The Education dimension explores a variety of child and adult educational challenges, individual definitions of success, parent involvement in schools, and access to early childhood education. Nationally, high school completion rates have a relationship with individual and community health outcomes, as education level impacts socioeconomic status. A family’s socioeconomic status can impact many areas of their life, from early childhood education to adult employability. Additionally, academic and social experiences in school can have immediate and lifelong implications on a child’s life.
What We’ve Learned
Among the 860 Morgan County survey respondents, 40% had completed a college education, and 30% completed high school. The remaining ~30% hold an associate’s degree (13%), trade school certificate (8%), GED (4%), or have completed some college or some high school (both 2%). The 2019 survey also found that while residents completing trade school are more able to find reliable work than college educated residents, the latter are more financially secure in all categories.
The primary challenges Morgan County residents face when considering higher education is expense, followed by childcare. In the countywide Youth Survey, we also learned that many students generally feel unprepared, especially in the areas of life skills, personal finance, and career mapping.
Across Morgan County, social/emotional health issues are a primary concern for students and their families. Many young people emphasized the need for healthy, inclusive after-school recreation and facilities, while many others report being involved in a wide variety of organized sports, service, and affinity groups. Morgan County libraries are a common gathering place, and several have initiated innovative programs and youth-focused spaces to accommodate after-school crowds.
In order of importance, Morgan County residents list top indicators of success as: secure a paying job, go to college, and go to trade school. However, students report that starting a family or joining the military are of more interest than trade school.
CFMC has historically been very active in the area of education, and with these findings, we will be able to better support our community education partners and advocate for priority initiatives in each hometown. We are grateful for the countless teachers, parents, and students who contributed to this invaluable body of knowledge, and are committed to growing and refining our support of education in Morgan County.