Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Study finds limited impact of college education on learning

A study of more than 2,300 undergraduates across 24 different US colleges found that 36 percent of students showed no significant improvement after four years in the key measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years (based on the standardized Collegiate Learning Assessment). Subsequent research found that many students one year out of college are not faring well: One-third moved back home, and 10 percent were unemployed.

The findings are published in a new book, "Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses," by sociologists Richard Arum of New York University and Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia.

Critics of the Collegiate Learning Assessment argue that it doesn't capture learning in specialized majors or that it isn't a reliable measure of college performance because so many factors are beyond their control.

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