“My Degree Is Useless” No Longer A Joke

2 02 2011

In a time where elementary schoolers will believe that a species of octopus lives in trees, it doesn’t surprise me that a new study finds collegians wasting about half of their continuing education.   Apparently we’re getting stupider and lazier- due in part to the internet.

USA Today commented on a new report, which finds that college students essentially waste two years of their higher education.  The report, which touched upon issues in the book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, had “really kind of shocking, disturbing numbers,” said lead author Richard Arum. 

The article shows a pie chart breaking down how exactly your average college kid spends their time: 51% socializing, 24% sleeping, 9% working or doing volunteer work, just 16% of their time spent in class or studying.

Arum, who is a professor at NYU, did note that students who were surveyed all had an average GPA of 3.2.

That doesn’t seem that they are struggling… 3.2 is a respectable grade point average.

The article states “After two years in college, 45% of students showed no significant gains in learning; after four years, 36% showed little change.”

I think that at a big part of the “wasted” two years is due to the “general education requirements” set forth my many universities. 
Isn’t high school my general education requirement? 
Taking credits in subjects extraneous to your major and field of interest is annoying (most of the info is already known), crowded (100+ students) and expensive (science and history books are not cheap!).  These teachers expect you to take their lectures and the work so seriously, but if you don’t want to be there…

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As someone who is on track to graduate from college in May, I can attest to the shortcomings of my university and the overwhelming frustration that comes with not knowing whether you are truly prepared for “real life.”

The course work required for my major, the material I am supposed to parlay into a career, has consisted of 13 classes (39 credits out of 120).  Is that by any means enough?  I don’t believe so.

Several of those classes have had 30+ people enrolled making for a difficult individual learning experience, and at least three come to mind that were a waste of my time and money because the professors were not committed to teaching (One professor admitted to my class that they don’t particularly like teaching, but did it because “it’s hard to find a job with benefits these days.”)




One response

17 02 2011

i love it

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