Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

College students’ engagement

This story in the Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the latest finding by National Survey of Student Engagement, and it’s a shocker!

"Only about 11 percent of full-time students say they spend more than 25 hours per week preparing for their classes -- the amount of time that faculty members say is necessary to succeed in college. Forty-four percent spend 10 hours or less studying.

Yet students’ grades do not suggest that they are unprepared for their academic work: About 40 percent of students say they earn mostly A’s, with 41 percent reporting that they earn mostly B’s." Here is the whole report, Student Engagement (PDF file, 52 pages).

Discussions - 2 Comments

This is not surprising, huh? There are a lot of college-educated people out there who are totally culturally illiterate and have nonsensical degrees for fields in which they could easily have had a high school diploma. So many graduate from college in this country, and we have an information revolution, and yet we know less and less and lack a common cultural literacy. Students are not challenged by great books, are obviously not studying, and yet walk away from college with over-inflated grades. This bodes ill for the future.

That’s not surprising. I never studied in high school, but managed good grades. Teachers kept telling me to apply myself, that I’d need to work harder in college. I didn’t.

I ended up at a small college that offered me a good financial aid package. It’s a good school, and I liked it, but sometimes I wish I’d gone somewhere more academically demanding. I rarely spent more than 10 or 12 hours a week on coursework, except during finals week. My final semester, I took 19 credit hours -- all upper-level in my major, with the exception of a 2-credit finance class. That was the only semester of college that I can say was truly *difficult.*

Don’t get me wrong; I did good work. It’s not like I was slacking off all those semesters when I didn’t study more than 10 hours a week. It’s just that professors didn’t demand it.

I’m not going to disclose my exact GPA, but it was above 3.9.

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