Michael HowlettStaff Writer
December 20, 2012
According to a Culminating Survey by LifeTrack Services, Inc., students graduating from Carroll County High School in 2007 feel they received a quality education, but only a little over half of the students are working full time. The five-year Culminating Survey is just one of three that all Carroll County students are asked to participate in. A survey of students is taken just prior to graduation, and another is conducted 18 months after graduation.
Of the 224 students who graduated in 2007, the school system received replies from 44 former students and 31 parents for the culminating survey. Although only 33.9 percent of the students or their parents responded, Carroll County Superintendent Strader Blankenship said the figure is above average for five-year surveys, which are conducted by mail.
“The average rate for these kinds of surveys is 16 to 20 percent. We got 34 percent, it’s not great, but it’s above average. We’re pretty pleased with that,” said Blankenship, who noted the longer students are out of school, the less likely they are to respond to a survey. “A lot of people who respond are the folks who are still around here. We get some who attended two-year colleges, but we tend to lose the four-year college students.”
The school system also conducts two other surveys, one for the special education graduates, and another for the career and technical graduates.
“We have a better response for those two surveys, because we actually call and talk to the former students or their parents. It’s more personalized,” said Blankenship, who said the survey results are shared with different departments so they can determine what is working and what is not.
“For the most part, this survey is pretty positive. If there is a problem, we expect to see a plan that will deal with any negatives in each department’s annual action plan.”
The figures from the Culminating Survey revealed that just 54.67 percent of 2007 graduates are working full time, while 18.67 percent are part-time workers and 5.33 percent are in the military. Another 14.67 percent are attending a four-year college and 6.67 percent are enrolled in a two-year college.
Of the respondents not in school, 48 percent have graduated from college. However, figures show that most, 49.33 percent, are not working in the area they were trained in. Just over 30 percent said they were working in the area they trained in, while 20 percent didn’t respond. A little less than half, 41.33 percent, said they needed specialized training to meet the demand of their jobs, and 53.33 percent say their career path has changed in high school.
Most graduates, 62.67 percent, feel they were academically challenged in high school, while 29.33 percent said the high school’s counseling services were excellent and another 33.33 percent rated the services good. As for the students’ academic effort, 25.33 percent said their academic effort was excellent. Forty-four percent responded their effort was good and another 16 percent rated their effort average.
Over two-thirds rated their education good (30.67 percent) or excellent (37.33 percent) in relation to its usefulness, and almost that number said high school taught them to solve problems, with 29.33 percent rating it excellent and 37.33 percent rating it good. CCHS got a high rating for providing a safe learning environment, with 56.67 percent rating its excellent and 22.67 percent rating it good.
Almost two-thirds of the students responding said CCHS did a good (20 percent) or excellent (42.67 percent) job of preparing them to continue their educations, while over half rated the high school either good (26.67 percent) or excellent (32 percent) in preparing them to enter the workforce. As far as preparing the students to utilize technology, CCHS was rated excellent by 42.67 percent and good by 25.33 percent.