By concentrating pape heavily on graduation rates, policy makers are ignoring danger signs that the amount that students are learning in college may be declining, writes Derek Bok. Increasing graduation rates and levels of educational attainment will accomplish little research paper on college education students do not learn something of lasting value. Yet federal efforts over the last several years have focused much more on increasing the number of Americans who go to college than on eductaion the education they receive once they get there.
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By concentrating so heavily on graduation rates and attainment levels, policy makers are ignoring danger signs that the amount research paper on college education students learn in college may have declined over the past few decades and could well continue to do so in the years to come.
The reasons for concern include:. While some college leaders are making serious efforts to improve the quality of teaching, many others seem content with their existing programs. Although they recognize the existence of problems affecting higher education as a whole, such as grade inflation or a decline in the rigor of academic standards, few seem to believe research paper on college education these difficulties exist on their own campus, or they tend to attribute most of the difficulty to the poor preparation of students before they enroll.
Many colleges provide a formidable array of courses, majors and extracurricular opportunities, but firsthand accounts indicate that many undergraduates do not feel that the material conveyed in their readings and lectures has much relevance to their lives.
Such sentiments suggest either that the courses do not in fact contribute resezrch to the ultimate goals that colleges claim to value or that instructors research paper on college education not college sufficient care to explain the larger aims of their courses and why they should matter. Other studies suggest that many instructors do not teach their courses in ways best calculated to achieve the ends that faculties themselves consider important.
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For example, one investigator studied samples research paper on college education the examinations research paper on college education at elite liberal arts colleges and research universities. Now that most faculties have defined the learning objectives of their college and its various departments and programs, it should be possible to review recent pzper to determine whether individual professors, programs and departments are actually designing their courses to achieve those goals.
College administrators could also modify their student evaluation forms to ask students whether they believe the stated goals were emphasized in the courses they took. In addition, the average time students devote to studying varies widely among different colleges, and many campuses could require more of their students.
Those lacking evidence about the study habits of their undergraduates could inform themselves through confidential surveys that faculties could review and consider steps to encourage greater student effort and improve ecucation.
The vast difference between how well seniors think they can perform and their actual proficiencies according to tests of basic skills and employer evaluations suggests that many colleges are failing to give students an research paper on college education account of their progress.
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Grade inflation research paper on college education also contribute to excessive confidence, suggesting a need to work to restore appropriate standards, although that alone is unlikely to solve the problem. More fundamental changes will take longer to achieve but could eventually yield even greater gains in the quality of undergraduate education.
They include:. Improving graduate education. Colleges and universities need to reconfigure graduate programs to better prepare aspiring professors for teaching.
As late as two or three generations ago, majorities of new Ph. Professional custom essay ghostwriters services uk, however, many Ph. Aspiring college instructors also need to know much more now in order to teach effectively. A large and increasing body of useful knowledge has accumulated about learning and pedagogy, as well as the design and effectiveness of alternative methods of instruction.
Meanwhile, the advent of new technologies has given rise to methods of teaching that require special training. As evidence accumulates about promising ways of engaging students actively, identifying difficulties they are having in learning the material and adjusting teaching research paper on college education accordingly, the current gaps in the preparation most graduate students receive research paper on college education more and more of a handicap.]