Is this Generation 'Academically Adrift'?

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Yesterday, I heard of a new book by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa entitled Academically Adrift. The book's focus is what, if anything, undergraduates are learning the first two years of college. Though the authors used a wide sample of schools (which are never named) and used the Collegiate Learning Assessment to quantify their opinions, they still place a large amount of blame on the colleges and universities in claiming that professors are too focused on their own research to effectively teach.

I reflected on my own undergraduate experience and remember many things I learned my first two years in school. If school is what you make it, I suggest you make the most of it while you are there. Don't get discouraged about books like this or studies you may read - do your best everyday. There are many resources to help you, including entry-level jobs help.

So while more young people are attending college and more jobs are requiring a bachelor's degree, more students are being left out of gaining valuable knowledge. Do you agree that this generation is academically adrift? Or do you think Arum and Roksa are truly targeting the institutions and asking for some accountability? The authors saw a discrepancy even within the same colleges, depending on departments. Perhaps this lends itself to the fact that there isn't uniformity among schools and professors.

One way to view this book is as a call to action. To the students out there: make sure you are getting as much as you can out of your academic experience. If you have questions, ask. If you have concerns, voice them. After all, this generation is the future. College is a great place to explore who you are.

Amy Muldoon graduated from Penn State University in 2005 and worked in corporate public relations for three years before returning to graduate school to become an English teacher. She is also a freelance writer for CollegeJobBank.Com. Her strengths include: drafting speeches, writing talking points for media interviews, making corporate presentations, and writing for publications. Read more of her blogs at Find jobs and other information at Nexxt.

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