Author Topic: College’s Value Added  (Read 1036 times)

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Offline pmp6nl

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College’s Value Added
« on: January 19, 2011, 05:39:42 pm »
College’s Value Added.  This article is related to: Students Not Learning In College?

This interview with Dr. Arum was conducted and condensed by Amanda M. Fairbanks.

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Q. You find that as many as 45 percent of students by sophomore year show little to no progress. What aren’t they learning?

A.To gauge their progress, at the start of college and also at the end of each student’s sophomore year, we did surveys, collected transcripts and administered something called the Collegiate Learning Assessment, which measures higher education’s impact on student learning. We tested them in areas like critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication. These are the general skills that most people believe should be at the core of undergraduate learning.

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Q. These students started college in fall 2005 and graduated into a radically different economic environment in spring 2009. How have they fared since?

A. They’re getting hammered. For kids of the great recession, their life trajectories have been fundamentally altered. Whether it has to do in part with their undergraduate education or something more particular to the historic moment we’re living in is an open question. Regardless, as global economic competition increases in coming years, U.S. higher education will have to focus more on improving the quality of undergraduate learning.

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Q. Describe the cohort since your book leaves off.

A. Since graduating, 60 percent have full-time jobs, nearly 36 percent have moved back home to live with either their parents or relatives and nearly one-tenth are carrying more than $60,000 worth of debt. Of those who have jobs, more than two-thirds were making less than $35,000 a year and 45 percent were earning $15,000 or less.

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Q. What can you tell us about those who are succeeding?

A. Employed graduates tended to have not only higher grade-point averages, but also higher test scores. And 20 percent of the time the person who had either interviewed or hired them had attended the same college.

It appears there is a lot of work to be done.. is anything going to happen, whom will take up the cause?
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: College’s Value Added
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2011, 12:00:49 pm »
What should we do?  It depends on who you ask.  Some would suggest we need to wait for the economy to be fixed before young graduates have a chance.  Some would suggest that the young graduates are the ones who can fix the economy.  Others will argue that college is too expensive, but how does that help people now?  If college for college's sake is what will fix the country, then people will go to the school they can afford, do the minimum amount required, and then what?  Make less than $15, 000 a year?
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Offline pmp6nl

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Re: College’s Value Added
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2011, 09:02:20 pm »
I think the students need to step up and work for change, unfortunately I do not see that happening any time soon... at least not on a massive scale (which would be needed).  I dont know the best way to approach the issues with the economy.  Of course, with graduates having a lot of problems finding good jobs it produces many other issues (defaulting on loans, etc.).

I think it is time our generation steps up and takes charge in politics and with policy.  It seems that college is becoming the default thing to do, unfortunately this is not a good thing.  It seems as if college is becoming what high school should be... many students are finally learning the things/skills they should have learned in high school.  Now I am not blaming it all on the high schools, but I think our culture also plays into it all.

Enormous student loans, low paying jobs, paying huge amounts of interest for years to come... sounds like the American dream.
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: College’s Value Added
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2011, 06:37:07 pm »
:(

How can we step up?  We can't all be entrepreneurs, as much fun as it would be (everyone their own startup...).  Top-down would mean fixing the economy, but I think bottom-up would get us in a better situation: better education from kindergarten on, then by the time students get out of high school they would know (again) how to survive and whether college was right for them.

I know when I graduated I had no idea what to do if not college, but college was my plan all along.
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Offline pmp6nl

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Re: College’s Value Added
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2011, 07:25:36 pm »
By step up I meant take a more active role in voting and being involved in the policy making of our country/state/city.  Sure, in national elections about half of those under 30 vote.  What about state/city/etc.?  I am just saying that it would be nice if our generation was more involved.  Even if its as simple as going to city commission meeting, or just being knowledgeable.  I would love to see more people in our generation take political roles in our governments, I realize there are limits and it takes money, but it would be nice.

I agree, improving education from very young would be great.
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