Military School is no guarantee
Salina, KS., June 14, 2016 – Recent high school graduation and college preparatory exam data indicate that high school students who attend private military schools are more likely to enroll in, and graduate from, a four-year college or university compared to their public school counterparts. While St. John’s Military School, a private military boarding school for male students in grades 6 to 12, boasts a more than 90 percent average college admission rate, the school’s administrators are the first to warn that simply enrolling a child in military school is no guarantee for future success.
In 2014, 82 percent of public school students graduated from high school. By comparison, the graduation rates of many military schools averaged anywhere from 90 percent to 100 percent. Military schools routinely produce higher graduation rates due to their focus on academics, lower student to teacher ratios, and structured environment. While a high school diploma is an important first step in setting young adults on a path toward career success, parents should seek out schools that aim to position their children to earn post-graduate degrees.
“Military schools like St. John’s place a high emphasis on college preparation,” said Ginger Wooten, St. John’s Military School’s academic dean. “For many cadets, this focus impacts their decision to enroll in college, and their ability to achieve greater levels of success in an institution of higher learning.”
According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, it is expected that by 2020, 65 percent of jobs will require postsecondary education, and only 36 percent of jobs will be available to high school graduates with no advanced degree. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately three million students are expected to graduate from high school from 2015- 2016, but the percentage of students that will enroll in college immediately following high school is expected to average less than 75 percent. In 2013 for example, only 66 percent of students enrolled in college after completing high school. The rates of college acceptance among military schools, are statistically higher, however.
“On average, more than 90 percent of St. John’s Military School graduates are accepted into institutions of higher learning,” said Ms. Wooten. “The majority of the remaining cadets choose to join the military or transition directly into the workforce.”
Despite data that indicates that military schools produce higher rates of graduation and college enrollment, Andy England, president of St. John’s Military School, cautions parents to understand that enrollment in military school is not, in itself, a guarantee for personal advancement and success.
Success in a military school environment becomes substantially easier when cadets enter with, or adopt, a sense of discipline and personal accountability. It is also aided considerably when the cadet’s parents are involved in and supportive of his schooling.
“St. John’s Military School has been incredibly successful in helping young men to earn confidence and realize that they have the ability to be leaders and to achieve their goals. Giving them that confidence helps them to reach their full potential, but that underlying desire for success has to be there,” said Pres. England.
At St. John’s Military School, the staff and faculty work to educate parents of prospective cadets that St. John’s is not a reform school. The school does not offer specialized programing to rehabilitate young men with a history of substance abuse or criminal activity. It is not a place for “bad” kids to be “fixed,” but rather a school in which a boy can realize his potential.
“Military schools are not reform programs and cannot guarantee transformative experiences for those young men who are in need of more specialized mental health rehabilitation,” explained Pres. England. “Young men who walk through our doors need to be prepared to work hard and to take responsibility for their actions. We will give them all of the tools, resources, and support they need to achieve their goals, but in the end, we cannot force them to be responsible. They must be accountable for their own successes and failures.”
St. John’s has increased enrollment standards throughout the years and is denying applications of young men with serious criminal records and documented substance abuse addictions. The parents of such young adults are instead encouraged to seek out proven mental health treatment options that can more acutely treat the underlying issues impacting their children.
In light of academic data that proves military school cadets graduate with, on average, higher SAT scores and college admission rates than public school students, military schools are becoming more and more the school of choice for parents looking to provide their children with the greatest opportunity for college and career advancement.
While enrollment in military school is not a guarantee for success, such schools offer the greatest opportunity for achievement for those young men with the capability and determination to become leaders that simply need a structured environment and personal attention to reach their full potential.
“Our primary goal is to give each and every cadet the tools he needs to learn to be an accountable, and confident leader in his community,” explained Pres. England. “For those young men who share our vision, we’ll help them get there.”
For more information regarding St. John’s Military School, please call 866.704.5294