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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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To: 2ndDivisionVet

True enough - there will always be people who cheat with fake degrees, but earning a real degree in any major is an accomplishment for most people, and required for most good jobs.

21 posted on 01/19/2011 9:12:02 PM PST by Kukai
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To: max americana

“University of Youtube” —— LOL!

22 posted on 01/19/2011 9:13:52 PM PST by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

From my own personal experiences and observations, college is less about learning and/or thinking than it is about regurgitation of the information selected by liberal instructors or professors. These people only want to see that you can parrot the things they believe are important.

23 posted on 01/19/2011 9:15:09 PM PST by SoldierDad (Proud dad of an Army Soldier preparing to deploy to Afghanistan)
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To: occamrzr06

Describes what I have seen too often.

I refuse to kiss anyone’s ass. It sickens me seeing the lying, lazy, and (often liberal) the lame get rewarded for it and the honest, working, responsible type get sucker punched.

I once worked for a guy who might have had a 6th grade education who turned spell check off on purpose, didn’t trust it. The junior super (50 year old with a spoiled brat 5 year old temper - had no real experience) was a professional ass kisser. He got away with all kinds of things as he kissed the 6th grader and the little lord aboves ass to no end.

50 yr old resented me because I didn’t play the game, knew more, was well liked by most producers/directors/staff because I was reliable, wasn’t dependent on anyone, married into a somewhat prominent local family, and treated people like people.

The guy lived to tell people what to do. Take that away and that would negate his whole purpose of being. He loved chasing people around with a form or report. Another thing was that 50 year old had to know every detail of everyone’s life so he could inform little lord above. He probably made stuff up to.

I finally left a few years back. It was about 6 mos later word got to me about how getting even simple things done around there was hard. It wasn’t that tough a job.

50 year old said often enough he was going to stay on to at least 65. I have heard now that he believes he can retire in the next few months. Actually having to work, be accountable, and taking orders is too much.

No hope for me going back as the place is very likely going to be really downsized, possibly done away with if it isn’t privatized as my friends there tell me.

24 posted on 01/19/2011 9:20:11 PM PST by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: quadrant
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.

So, you went to school 30+ years ago, and that's your basis for disagreeing with an article that describes the current state of academia? I think you should reflect anew on the quality of your education.

Also, if anyone has to be taught how to think by a college professor, then that person has no business enrolling in higher education. If you don't know how to think by the time you graduate high school, your destiny of academic incompetence is pretty much a done deal. In fact, whenever I hear professors, or teachers of any kind, claim to teach kids how to think, I believe that they really mean that they indoctrinate the living hell out of kids, so that they know how to think "correctly".
25 posted on 01/19/2011 9:23:48 PM PST by fr_freak
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To: Kukai

“earning a real degree in any major is an accomplishment for most people, and required for most good jobs.”

I agree and there seems to be a lot of class envy on this thread. A local oil and gas company recently hired a newly minted petroleum engineering grad with a starting salary of $95k per annum.

26 posted on 01/19/2011 9:28:21 PM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

College is USELESS unless one has some real-life work experience first.

27 posted on 01/19/2011 9:28:59 PM PST by Hammerhead
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Now they tell me!!
28 posted on 01/19/2011 9:30:55 PM PST by Huntress (Who the hell are you to tell me what's in my best interests?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
To many people go to college. Not everybody needs to go to college to succeed. I didn’t and I make more money and have a happier life than many of the college grads I know that are my same age. And I didn't have a college loan to pay off.
29 posted on 01/19/2011 9:41:02 PM PST by NavyCanDo (Jan 2013 - Sarah Palin sees the Potomac from Her House)
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To: max americana

Youtube has gotten to be the “go to” resource for me. From computer issues to lawn mower repair, I always seem to be able to find a helpful video.

30 posted on 01/19/2011 9:47:44 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I don’t believe college is a waste of time. The price is way to high; buy waste of time, no.

31 posted on 01/19/2011 10:15:02 PM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: max americana

Bingo! You are 100% correct. I was talking to my son about this tonight. He tried to give a friend’s son a job working for him at his internet company. This young man was a four year university graduate with a degree in web design and electronic media.

My son couldn’t hire the young man because he didn’t know anything about the work that my son required. He told my son that what little he had learned happened early in his course work and he didn’t remember any of it. Much of what he had learned and remembered was out of date. He had gone to school on scholarships so he was not loaded down with debt, but he has been sitting at home playing video games since he was graduated.

My son refused to blame the school. He said some kids go to college doing no more than what they are told to do and expect that to be good enough to get them somewhere. Some kids go to college, take the easiest classes they can find to graduate, and don’t even try to apply themselves. Other kids have a passion to learn about a subject so they listen to their professors, and look in libraries, on line: Youtube and peer to peer sites, any where they can for information on the topics that interest them. These students are the ones who will be successful graduates.

If you go to college without any ambition and think you can waste four years, get a degree, and have companies begging you to work for them, you’ve got a problem in this day and age. That expensive piece of paper has less importance in the information age.

32 posted on 01/19/2011 10:34:04 PM PST by Waryone (RINOs, Elites, and Socialists - on the endangered list, soon to become extinct.)
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To: Hammerhead
College is USELESS unless one has some real-life work experience first.

this is a good idea, and it worked for me... i was ready by then to take college seriously, especially because i was working full time while going to school...

33 posted on 01/19/2011 10:54:19 PM PST by latina4dubya ( self-proclaimed tequila snob)
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To: Straight Vermonter

I learned how to replace my laptop keyboard from Dell by watching a video on Youtube. It was the same exact model in the Youtube vid.

34 posted on 01/19/2011 10:58:15 PM PST by max americana
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To: Waryone

Exactly. When I went to university, the prerequisite to my major in Business Management was...poetry 101. I had no clue how you can apply Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson to financial analysis 106.

35 posted on 01/19/2011 11:05:42 PM PST by max americana
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I don't think college is a waste of time. You get out of it what you put in. I graduated in the late 90’s, had very good grades, and at times worked my butt off. Sometimes I drank to much, kissed up to lib Professors in order to keep my GPA high because I wanted to get into grad school (you learn quick which ones you have to do this for in order to get a good grade), and met life long friends and contacts. My degree has definitely helped me throughout my life.

My husband, on the other hand, was well into a masters program when he realized he didn't want anything to do with higher education, professionally speaking. He was there because it was what others expected of him. He was miserable. He ended up becoming a firefighter and couldn't be happier. Every student loan payment he made he'd grumble about how he'd wasted so much time and money at school, but I think he got a lot out of it, intellectually speaking, he just doesn't want to admit it.

The main problem with higher education today, to me, is that it's way over priced and students are more indoctrinated then ever. Those who can think for themselves become conservatives, those that swallow everything they're told hook, line and sinker are a large portion of the student body that will always unfortunately vote democrat.

36 posted on 01/19/2011 11:38:23 PM PST by MacMattico
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To: MacMattico

Oh, and yes I am replying to myself, but I’d like to add that my husband has just as many “smart” firefighter friends as he has “smart” PhD friends. They both have different skills and experiences, but the “educated elite” are often not so educated or elite! They just think they are and know what’s best for the rest of us.

37 posted on 01/19/2011 11:53:07 PM PST by MacMattico
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I completed my BA in Business Admin/Finance in the early 70s after two years in the Army, in Germany.

I went further, starting grad school while working full time in a job that required a Bachelors degree.

During grad work, I studied economics, writing a paper comparing post WWII West vs. East German economic performance.

This is how I became an economic conservative, in time for the 1976 emergence of Reagan as a viable candidate.

Sadly the GOP over time lost the connection to solid free market philosophy of Reagan, instead of adopting crony capitalism and socialism lite.

My hope is the new Republican majority will take up where Reagan left off.

College was very worthwhile for me, but I regret not finishing my MBA—I was already fast tracking up the promotion ladder, so I thought at the time.

You can get what you want from higher education, as with many aspects of life. It is no substitute for solid experience.

38 posted on 01/20/2011 12:18:50 AM PST by truth_seeker
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Our daughter just graduated from a private, Christian college and her experience is the opposite of what is reported in this article. Christian parents need to realize that the public system of education, including that from most government universities, is worthless. Sure, private institutions are expensive, but your student WILL get an EDUCATION rather than an INDOCTRINATION.

39 posted on 01/20/2011 5:03:31 AM PST by Madam Theophilus
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To: AlmaKing

That’s different from my son’s course.

He graduated in 2010 in mechanical engineering. I looked at each semester’s courses and there were no electives. The engineering course was engineering.

He may have had his choice of one or two engineering courses, but in the main there were no fillers.

He also took his initial professional exam.

Waiting on those scores.

*Still does not have a job.

40 posted on 01/20/2011 5:55:03 AM PST by OpusatFR
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