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McHenry County seniors headed to college, entering workforce, military

Hundreds of McHenry County seniors have graduated this year and are on to the next phase of their lives.

Most local school districts have tracked students’ post-graduation plans.

In Woodstock School District 200, a total of 483 students graduated in 2019, which included 262 Woodstock High School students and 221 Woodstock North students.

The district had students fill out a survey related to their future plans, and a total of 348 students responded.

Of those 348, 80% plan to move onto college. A total of 160 students – or 46.5% – plan to attend a four-year university and 115 students – 33.5% – plan to attend a two-year college.

Top choices for four-year school include Illinois State University, University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University, Aurora University and Arizona State, according to the district.

The “vast majority” of students pursing a two-year degree plan to attend McHenry County College, according to the district.

About 19% of students attending higher education plan to study science, technology, engineering or math and another 17% plan to pursue health science majors. Popular majors runners-up include business management and administration – 12% – and arts, audiovisual technology or communications – 13%, according to the district.

About 7.5% of students who responded to the survey said they plan to enter the workforce, and 4.6% more plan to join the military.

Least popular choices include pursing apprenticeships (1.1% of students) or attending vocational or trade schools (1.7% of students.)

Huntley District 158

In Huntley District 158, a total of
744 students graduated from Huntley High School and 87.7% plan to attend college. About 58% plan to attend a four-year school and 30% plan to attend a two-year school, according to the district.

About 6.3% of students either were unsure or planned to do something other than what was offered as a choice in the survey.

About 1.8% of students said they plan to pursue a technical or trade school, less than 1% of students plan to enter into an apprenticeship or training program, 1% are entering the workforce, 2.1% are joining the military and 0.3% will continue with the district’s special needs transitional program, according to the district.

McHenry District 156

In McHenry District 156, a total of 525 students graduated – 191 at McHenry East campus and 334 at McHenry West, according to the district.

From East Campus, slightly more than 75% of students plan to attend college with 42% attending a four-year university and 33.5% attending a two-year college, according to the district.

About 3% of East students plan to enlist in the military and the remaining 22% answered “other,” which includes trade school, work and undecided, according to the district.

“One of the coolest aspects about working in McHenry is how eclectic and diverse our students’ career interests are,” said Curtis Menke, a school counselor at West. “This year’s class reflects that.”

He said that some of the most prominent intended majors and industries for McHenry West 2019 included engineering, education, health science, social science and manufacturing.

At McHenry West, about 80% of students plan to pursue higher education, with 30% planning on attending a four-year university and 49.4% of students planning to enroll in a two-year college.

About 7% of West students plan to enlist in the military and 13.7% of students either were entering the workforce, or undecided, according to the district.

District 155

District 155 has four high schools and had a total graduating class of 1,394. That includes Prairie Ridge’s 337 graduates; Crystal Lake Central’s 321 graduates, Cary Grove’s 387 graduates and Crystal Lake South’s 349 graduates.

At Prairie Ridge High School, 90.5% of students who graduated this year plan to pursue higher education, with 61.1% planning on attending a four-year university and 29.4% planning on enrolling in a two-year college.

An additional 3.9% plan to enter the workforce; 2.1% plan to take a gap year or travel; and 1.8% plan to enlist in the military.

About 88.5% of Crystal Lake South students plan to pursue higher education, with 57.3% planning to attend four-year universities and 31.2% planning to attend a two-year college, according to district data.

About 5% plan to enlist in the military; 3.2% plan to enter the workforce; and 2% plan to take a gap year or travel.

At Crystal Lake Central, 87.3% of graduates plan to pursue higher education with 53.6% planning on a four-year university and 28.7% attending McHenry County College, according to district data. An additional 5% of graduates said they were enrolling in a community college other than MCC.

A total of 3.4% plan to enlist in the military; 3.4% plan to enter the workforce; and 3.1% have “other” plans.

From Cary Grove, 89.1% of students plan to pursue higher education with 59.4% planning to attend a four-year school and 29.7% planning to enroll in a two-year college. An additional 3.1% plan to take a gap year or travel; 2.1% plan to enlist in the military; and 2.6% plan to enter the workforce.

A small percent of students in the graduating class from each of the four high schools said they planned to enter a trade or apprenticeship program, a vocational school or volunteer.

Johnsburg District 12

In Johnsburg District 12, a total of 140 students graduated and 74% plan to pursue higher education. That includes 39% planning to attend a four-year school and 35% planning to attend either two-year college or technical school, according to the district.

About 16% of students either didn’t respond or were undecided, 2% plan to enlist in the military and 8% planned to enter the workforce, according to the district.

Harvard District 50

In Harvard, a total of 149 students graduated with 68% of students who responded to the survey planning to attend college and 5% planning to attend trade school. Most college-bound students – 47% – plan to attend a two-year school, according to the district.

About 3% of students planned to enlist in the military and 22% said they planned to enter the workforce, according to the district. About 2% said they were undecided.

Marengo District 154

In Marengo District 154, a total of 178 students graduated with 80% planning to pursue higher education – 44% plan to go to a four-year university and 36% plan to attend a two-year college, according to the district.

About 15% of students plan to apprentice or otherwise enter the workforce and 5% of Marengo students have either enlisted or plan to enlist in the military.

Alden-Hebron District 19

Alden-Hebron District 19 has McHenry County’s smallest graduating class with a total of 28 students. Most are planning for college.

One student plans to enlist in the military, one student plans to attend technical school, one student is going to work and the remaining 25 students plan to attend college. About 64% of college-bound seniors plan to attend a four-year university and the rest plan to attend a two-year school, according to the district.

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