Moving from the High School Career Academy Through the Four-Year University

Moving from the High School Career Academy Through the Four-Year University

Nov 1999


Nan L. Maxwell
California State University, Hayward

Executive Summary:

This study empirically examines the high school career academy's influence on entrance into, route through, and outcomes upon exiting a four-year university. Data is drawn from applicant and student records at a comprehensive, urban university for all individuals originating from a single high school district that has a strong career academy program. Our findings suggest that students from career academies have higher academic achievement upon leaving high school, less need for remediation in English at the university, and increased graduation rates from the university than students who are not from academies. Unfortunately, the high rates of remediation for students from this district and the low rates of graduation suggest that the impact of the career academy may not be enough to ensure success in postsecondary education. About 70% of the applicants from this district need some type of remediation, and about 45% need remediation in both math and English. Only about half of those who enroll in the university graduate. Unless high school school-to-work programs can dramatically improve on these percentages for students from inner city schools, students will continue to struggle at the university level and beyond.

Maxwell, N. L. (1999, November). Moving from the high school career academy through the four-year university. Berkeley, CA: National Center for Research in Vocational Education.