associated with working while in school. For example, several youth apprenticeship demonstration projects reported that large proportions of participants enrolled in post-secondary education (Kopp and Kazis, with Churchill, no date), a surprising result because the target group had been non-college bound high school students. Some school-to-work sites have also reported this result, along with higher grades and improved post-graduate employment. (For examples, see the National School-to-Work Office Web site: http://www.stw.ed.gov.) These results must be treated with caution because they are usually based on high school seniors' reports of their post-graduation intentions rather than follow-up surveys and because they seldom include control groups or comparison groups, but they do suggest the reasonable hypotheses that youth apprenticeship and other aspects of school-to-work would not reduce the likelihood of high school graduates enrolling in post-secondary education. One report based on post-graduation follow-up interviews indicated that three-fourths of graduates remained enrolled in post-secondary education in the first year after graduation and more then two-thirds remained enrolled 2 years later. It also found rather high levels of career directedness 1 and 2 years after graduation, suggesting that youth apprenticeship can counteract the tendency of youth without college degrees to "flounder" during their first few years in the labor market (Hamilton and Hamilton, 1997).
One of the most carefully designed studies examined youth apprentices in printing in Wisconsin. Orr (1998) found that youth apprentices achieved higher grades, had relatively fewer absences, reported clearer career goals, and reported more hours of employment and higher earnings 6–8 months after graduation. Orr's comparison group were students enrolled in printing courses in conventional vocational education, including a few with cooperative education placements, as well as youth apprentices' classmates who were enrolled in the general course of study (i.e., neither college preparatory nor vocational). In contrast with reports on other youth apprenticeship programs, Wisconsin printing graduates were less likely than comparison graduates to enroll in higher education, largely because nearly all were employed in printing and in the same firm where they received their training.