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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A whopping 95 percent of all seniors in Department of Defense Education Activity high schools worldwide graduated in 2005, with most of them planning to continue their education.

According to a recent DODEA report, of the 3,395 seniors in DODEA schools in 2005, 3,238 received diplomas. Seventy-six percent said they would continue their education, with 58 percent intending to attend 4-year colleges; 16 percent, junior or community colleges; and 2 percent, vocational schools.

Said Steven Bloom, Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Pacific/Defense Department Elementary and Secondary Schools-Guam deputy director: “Graduation rates not only reflect upon the success of our students and the quality of education we provide but also … the incredible support we receive from the military, Department of Defense families and communities we serve.”

The Pacific theater logged the highest rate of DODEA graduates planning to attend a four-year college — 64 percent — said DODDS-Pacific spokesman Chip Steitz.

Some 54 percent of DODDS-Europe grads enrolled in four-year schools, as did 60 percent in stateside DODDS. The 2005 DODEA grads went on to attend more than 775 colleges and universities in the United States and around the world.

Steitz said different reporting methods make comparing the high school graduation rates in DODEA and U.S. public schools difficult. Most states base graduation rates on percentages of freshmen who graduate within four years.

“We’re a bit different … our students move around a lot,” he said. “But I’d think it’s safe to say we’d rate right at the top.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, New Jersey ranks highest with 89.8 percent of its freshmen graduating within four years. South Carolina ranks lowest with 49.2 percent. Overall, 68.3 percent of freshmen in the States graduate within four years.

Steitz said an important part of the recent DODEA report is the amount of scholarships, financial aid and grants for students going to college and technical schools. Overall, 2005 DODEA graduates earned more than $33 million to help them continue their education. DODDS-Pacific graduates raked in close to $11 million.

According to the study, most DODEA graduates in the U.S. earned state or institution scholarships (40 percent). The largest single source of aid for students in Europe was from military academies (33 percent). Students in the Pacific relied most often on ROTC scholarships (36 percent).

“We are so very proud of our graduation rate and of our students,” said Janet Rope, administrator for accountability and research at DODEA’s headquarters in Arlington, Va. “These numbers demonstrate … that we are making good on our promise to provide exemplary educational programs that prepare students for success in a global environment.”

Graduation rates

Following are the graduation rates for seniors in DODDS-Pacific high schools:

Okinawa

Kubasaki: 94 percent

Kadena: 98 percent

Japan

Edgren: 98.4 percent

M.C. Perry: 96.9 percent

E.J. King: 97.1 percent

Yokota: 96 percent

Kinnick: 98 percent

Zama: 100 percent

South Korea

Seoul American: 97 percent

Osan: 100 percent

Pusan: 100 percent

Taegu: 98 percent


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