Virginia is one of the most highly educated states in the country. A new report, however, shows an uneven nature to that education, with some communities left behind.
After graduating high school, many students move on to college and get degrees that help them enter the workforce. A new study, though, shows pockets of the state have high rates of poverty and low rates of students who move on to some kind of postsecondary education or training.
Wendy Kang is director of higher education innovation at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, which released the study this week. “We know that high school is no longer the finish line, that more students need to get jobs that require some form of postsecondary education, whether that’s a certification or a degree.”
The study recommends getting community organizations and business groups in involved in Central Virginia, where the need is greatest. “At a regional level it would be to engaging the business community and those organizations," Kang says "and at the school division level it would be to really focus on a shared goal to track your students even after graduation.”
That shared goal can focus on places like Hopewell and Colonial Beach, where most high school students don’t go on to some other kind of education or training after they graduate high school.