Millennials Support Alternative Approaches to Education: Survey

Millennials Support Alternative Approaches to Education: Survey

A new independent survey of U.S. households, supported by Connections Education, found that millennials are supportive of alternative approaches to education.

Three-fourths of millennial parents (77 percent) saying a DIY approach to education, in which learners craft a path to graduation that best fits their needs, is a good idea.

The millennial generation flipped the workplace on its head, and all signs point to them breaking the status quo for education as well,” said Steven Guttentag, president and co-founder of Connections Education.

Compared to older generations, this generation of parents has more experience in education options beyond brick and mortar schools, such as online courses and blended learning. As a result, we’re finding they’re more open to and supportive of different education options.”

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The vast majority of Americans, 76 percent, feel that K-12 public school students should be able to choose tuition-free online learning options to meet a student’s learning needs, according to the survey, and nearly all millennial parents (92 percent) are of the opinion that students should be able to choose tuition-free online learning options.

Across all generations, exposure to online learning has a significant impact on whether someone views public online schools favorably, and unsurprisingly, the survey found that millennial respondents—the generation that came of age with the internet—have the highest exposure to online coursework.

  • 55 percent of millennials and 48 percent of millennial parents have taken an online course, compared to 45 and 25 percent of Gen X and Baby Boomer non-parents and 41 and 31 percent of Gen X and Baby Boomer parents, respectively.
  • Millennial parents (35 percent) are most likely to have or know someone with a child who is enrolled in online public school.
  • A majority of millennial parents (51 percent) think high school students should be required to take at least one online course, and are more likely to believe the option to take all courses online should be available.

Beyond being supportive of online learning options, 8-in-10 millennial parents agree that online schools have the potential to personalize education.

Also, those who have taken (or are taking) online coursework and those who express support for tuition-free online learning are much more likely to agree that online options offer more personalization.

This, according to the survey, reinforces the idea that exposure to online learning positively impacts attitudes toward online learning.

The results are based on a nationwide online survey of U.S. adults that was fielded by ORC International in April 2016. In total, 1,020 respondents took part in the survey.

Connections Education is a leading provider of virtual education solutions for students in grades K–12.

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