(USA Today) Report: First two years of college show small gains

Nearly half of the nation’s undergraduates show almost no gains in learning in their first two years of college, in large part because colleges don’t make academics a priority, a new report shows.

Instructors tend to be more focused on their own faculty research than teaching younger students, who in turn are more tuned in to their social lives, according to the report, based on a book titled Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. Findings are based on transcripts and surveys of more than 3,000 full-time traditional-age students on 29 campuses nationwide, along with their results on the Collegiate Learning Assessment, a standardized test that gauges students’ critical thinking, analytic reasoning and writing skills.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education

4 comments on “(USA Today) Report: First two years of college show small gains

  1. Fr. J. says:


  2. Hakkatan says:

    I do not know how accurate this story is; the test given seems to be more for more abstract things than for facts apprehended. I am wondering if colleges are doing more indoctrinating now than when I was in college, in the late 60’s – and earlier.

    It is odd – because a college education led to more responsible positions and higher pay, many people sought out college education (with a lot of government support of many kinds) – and yet the “education” may not really be there at all.

  3. Ratramnus says:

    Knowledge becomes more diverse in the first two years. Students are taking more and more courses that go beyond the high school curriculum or do not relate to it. How does this assessment measure what a business, engineering, or other professional student learns?

    Just from my own observations at several institutions, I think that students are either specializing early if they have professional goals or doing what about 50% of the undecided or liberal arts students always did–spending the first two years enjoying college, often benefiting enormously in ways that are not strictly academic. The difference is that whereas once they were content with Cs and Bs for doing that, now they want As and Bs.

  4. SC blu cat lady says:

    THe first two years college instructors teach the info that the students should have but did not get in high school. This is especially true in the community/technical college system. Less so at universities.