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Column One: Students

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A group of junior high school students in Washington is expected this week to unveil their designs for a new city park.

Over the past eight weeks, 15 students from Lincoln Junior High School have been working with professional architects, architecture students from local colleges, and teachers as part of a pilot program to acquaint them with issues of city planning and design.

The program, known as Architecture in Schools, is also being tested in eight other District of Columbia schools. It has been operating in Philadelphia and Baltimore for the past several years.

"It started with a group of architects who felt students in the public schools needed to be aware of their surroundings,'' said Patricia Stocks, a Lincoln teacher and one of 10 Washington teachers to take part in the pilot.

Examining a little-known sector of education, the National Center for Education Statistics has found that one million students were enrolled in the fall of 1990 in noncollegiate postsecondary institutions.

More than half of the students were in for-profit institutions, such as trade schools, while a third were in public institutions, such as training programs.

Nearly two-thirds of the certificates granted by the institutions, the study found, were for programs of under one year in length. Another 28 percent were for programs of between one and two years in length.

Copies of the center's report, "Key Statistics on the Noncollegiate Sector of Postsecondary Education: 1990,'' are available by writing: New Orders, Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15250-7954. The stock number is 065-000-00510-7; the price is $1.75 each.

An "alarming'' 31 percent of the nation's top high school students have considered suicide, an annual survey has found.

The survey of 2,000 students, conducted by Who's Who Among American High School Students, also found that 41 percent would engage in sexual intercourse even if a condom were unavailable. A fourth of the students said they were sexually active.

More than two-fifths of the students also reported incidents of violence at their schools.

"There is no age of innocence for this generation,'' said Paul Krouse, the publisher of Who's Who.

The 23rd annual study, which also examined students' attitudes about school and plans for the future, is based on the responses of 2,092 students listed in the book. The students all have A or B averages, and 97 percent of them plan to attend college.--R.R.

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