The news that 45 percent of college students learn little or nothing during their first two years of college comes as no surprise to those who have been studying higher education. But it should serve as a wake up call for parents who go deeply into debt to purchase a very expensive diploma for their children.
The researchers who studied more than 2,300 undergraduates found that nearly half showed no significant improvement in the key measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years. After four years, 36 percent of students still did not demonstrate significant improvement.
Undergraduate students just aren’t asked to do much, according to findings in the new book, “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses.” Half of students did not take a single course requiring 20 pages of writing during their prior semester. One-third did not take a single course requiring even 40 pages of reading a week.