Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Academic Achievement, Nature and Use of
Academic achievement is axiomatic to career development processes. In people's lives, academic choices, barriers, or opportunities occur early and frequently, and they have a pervasive and lasting influence on career development. For example, a middle school student's choice of or opportunity for educational curricula limits or broadens the student's subsequent opportunity for learning experiences; a high school graduate's postsec-ondary educational opportunity and choice opens some occupational fields and closes others. Academic achievement has been defined in a seemingly infinite number of ways, and some definitions are more valid, useful, and less harmful than others. In defining academic achievement, there are three salient dimensions to consider: equity, development, and meaning. Academic achievement is the main means of social mobility for people outside the mainstream of the U.S., Western, and increasingly global socioeconomic system. Yet barriers to academic achievement remain, and these barriers perpetuate the chronic achievement gaps evident in the United ...