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The Human Capital of a community of place can help community development practitioners to truly identify the skills and assets of each individual and in aggregate of the community. A lack of skills or education can lead to a lack of financial capital for an individual and if it presents itself in aggregate throughout the whole community it can lead to a lack of access to wealth and opportunity that are necessary for a community to develop and thrive. Human Capital can be measured in a community by education attainment levels within different generational cohorts of the community. In Severna Park, Maryland the population cohort of 18-24 years about 15.5% have received a Bachelor’s education or higher with 49.5% receiving some college or an associate’s degree (“Educational Attainment”, 2011-2015). This is significantly greater than Anne Arundel County in which Severna Park is located that has the 18-24 population cohort that has received a Bachelor’s Education or higher is 11.7% and those that have received some college or an associate’s degree to be 47.4% (“Educational Attainment, 2011-2015). The strikingly low numbers for college education for this cohort is not concerning because as you can see in the “some college” statistics 18-22 year olds who still have residency established in their parent’s homes in Severna Park are currently still in college so it is a testament to a good amount of the population moving onto higher education after high school that lived in Severna Park. This could be because of the fact that Severna Park High School, the public high school for the town, is ranked as the 8th best high school in the state of Maryland and 299th overall nationally (US News, n.d.). Access to good teachers, programs, and preparing for college, is key to getting into and moving onto higher education institutions and Severna Park is known for being highly successful in doing so. Also, the population cohort of 35-44 years has 44.7% receiving a college education or higher which shows that the middle-aged population is generally very highly educated and this means that the human capital workforce of both younger and middle-aged have the knowledge and skills to be able to attain higher level jobs that lead to high compensation and financial capita (“Educational Attainment”, 2011-2015).
On top of the great public school system, Severna Park benefits from good education-based organizations. The Severna Park public library has a Summer Reading Club that is like a competition to read more books and in doing so the participants receive different prizes and opportunities. It engages the youth population to not slip into a period over the summer where they stop reading. In fact, according to the program, summer reading loss can have a significant impact on performance in school and lagging behind the following year (Anne Arundel County Public Library, n.d.). So, it fosters a fun environment for building reading skills that are crucial to educational attainment and all careers in the future. This basis allows kids from the beginning to have a jumpstart on building great skills for the workforce in Severna Park.
Anne Arundel County Public Library. (n.d.). Anne Arundel County Public School Summer Reading List. Retrieved from http://www.aacpl.net/src/readinglists
American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. (2011-2015). Educational Attainment. [Data File]. Retrieved from https://www.factfinder.census.gov
US News. (n.d.). Severna Park High. Retrieved from http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/maryland/districts/anne-arundel-county-public-schools/severna-park-high-8998