Journal of Research in Technical Careers


adulthood transition, adulthood literacy, adulthood preparation


Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Family and Consumer Sciences | Holistic Education | Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching | Other Education | Other Teacher Education and Professional Development | Secondary Education | Secondary Education and Teaching | Vocational Education


The role of secondary education is critical to preparing graduates for adulthood. This study explored the transition experiences of high school graduates and factors that impacted their preparation for adulthood. This descriptive study focused on the experiences of degree and non-degree-seeking graduates. Surveys were distributed to students enrolled in a general education course at a state university and marketing research participants not enrolled in post-secondary programs. The survey sought to identify overall preparedness, responsibilities deemed necessary to teach in high school, and influence factors that prepared them for adulthood. The overall findings displayed that graduates seeking degrees felt more prepared for adulthood. While both groups agreed that many adulthood-responsibility topics should be taught, degree-seekers found less value in teaching parenting skills in a high school class despite identifying that parents have a more significant impact on preparing them for adulthood. Researchers recommend that in addition to college and career-ready curricula, instruction should include preparation topics that align with 21st-century markers that better support non-degree-seeking graduates toward successful transitions into adulthood.