A recent book, “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses” followed college students at 24 colleges around the country. Their finding? A third of the students studied showed no improvement in critical thinking skills after 4 years of college. Moreover, 35% of the students studied less than 5 hours a week and 50% didn’t have a single class that required 20 pages of writing in their previous term.
Sadly, I am not surprised by these facts. I still remember a college senior I talked with at a Thanksgiving get together several years ago. This young women was working on her senior project and I discussed with her what she had to do to complete the project. The research she had to do and the paper she had to write sounded very much like what my daughter did in junior high. Just present the facts; no analysis of the findings required.
In researching colleges one of the issues you should examine is how much work will you have to do at each college you are considering. Talk to current students to see how much homework they do. How much do they have to write each semester? Ask professors what they expect of their current students.
The answers to these questions will all give you some idea of how much work you will have to do at a particular college. And make no mistake about it. If you want to learn, you will have to work. Generally, the more you work, the more you will learn. The more you write, the better a writer you will become. Every employer likes employees who know how to work and who know how to write and communicate.
Can you drift through 4 years of college, having fun but really not learning anything? Absolutely. But those 4 years of fun won’t help you find a job or to keep a job you might get. Put in the work now, and reap the benefit for many years to come.
Are you ready to start working?