Where do Pasco County high school graduates land after commencement?
In conversations about curriculum, some Pasco County school district leaders routinely comment that the district needs more vocational and career options because only about a quarter of graduates are college bound.
That's not necessarily true, though.
With graduation around the corner, the district has released its annual "graduates and leavers" report, this time for the Class of 2011. (You can see it on the School Board's June 5 agenda, item 1.1.) It indicates that of 3,295 graduates who responded to a survey, 50.4 percent said they planned to attend college full time, with another 15.3 percent intending to attend part time. That's down slightly from the Class of 2008, which reported that 58 percent were headed to full-time school with another 20 percent part time.
Of those in the Class of 2011 continuing their education, 41.7 percent said they were going to community college, 26.1 percent to a Florida public university, and 12.2 percent to a private or out-of-state college or university.
In today's economy, it will be interesting to see how the results turn out for the group of seniors who will walk across the stage this weekend. In any case, though, these results seem to belie the belief that most Pasco graduates are not on their way to higher education. Perhaps it will inform budget conversations as the district continues to decide where to allocate its limited resources.