Tuesday, January 18, 2011

College students not learning? What a shock!

From the Department of Stating the Obvious "Study: College Students Not Learning':
"A study of more than 2,300 undergraduates found 45 percent of students show no significant improvement in the key measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years."

Well what do you expect? Colleges and universities are businesses, with profits and dividends in the form of high paying administrative  positions and lucrative contracts to service providers.  The eternal growth model is also followed, requiring ever increasing enrollments.*  This requires the lowering of admission and achievement standards. If a new faculty member wants to get tenure they better play ball and pass the underachievers, ignore the cheating, plagiarism, and lack of preparation. All should follow the latest education fad, if said fad can be twisted to meet the goal of keeping asses in the seats. Tenured faculty are rewarded with promotion to the ranks of the ever increasing admin. if they play ball. This is now pretty much the modus operandi of many schools, such as the University of Delaware.

Then there is the sales part that is needed for the constant growth model.  The marketing arms push the notion that everyone must attend college. Many jobs still don't require college level skills and the institutions are providing little as it is. The HR people at larger companies are also a problem, they do not understand the duties of many positions being filled and thus use college degrees as a substitute for actual qualifications. I found many years ago that Analog devices would not consider me for an electronic tech position without an Associates in Electrical Engineering, even though that degree provides absolutely none of the practical technician skills the position required The college admissions push also creates a new market for college preparation shysters and funding college provides a boom for the lending industry.

The end result is that higher education is failing in its mission and its heading for a crash.

And its own damn fault.

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