A new national survey by Carnegie Corporation of New York and Gallup, Family Voices: Building Pathways from Learning to Meaningful Work, reveals a disconnect between the opportunities families want for their children and the postsecondary pathways available to them. It offers new insights into the aspirations that parents have for their children, their perspectives on what will best help them achieve those hopes, and the barriers they face.
The message from the survey is clear: we need to expand and strengthen postsecondary pathways so that young people are exposed to the world of work before graduating from high school and have access to a robust array of career-related learning opportunities afterward.
The nation’s longstanding focus on making college degrees accessible to all has had the unintended consequence of leaving behind those students who are either unable or uninterested in pursuing a traditional college degree. We must work to remove barriers, provide better guidance, and create alternatives for lifelong learning for all students.
While having their child attend a four-year college remains the ideal for many families, 46 percent prefer other options. Even among parents who hope their child will earn a bachelor’s degree, at least 40 percent are interested in career-related learning opportunities such as internships or apprenticeships.