Survey: Kelowna-area grads are staying in school and improving their financial life skills

    KELOWNA, BC, Feb. 18 /CNW/ - Post-secondary enrolment for Central
Okanagan School District graduates is at its highest level in seven years, and
compared to 2006 graduates, 2008 graduates are reporting they learned more in
secondary school about how to manage their finances. These are some of the
findings released today in the annual School District No. 23 survey of its
    "Former students are telling us they are satisfied with how secondary
school prepared them for university or college, giving course relevance its
highest rating in six years," said Norm Bradley, director of instruction,
School District No. 23. "This speaks positively about the variety of course
offerings our teachers are creating and delivering at the secondary level."
    The 2008 Graduate Outcomes Survey identified how well Kelowna-area
graduates felt their education had prepared them for life, work,
post-secondary education and managing their finances. Graduates from 2006 and
2008 participated in the fourteenth annual survey that includes questions
aimed at assessing their financial life skills, which the British Columbia
Securities Commission helped to develop.
    The annual survey is an opportunity for SD No. 23 and the BCSC to work
together in order to understand if financial life skills education in high
school better prepares youth to navigate through the financial realities of
adulthood. Since 2004, Grade 10 students in B.C. have been taking a mandatory
course called Planning 10 that has four components, including Finances. In
this survey, only the 2008 graduates had taken Planning 10: Finances.
    "We are glad to hear that graduates who have taken Planning 10: Finances
tend to be more satisfied with their financial preparation," said Patricia
Bowles, BCSC director, communications and education. "Teaching students about
how to manage money in high school can go a long way in helping them to avoid
falling into debt or making poor financial choices that could affect them
throughout their lives."

                   2008 Graduate Outcomes Survey highlights

    -  Post-secondary enrolment is the highest (71 per cent) it has been in
       seven years. Most of these graduates (61 per cent) had taken post-
       secondary programs leading to a degree, and 72 per cent had enrolled
       in local university or college programs.
    -  Over the past five years, the percentage of graduates attending major
       local institutions has increased from 52 per cent in 2003 to
       72 per cent in both 2007 and 2008.
    -  Answering a new question added to the survey this year about
       retention, graduates identified a caring teacher (80 per cent) and a
       friend or peer (83 per cent) as the top two factors that kept them on
       track for graduation.
    -  The 2008 graduates said they learned more about managing their
       finances in high school compared to the 2006 graduates. On a scale of
       one to four (one being nothing and four being a great deal), the
       average for all graduates was 2.11. The average of the 2006 graduates
       was only 1.84, while the average for 2008 graduates was 2.33.
    -  Graduates were confident of their money management skills, but not
       overconfident. Asked to grade themselves as money managers on a scale
       of one to five, with five being excellent, the respondents averaged
    -  When asked about their high school preparation for managing finances,
       graduates reported the highest satisfaction rating (30 per cent) in
       six years - 29 per cent were dissatisfied and 41 per cent were

    The telephone survey of former SD No. 23 graduates yielded a sample of
359 graduates from 2006 and 2008. The sample of graduates from the five SD No.
23 secondary schools is proportionately representative of the graduation
population over the two years. The full survey is available at
    School District No. 23 mission: To educate students in a safe,
inspirational learning environment where every student develops the knowledge
and skills to be a lifelong learner and a healthy productive member of our
global society.

    The City: Financial Life Skills for Planning 10 is part of a number of
investor education programs offered through the BCSC InvestRight program. The
BCSC is the independent provincial government agency responsible for
regulating trading in securities within the province. If you have questions,
contact Ken Gracey, Media Relations, 604-899-6577.

    Learn how to avoid investment fraud at the BCSC's investor education

For further information:

For further information: Ken Gracey, (604) 899-6577 or (Canada)

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