Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Random College Articles

There were a series of college articles that appeared in a variety of publications last week that caught my eye.

1 - Share of College Spending on Recreation is Rising

American colleges are spending a declining share of their budgets on instruction and more on administration and recreational facilities for students, according to a study of college costs released Friday.

“This is the country-clubization of the American university,” said Richard K. Vedder, a professor at Ohio University who studies the economics of higher education. “A lot of it is for great athletic centers and spectacular student union buildings. In the zeal to get students, they are going after them on the basis of recreational amenities.”

2 - Could story #1 be the cause of #2? What happened to studying?

They come with polished resumes and perfect SAT scores. Their grades are often impeccable. Some elite universities will deny thousands of high school seniors with 4.0 grade point averages in search of an elusive quality that one provost called “intellectual vitality.” The perception is that today’s over-achieving, college-driven kids have it — whatever it is. They’re not just groomed; they’re ready. There’s just one problem.

Once on campus, the students aren’t studying.

It is a fundamental part of college education: the idea that young people don’t just learn from lectures, but on their own, holed up in the library with books and, perhaps, a trusty yellow highlighter. But new research, conducted by two California economics professors, shows that over the past five decades, the number of hours that the average college student studies each week has been steadily dropping. According to time-use surveys analyzed by professors Philip Babcock, at the University of California Santa Barbara, and Mindy Marks, at the University of California Riverside, the average student at a four-year college in 1961 studied about 24 hours a week. Today’s average student hits the books for just 14 hours.

The decline, Babcock and Marks found, infects students of all demographics. No matter the student’s major, gender, or race, no matter the size of the school or the quality of the
SAT scores of the people enrolled there, the results are the same: Students of all ability levels are studying less.


“It’s not just limited to bad schools,” Babcock said. “We’re seeing it at liberal arts colleges, doctoral research colleges, masters colleges. Every different type, every different size. It’s just across the spectrum. It’s very robust. This is just a huge change in every category.”

3 - To Stop Cheats, Colleges Learn their trickery

However, I'm not sure colleges were aware that kids would be ready and willing to do stuff like this....






This image isn't very clear on the blog, but the idea is that if you have a color scanner you could scan a coke label and then change all of the info on the label from an ingredients list to a series of formulas for your Calc II class. Crazy stuff.

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