Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Academically Adrift: Chapter 3, Pt. 2

Haley Scholars Spring 2013 Reading Groups 

In the second half of Chapter 3 from Academically Adrift, the researchers explain the different courses that students are apt to take and their preference following various academic paths or majors. "It is likely that students' choices in coursework, even broadly conceptualized and measured," write Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, "will have significant consequences for the development of their capacity to perform tasks...that require skills in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing" (81).

Later in the chapter, Arum and Roksa note that the "inflated ambitions and high aspirations" of students "have not institutionally been met by equivalent high academic demands from their professors, nor have many of them found a sense of academic purpose or academic commitment" (89).

Of the topics -- courses taken, student college life, and financial challenges -- covered in second half of the chapter, what did you find most notable or important? Why or how so?


Brenda W. said...

I found the section on student college life most notable because it is so true and relevant to all college students.
I have noticed the nonacademic trend of my college peers; they have no purpose or future goals. They devote their time to partying and social interactions rather than planning their futures. I feel this generation has lost its focus of the meaning of college. College is supposed to prepare us for the world and create bright and innovative students to enhance society.
With the current focus students have, when they graduate they will not know nearly as much as they should. A degree does not imply a great education. These days, a degree for many means barely getting by.

Tia S said...

I found the section on courses taken notable because the points they wrote about were things I don't generally think about, but there is truth to them. College is supposed to be about preparation but there are so many times when students take the easy way out. They don't always choose a course based on learning possibility, but because it's "an easy A", a GPA booster, the professor doesn't give a lot of homework, etc. There are websites people can go to to check these things out and even find out how hot the professor is. As the book said, some students are only concerned on the short-term. They only want that A and don't necessarily care if the class adequately prepares them for their future. I know not everyone is like this while pursuing their degrees, but there are enough that it's concerning. They may have a nice GPA on their transcript, but that doesn't mean they're prepared for what comes after they get their diploma.

Candace P said...

I found the section on financial challenges to be the most notable, as well as important. The rate of students enrolling in college has increased over time, along with the cost of attendance. Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa noted that “current estimates [of attendance approximate] on average nearly half of median family income” (85). Furthermore the authors go on to say that “the majority of college students require some sort of financial assistance” (85), an obvious fact of today’s society.

A noteworthy fact described in the financial challenges section is that many college students do not view financial assistance, particularally student loans, as a burden or a way to quickly accumulate a large debt, but rather a financial freedom. I found this concept to be true of college students. It is a common practice among college students to apply and accept more financial aid than is required to pay for their tuition, and then spending the remaining balance on non-academic opportunities and events, as well as personal well-being.

Abagail Thompson said...

People view courses in college as requirements to earn a degree. The degree achieved at the end is more important than the components leading up to it. Is this how it should be though? A section I found interesting was the discussion about courses taken during one's college career. Personally, I try to take classes that seem intriguing or beneficial towards my future career, but this is not always the case for most students. Many students are looking for the "quick way out," trying to take the easiest courses, and receive their degree without any struggle. Yes, I believe that some courses try to be hard just for the sake of being hard, but many of them are trying to challenge you to think more deeply and critically. They are trying to help you grow. A's are great, but not when they are handed out like free Bible's in the quad. Instead of searching for the "GPA boosting" classes students should want to challenge themselves. I wise person once said, "it's not the destination that matters, but the journey that gets you there." If students directed their focus on the journey, they would receive a more enriching education and valuable experience.

Jennifer Johnson said...

The most notable section to me is the one about courses taken. It made me think of the times that I actually have taken the easy way out and just look for classes that may be an easy elective instead of choosing a class that may be more enriching. Also the classes where ive literally just sit there and stare into space study the night before, get an A on the test and pass the class with an A. I feel like alot of courses are too easy and classes should be more hands on so that students learn how to use real world skills

Sean Pettiford said...

I found the section about student college life to be extremely notable. It is true that many are taking the college experience and taking it to advance their thinking. However, many are using this very important time of their life to party and socialize. I believe through media and peers the main focus of college has been somewhat distorted. Yes, many are graduating with degrees but where is the new big idea coming from. Who is actually applying all the valuable information provided by universities. There needs to be some sort of reassessment of what is and what is not important in regards to college/

TaNeal WALLS said...

**I apologize for the late post, I hope this blog can still be accepted if there are any objections to accept this please inform me (email: twalls@siue.edu)
-Academic encouragement is not offered in an enlightening, experimental, or hands on manner. College is essentially the last step before life challenges are handed to you and 100%expectation to overcome them, at a successful rate. College advising does a standard job of guiding students through the course schedule that meets the requirements for a specific degree. Once enrolled in the class the student has an opportunity to learn as much about the subject they can via textbook and lecture. Besides professor's varying degree of personal experience with the specific fields of study, there is no DIRECT hands-on experience us college students generally take from the course. After we cram our brains with textbook information for tests and finals the stress overpowers the ability to retain the most important concepts. I would be so much more confident in my own pathway to success if I was being offered hands on experiences to the information I read in textbooks. This type of encouragement seems imperative to academic success.