual-enrollment program in Ohio. And as just one Early College example, the Canton City School District’s collaboration with Stark State College has allowed students to graduate with both a high school diploma and a two-year degree since 2009.

Not only are these trends encouraging in themselves, but they should accelerate as the economy picks up. Students’ families have more resources to put a college education within reach, and students also will have more employment opportunities once they’ve received their diploma. The impact on Stark County? All good.

The issue: Percentage of Stark students in college
Our view: Encouraging trend should be helped along by economic recovery

Sometimes major changes don’t become apparent until they are well under way. This is the case with the remarkable increase in the number of Stark Countians who are working toward college diplomas.

For many years, Stark County has fallen below the state and national averages for percentage of degree holders. But according to the Stark Education Partnership, Stark has seen a rate of increase of nearly 50 percent in the number of college students in just a decade.

The Partnership notes that according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse, 73 percent of the students in the Class of 2010 in Stark County’s high schools went on to college. The national average is 68 percent.

It’s no coincidence, as the Partnership notes, that this same decade has seen major successes in local dual-credit and Early College High School programs, in which students complete college courses while in high school, along with the expansion of Advanced Placement programs and College Tech Prep courses.

Stark County has the second-largest dual-enrollment program in Ohio. And as just one Early College example, the Canton City School District’s collaboration with Stark State College has allowed students to graduate with both a high school diploma and a two-year degree since 2009.

Not only are these trends encouraging in themselves, but they should accelerate as the economy picks up. Students’ families have more resources to put a college education within reach, and students also will have more employment opportunities once they’ve received their diploma. The impact on Stark County? All good.

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