Seniors, alumni grade the district

  • By KAT SORENSEN
  • Tuesday, November 7, 2017 8:52pm
  • News

A majority of students who have graduated from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District wish the district had focused more on personal finance and postsecondary finances, according to a survey completed by last year’s graduating class and alumni.

The survey, which was administered in partnership with Hanover Research of Virginia, had a total of 342 seniors and 194 alumni responses that passed quality checks.

“The purpose of the surveys is to gain an understanding about how well the district prepared students for both college and career,” according to district documents.

Less than half of student respondents said they were satisfied with their personal finance preparation, with 42 percent satisfied.

Also, 30 percent of respondents who are not planning on a postsecondary education reported that they could not afford further schooling, or had to work to support themselves.

This further suggests “that financial options should be presented,” the survey states.

Both seniors and alumni reported being satisfied with their core academic preparation from the district, which include writing, English, science, social studies and mathematics classes. But, they were less satisfied with their career preparation.

“Alumni note that career assessment and career and technical education are among the top areas KPBSD should focus on,” the report states.

In terms of post-graduation plans, 44 percent of the 342 senior responses said they were planning on leaving Alaska after graduation, and more than half plan on continuing their education.

In comparison, 34 percent said they were planning to stay on the Kenai Peninsula and 23 percent said they were planning to find a part-time or full-time job instead of continuing their education.

Alumni responses were gathered from an array of graduates, with 96 percent of responses coming from an individual who spent all four years of high school in a district school. Fifty-five percent of respondents graduated between 2011 and 2015, which nearly a quarter graduated before 2010 and the other quarter graduated in 2016.

Two-thirds of alumni respondents enrolled in post-secondary education after college, the report states, and similar to the seniors polled, 47 percent left Alaska for their post-graduation plans.

“Most alumni who attended a postsecondary institution studied or are studying medicine/health services (16 percent), sciences (15 percent), business (13 percent), or education (12 percent),” according to the report.

Overall, alumni said they were satisfied with their education but also indicated a need for better college preparation, in both academic rigor and in test-taking and time management skills. Less than half of alumni said they were well-prepared for college-level work and only 40 percent found the transition from high school to college to be easy.

“Additionally, alumni indicate KPBSD should focus more on career preparation,” the report states. “Only 27 percent of alumni are satisfied with the career and technical education preparation at KPBSD … Moreover, career and technical education and career assesments are among the top three areas alumni indicate KPBSD should emphasize more.”

The survey’s findings were presented to the Board of Education on Monday during work sessions. The board, along with district administration, discussed ways that the information could be utilized but no formal action has been taken.

Hanover surveyed the senior respondents form the class of 2017 in May 2017. The alumni respondents were surveyed between August and September 2017.

Reach Kat Sorensen at kat.sorensen@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

COVID-19 (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 3 more COVID deaths, more than 900 cases

The newly reported deaths push Alaska’s total to 594 COVID fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.

In this July 1908 photograph provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear sits at anchor while on Bering Sea Patrol off Alaska. The wreckage of the storied vessel, that served in two World Wars and patrolled frigid Arctic waters for decades, has been found, the Coast Guard said Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office via AP)
Coast Guard: Wreck found in Atlantic is storied cutter Bear

The ship performed patrols in waters off Alaska for decades.

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

Kyle Kornelis speaks at a public meeting about the Runway 7-25 Rehabilitation Project on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna airport unveils revamped runway

Runway 7-25 was temporarily closed earlier this year while it underwent renovations.

Alaska Redistricting Board Director Peter Torkelson speaks at a redistricting open house on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Redistricting Board Director Peter Torkelson speaks at a redistricting open house on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Redistricting proposals draw concerns from local residents

The state is seeking feedback on the best way to redraw the state’s legislative district boundaries in the wake of the 2020 census.

Signs advertising COVID-19 safety protocoals stand outside the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Oct. 6, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Ordinance seeks more funding for sports complex renovations

Approved for introduction by the Soldotna City Council during their Oct. 13 meeting, the legislation would put an extra $583,000 toward the project

Most Read