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Good news: Study confirms that college is pretty much a total waste of time
Hot Air ^ | January 19, 2011 | Allahpundit

Posted on 01/19/2011 8:24:36 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

You don’t even need to read the article; just follow the link and check out the graph in the left-hand sidebar. What’s tuition up to these days at private universities, parents? About $30-35,000?

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. After two years in college, 45% of students showed no significant gains in learning; after four years, 36% showed little change.

Students also spent 50% less time studying compared with students a few decades ago, the research shows. Despite learning a little bit of jack and a whole lot of squat, students in the survey nonetheless managed a 3.2 GPA on average according to the study’s author, which tells you most of what you need to know about grade inflation and the rigors of modern higher learning. Another fun detail from the same study via McClatchy: Many of the students graduated without knowing how to sift fact from opinion, make a clear written argument or objectively review conflicting reports of a situation or event, according to New York University sociologist Richard Arum, lead author of the study. The students, for example, couldn’t determine the cause of an increase in neighborhood crime or how best to respond without being swayed by emotional testimony and political spin…

The study’s authors also found that large numbers of students didn’t enroll in courses requiring substantial work. In a typical semester, a third of students took no courses with more than 40 pages of reading per week. Half didn’t take a single course in which they wrote more than 20 pages over the semester.

If you think false media narratives are easily absorbed now, wait until the Leaders of Tomorrow graduate and take their place in society. I keep thinking that the combination of a poor economy and ludicrous higher-education costs will solve this problem to some degree by re-normalizing the idea of entering the labor force after high school. If you’re a kid who’s unenthused about incurring a mountain of debt for the privilege of four more years of study with no guarantee of finding a job afterward to fund the repayment, why not pound the pavement for an entry-level/trainee position somewhere instead? The pay will be rotten to start and the lack of a diploma will make some future employers think twice, but in the meantime you’re debt-free and building skills — and if I’m right about re-normalization, the “no diploma” stigma will fade a bit culturally over time. The one flaw in my theory: Er, there are no entry-level jobs out there for kids, are there?

Something to inspire you while you ponder. Mild content warning.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Education
KEYWORDS: college; economyeducation; unemployment
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1 posted on 01/19/2011 8:24:42 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Reaffirms what I have been saying for a few years now. We need a mindset change in this country. We need to restore honor to the trades professions.

Some of my dumbest coworkers are college grads, including those with advanced degrees. And BTW, some of them feel high and mighty because they have their kids enrolled in the International Baccalaureat program. They sicken me.

2 posted on 01/19/2011 8:30:49 PM PST by tunedin
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

They’re going to the wrong colleges.

3 posted on 01/19/2011 8:31:40 PM PST by madison10
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I suppose fixing the typo “baccalaureate” would be helpful.

4 posted on 01/19/2011 8:32:07 PM PST by tunedin
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Co-worker just graduated from Ohio State Engineering program with little to no knowledge of engineering. She filled up her electives with business classes. She told me she didn’t buy a technical textbook throughout her combined bachelor’s and master’s degree.

I asked why she even bothered to go to engineering school. She said she wanted the college experience and social life.

She started in a technical position and just changed to a marketing position, which several of us told her she was more suited to do.

Ans she was an international student, from India. College paid for by parents. She said she came to a US school for the open curriculum, as opposed to going to engineering school in India which she claimed was too strictly engineering oriented.

And now she complains she’s only making $50,000 to start.

5 posted on 01/19/2011 8:36:02 PM PST by AlmaKing
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To: AlmaKing

bachelors and masters degrees, that is.

6 posted on 01/19/2011 8:36:58 PM PST by AlmaKing
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

My experience of this validates this point.

I used to think, OK, this is what I have to compete against, no problem.

Experience, Education, accomplishments, military service, non of that matters(hard work and stuff does still work in the military).

What works, is lying and ass kissing.

I’ve seen it, I am living it.

They won’t take insincere ass kissing either. Oh no, it has to be genuine. You have to believe in the ass you are kissing.

I’ve seen the ass kissing switch on a dime when the ass kissee can no longer help the ass kisser. And yet, it worked.

I told my mother a few months ago I was mad at her. She asked why. I told her she lied to me and said if I went to school, worked hard and was honest, doors would open for me.

I’m 48, I have done all those things and now I work for idiots who can’t tie their own shoes!

I still like the guy I see in the mirror every morning, however.

7 posted on 01/19/2011 8:38:28 PM PST by occamrzr06
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

My son just finished his first semester at Gordon College in MA and he learned a lot (biology major). He worked hard and did very well. He is a National Merit Scholar and a smart kid. He was challenged quite a bit. My other two kids graduated from tough schools where they learned a lot. I guess you just have to go to the right schools.

8 posted on 01/19/2011 8:38:37 PM PST by cantfindagoodscreenname (I really hate not knowing what was said in the deleted posts....)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I went to tech school for electonics and have been in a pretty good gig. My employer pays tuition, so 15 years after tech school, I went back to college to get my BA in Economics.

I learned a few things, actually enjoyed the writing and the lit classes, and parts of the economics stuff was enjoyable and made me a shade smarter.

The school had an exit exam, a standardized test from Missouri or something like that, just to see how they did. Wasn't required, and I could have just filled in the ovals, but I decided I wanted to give my best effort--no studying, just seeing what you know. I finished in the 95% percentile nationwide. I understand since there was no payback, many students probably just filled in the ovals to make pretty designs. But the thing I remembered about the test, is that 75% of the questions, were things I learned in high school (where I did well). I could have skipped the whole 4 year college thing, taken that test, and bet I would have been north of the 80th percentile.

I do think going back to college for a 4 year degree in my 30s was a good thing, and I got a lot more out of it than if I had done it at 18. But a lot of it was just a giant waste of time.

9 posted on 01/19/2011 8:44:53 PM PST by Pappy Smear (Support the presidency, end the policies.)
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To: cantfindagoodscreenname

>I guess you just have to go to the right schools.

True...or you simply need to learn in the most unconventional manner.

True story: our web administrator guy is a 23-year old who recently replaced our IT guy who is a grad from a “well known” tech university in Texas.

The 23-year old knew more about the solving problems from web design to Google Analytics. One day, our colleague supervisor asked him what school he went to that he knew more than the past IT guy.

His answer was “University of Youtube” and the Texas Public Library. He learned the intricacies of Perl and Ruby on Rails by watching the instructional Youtube videos, then borrowing the technical books from the library. What college?

10 posted on 01/19/2011 8:45:23 PM PST by max americana
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
So Let's Parrr-'tay....

College graduates are nearly twice as likely to drink as are people who didn't finish high school.

Rates of alcohol use increase with levels of education, as 68.4 percent of college graduates and 35 percent of adults who didn't finish high school describe themselves as "current drinkers."...."many people learn to drink at college, where campus life "definitely promotes a culture of 'drink and be wild.'"

11 posted on 01/19/2011 8:45:49 PM PST by fight_truth_decay
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Anyone with an AA/BS degree or higher knows that what you learned in College may never be used - however, if you earn a degree, it definitely opens doors to jobs that may require a degree to even be considered. I have worked with people in the Tech industry that have had a BS degree in History, and are now Managers in High Tech Fields, only because they had a BS in any major, to get in the door. A college degree indicates that at a minimum you put in the effort to graduate with an advanced degree above high-school... anyone using this argument presented as an reason not to go to college should seriously reconsider.

12 posted on 01/19/2011 8:46:39 PM PST by Kukai
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Source drinking
13 posted on 01/19/2011 8:49:18 PM PST by fight_truth_decay
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

My son is at a liberal school in a Christian house and getting a well rounded education. Does it make economic sense, probably not.

Pray for America

14 posted on 01/19/2011 8:53:52 PM PST by bray (Support Palin to make heads explode on both sides,is that Blood Libel?)
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To: madison10
I don't agree with the article.
My years at college were the most fertile learning experience of my life. My professors taught us how to think, to reason, to express. Many of these men - and they were all men - held strong views of the issues of the day - and in particular on the war in Vietnam.
Yet not one tried to force his views on students, who were encouraged to think for themselves.
The rule in my classes was that one could hold any view, as long as he or she was able to defend it. This attitude forced you to think through opinions and to organize ideas.
I shall always be profoundly grateful to the Department of Government and International Studies at the University of South Carolina.
15 posted on 01/19/2011 8:54:54 PM PST by quadrant (1o)
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To: Kukai
Unless they're going into non-technical sales. If you can REALLY sell they'll hire someone to do your scut work, believe me. I've been a recruiter half my life. You're right about the BA/BS being a prerequisite to many positions, but what's to stop a kid from getting a cheap & easy no-name degree or even a diploma mill degree just to have a BA/BS on his/her resume? Most employers are not going to delve to deeply into the education background of a $30,000 assistant manager candidate. We just don't have that kind of time...
16 posted on 01/19/2011 8:57:56 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Please donate to FreeRepublic, sanity in a world gone mad!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

College today is the liberals’ way of redistributing 100-200,000 dollars from middle class families for not doing very much. Helps keep them under control when you either tap that out of mom and dad’s assets, or put the kid in hock for a long time trying to pay the loans off.

17 posted on 01/19/2011 9:00:58 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

18 posted on 01/19/2011 9:06:04 PM PST by The Comedian ("Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" - B. Goldwater)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Education can't be imposed on a student. They have to want to learn. If they do, there are plenty of colleges that can teach.

If you don't want your kid to want to learn and get something out of college, then it will help to teach them that college has no value. If you can succeed in getting that message through their heads, then college will probably be a waste of time for them.

19 posted on 01/19/2011 9:07:54 PM PST by Walts Ice Pick ("I'm not going to shut up!" - Sarah Palin)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

My friend the Compsci professor calls college “Day Care for Adults”. In his estimation it’s a place where certainly those that want to learn can do so but also it’s a place where you can go and you can basically screw up without it coming back to bite you.

Based on this theoretical groundwork he offers help to his students in the form of office hours, and the like, but if they decide to party their college life away he has no problem awarding them the grade that they earned by so doing.

I’m pretty sure colleges have been dumbed down to a great extent like the rest of our society.


20 posted on 01/19/2011 9:11:59 PM PST by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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