Academically Adrift

The book highlights four core important lessons:

1. Students attending 4-year universities are too often “academically adrift.” Undergraduate learning is rarely prioritized.

2. Gains in student performance are disturbingly low – a pattern on limited learning is prevalent on contemporary college campuses.

3. Individual learning in higher education is characterized by persisten and/or growing inequality.

4. While overall level of learning is low, there is notable variation both within and across institutions that is associated with measurable differences in students’ educational experiences.

Faculty members who are perceived by students as being approachable and having high standards and expectations is associated with greater learning. This makes me think specifically about my acting professor in Prague. Her expectations were high but she was not approachable. The students whined and complained about the assignments they had to complete for her, even though the exercise she gave us was crucial to learning how to direct actors. Students could not see the direct link because they considered the exercise to be just another class assignment for which they would get a grade of A or F.

“Students who come from more advantaged social backgrounds and are better academically prepared have a more positive view of their professors.” This seems like such a huge generalization. Is it a valuable enough statement to keep in mind? No, I think I will throw it out because it doesn’t seem to serve any purpose but to bias me toward or against certain students; I feel the same about the generalizations about women and minorities. This country focuses too much on all the “groups” that are not white males, which is no longer the majority anymore, so no need to continue comparing the rest of us to “them.”

But then the National Science Foundation promotes c
ollaborative learning

Are certain sources of funding related to student outcomes?

American University ranked 45th in US News & World Report.
National Survey of Student Engagement