224245 Poor academic success for students in school-based work programs: How much work is too much

Monday, November 8, 2010

Savi Appana, MS , Department of Biostatistics, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
Henry Anderson, MD , Division of Public Health, Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, Madison, WI
Kristina Zierold, PhD, MS , Epidemiology and Population Health, University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, Louisville, KY
Introduction: School-to-work (STW) programs engage youth in work experience in order to provide a smooth transition from high school to work. Work-based learning programs are found in over 70% of public high schools. While studies have reported that working can have a negative impact on academic achievement, little is known about the STW program and STW students who are working multiple jobs.

Methods: In May 2003, over 8,000 teens aged 14-18 years old throughout Wisconsin were surveyed regarding their academic achievement and work experiences. In total, 6,470 students responded to the survey (81% response rate).

Results: Overall, 454 were in the STW program (7%) and 3,108 of the students did not work (48%). Of the students in the STW program 45% reported working multiple jobs. Students participating in the STW program had poorer academic success when compared to non-working students. In addition, the negative effects were amplified when a STW student was working multiple jobs. STW students with multiple jobs were almost four times more likely to NOT expect to graduate compared with non-working teens. Additionally, they were significantly less likely to have a GPA > 2.0 (OR=0.55; 95%CI=0.38-0.80) and more likely to cut class (OR=2.51; 95%CI=1.87-3.38).

Conclusion: Academic achievement is negatively effected by the STW program and especially among students holding additional jobs; therefore we need to reassess the needs of students and change policy for their benefit. As a part of the STW program, regulations on multiple jobs and hours worked should be introduced.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the impact of school-based work programs on the education of high school students; including evaluating both academic and social measures. 2. Assess how being employed in both school-based work programs and other jobs significantly impacts student's academic success. 3. Discuss needed changes in school-based work programs.

Keywords: Students, School-Based Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working on the project for over one year and am on the grant. I am the main statistician on the project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.