Career and private schools provide educational opportunities to a growing number of students, often serving diverse populations, including students of color and nontraditional students. In recent years, this higher education sector has been under additional scrutiny by accreditation agencies and the U.S. government. But what do the students enrolled at these colleges think of their experience? What are the priorities on a national level for career school students, and where are the schools meeting or failing to meet these expectations?
The 2012 National Satisfaction and Priorities Report focuses on the career and private school data set from 2012. This year’s study presents the overall satisfaction levels across institutional types, with a special emphasis on the experiences of more than 181,000 students at 315 two-year career and private schools. These career school findings stand out:
- Career and private schools were tied with four-year public institutions for having the lowest overall satisfaction scores (54 percent), behind four-year private institutions and community colleges.
- When asked, if they had to complete their college careers all over again, would they re-enroll at their current institutions, only 54 percent of career school students said yes, the lowest percentage across the four institution types.
- Sixty-three percent of students at career schools indicated that their current institution was their first choice, a key indicator of student satisfaction.
- Male students were more satisfied than female students with their overall career school experience; at other institution types, females were consistently more satisfied.
- Students were generally satisfied with advising at career schools, but there were mixed perceptions across the demographic subgroups regarding the overall quality of instruction.
- Career school students indicated that there is room for improvement in tuition paid being worthwhile and identifying financial resources for their education.
- Future employment opportunities were the number-one enrollment factor across the board for career school students, followed closely by the availability of financial aid.
- Performance gaps between importance and satisfaction scores declined in four out of five years between 2007-2008 and 2011-2012, with the exception being 2009-2010.