Everything You Never Learned in College
Student bust their butts in high school to prepare for their collegiate career, promised to be filled with intense debates, 20-page research papers and gut-wrenching exams. But once in college, it seems students quickly realize the academic hype might not be all it’s cracked up to be.
According to study results recently published in the book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, undergraduates aren’t learning a whole lot. The book’s authors based their findings on extensive research drawn from survey responses, transcript data and the College Learning Assessment, a standardized test that was administered to students in their first semester and again at the end of the school year. Here’s what the study found: * Forty-five percent of students demonstrated no significant gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication during the first two years of college; 36 percent demonstrated no significant gains over four years of college. * Fifty percent of students did not take a single course requiring 20 pages of writing during a typical semester, and one-third did not take a single course requiring even 40 pages of reading per week. * Students reported spending on average only 12 hours per week studying, and they met with their professors outside of the classroom rarely, if ever (on average, only once a month).
The study, conducted among 3,000 undergraduates at 29 institutions, predominantly found that campus culture has shifted: Underclassmen are typically more concerned with their social lives spending 51 percent of their time on social interactions while professors tend to channel energy toward faculty research programs.
Quite simply, students need to work harder and professors ought to demand more from undergrads. But the question is, is anyone up for the challenge?