Erie Vital Signs

Post-Secondary Activity: Post-Secondary Activity

Recent Performance

This trend is negative or needs improvement.

The percentage of Erie County high-school graduates who plan to pursue post-secondary education had remained at about 75% from 2004 to 2010. But since then it has been sliding, hitting just 70.7% for the class of 2013-14. A similar pattern occurred in the statewide data, but the most recent PA data showed a possible reversal of the trend.

Students’ plans vary widely across school districts in the county, with just 55.6% of Corry grads planning to pursue further education, compared to 82.3% of Fairview students. Students from those two districts will most likely have quite different futures, on average.

This trend does not bode well for Erie County. While there are probably jobs available for those without post-secondary education, many of those jobs tend to have lower pay and be slower-growth occupations.

The Basics

This indicator provides information about the plans of students in public schools after they complete high school, telling us how many plan to continue their education and to what extent.

Why It's Important

Knowing students’ plans can give use a clue to the future educational attainment of the area, which impacts the local work force in coming years. Since education is highly correlated with income, output, unemployment rates, and many other key variables, this indicator can serve as an early-warning sign for potential future problems. Although students may change their minds in the course of their education, their initial plans give a good idea of how Erie’s educational attainment may change in a few years. It also helps us see if high school students understand that their personal futures are tied closely to the education they choose to acquire.

The Details

The Pennsylvania Department of Education provides a compilation of statistical information covering high school graduates in Pennsylvania's public schools. Pennsylvania's public high schools with enrollment in grade 12 (including secondary ungraded) provide the graduate data through the Pennsylvania Information Management System (PIMS). In prior years, this data was collected via the Electronic Dropout/Graduate Report (EDGR) web-based system. These reports provide information on intended post-high school activity of graduates, including college bound students.

For these data, a high school graduate is a student who has received a diploma. Students earning high school credentials by obtaining a General Educational Development (GED) diploma are not considered graduates for the purpose of the Graduate data.

Subcategories

Postsecondary Bound

College-Bound
2- or 4-Year College or University

Specialized Associate Degree-Granting Institution
% Non-Degree-Granting Postsecondary School

Peer Areas

This indicator is provided for the 13 individual school districts in Erie County. No data are available for the 13 typical peer metro areas since these data are Pennsylvania-specific.

Frequency

Annual

Source

Pennsylvania Department of Education, Graduate Data and Statistics

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