Dramatic Decrease in Drivers Education Enrollment
Driver’s education instructors have noticed that student interest in their courses has decreased over the last few years. For one class, a long waiting list has turned into empty seats. The change in enthusiasm has some teachers concerned.
The class in question is in Illinois. Illinois law requires that students take a driver’s education course as a prerequisite for obtaining an Illinois drivers license. Students can get those credits from one of many different types of classes including those offered by the school and those offered by private organizations. This law was created to make students safer on the road, and many instructors believe Driver’s Educations does encourage better driving among teenagers. Most drivers education courses also include helpful study aids, such as a free Illinois practice permit test that makes the process ob obtaining a driver's license a bit easier.
There is some evidence that students who take the more intensive drivers ed school course become safer drivers than those who take the private courses, which is why teachers at the school are concerned about the declining interest in the school’s Driver’s Ed program.
Some students who were asked said that they took private courses for the convenience. The timing of semesters did not always correspond to the age when students were able to take the Illinois permit test and apply for their licenses. Students are able to apply for licenses much more quickly if they choose to take the private classes right before they are eligible.
School instructors believe that this could be a dangerous trend. Many teachers worry that that private driving trainers do not have the kind of experience and training necessary to explain complicated skills like driving to adolescents. Private driving schools also involve far fewer hours of both classroom training and hands-on driving.
While teachers at the school have their doubts, private instructors are very confident that they offer students an equivalent education to the ones they could get at their schools. Several driving schools have their own strict training programs for instructors. Private schools have also felt the squeeze from lack of interest by students. Enrollment is also down in private programs.
The major issue for many students remains the fact that many cannot actually get into the Illinois drivers education school program before they are eligible for their licenses. However, that isn’t causing all of them to enroll in private programs. Many students are also choosing to just wait until the next semester when their birthday falls out of the school year.
For many students, getting an Illinois learners permit and, eventually, a drivers license isn’t a strong priority, and that may explain the declining interest in both the private and public classes.