Despite the best efforts of public schools, only about half of high school seniors surveyed actually used school-based career counseling services, and of those who did most did not consider them especially helpful, according to peer-reviewed articles by University of California researchers in the March-April 2002 California Agriculture.
The current issue of California Agriculture, including PDF-versions of research articles in full, can be viewed here.
Researchers with UC’s 4-H Center for YouthDevelopment surveyed 1,433 Northern California high school seniors about their career exploration and decision-making, part-time work, and other factors related to workforce preparation.
The study, called “Preparing Adolescents for the World of Work,” will help to inform the development of new services and programs to prepare youth for the increasingly complex global economy.
Among the study’s other findings:
* There were significant differences among ethnic groups; in particular, Latino and black seniors were more likely to have lower educational aspirations and expectations.
* Seniors considered their mothers (66%) and fathers (51%) “very” or “extremely” helpful resources for planning future work; only about 25% ranked school counselors that high.
* Seniors who worked part-time had higher levels of career awareness and generally received the same grades as their nonworking counterparts; however, the number of hours worked was correlated with stress.
* In a related survey of 166 California Conservation Corps (CCC) inductees, more than one-third were using the CCC to explore job and career opportunities.
A UC workgroup also surveyed the financial information needs of 323 teenagers in a variety of settings, including school, youth groups, juvenile hall, pregnancy and migrant programs.
These teenagers wanted to receive information about opening and using checking and savings accounts, obtaining credit, buying cars and purchasing clothing and personal care items. Most would prefer to receive this information in school, rather than at home, outside school or in publications.
Contacts: Marc Braverman, (530) 752-7003, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ella Madsen, (530) 754-8755, email@example.com; Sally Stanley (CCC), (530) 754-8434, firstname.lastname@example.org; Karen Varcoe (financial info), (909) 787-3419, email@example.com.
Also in the March-April 2002 issue:
Rice straw management: In 1991, California legislators mandated a gradual phase-out of rice-straw burning, in order to reduce air pollution in the Central Valley. Two years later, UC scientists launched an 8-year study to determine the long-term effects of various alternatives for managing rice straw, including burning, incorporation into the soil, rolling, and baling and removal, all with and without winter flooding. Winter flooding was an important management practice to sustain yield.
While weed pressure increased when straw was incorporated, the authors found that fertilizer applications could be reduced, thereby lowering production costs and reducing the potential for water pollution. Winter flooding also provided significant benefits for waterfowl on the Pacific Flyway. Contact: Chris van Kessel, (530) 752-4377 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cavity spot in carrots: In recent years, the fungicide carrot growers use to control cavity spot has declined in effectiveness in some fields. UC scientists found that the Pythium fungus that causes cavity spot responds well to mefenoxam in the laboratory. However, subsequent field studies showed that repeated applications of mefenoxam to soil increase the activity of microorganisms that degrade the fungicide, rendering it a less useful tool to combat cavity spot. The authors recommend that carrot growers practice longer crop rotations and limit the use of mefenoxam where possible. Contact: Michael Davis, (530) 752-0303 or email@example.com.
California Agriculture is the University of California’s peer-reviewed journal of research in agricultural, human and natural resources. For a free subscription, call (510) 987-0044 or write to .