2009 Circle Working Paper 67 Making Educational Progress. Education beyond high school is generally considered important for access to good jobs. Education is also a route to civic incorporation; people with more years of education tend to be more engaged in community affairs. This working paper looks at the educational progress over four years of a national sample of young adults and the relationship between educational progress and four forms of civic engagement (voting, volunteering, civic media use, and motivation to serve society). Educational progress refers to those young adults who either had achieved a 4-year college degree at the beginning of the study or who achieved any increase in education during the course of the study. The transition to adulthood, the period between late adolescence and the achievement of adult independence, has become increasingly protracted as markers of adulthood (completing education, full time work, and parenting) occur at later ages for more recent generations of young people. This extended transition offers opportunities for civic and educational exploration and engagement; however, such opportunities are less available for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
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