Professor Josipa Roksa is the co-author of Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates and Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, two books explaining the reasoning behind this claim.
Roksa claims that this is because students are not spending their time wisely in college and as a result are under-prepared for the real world.
According to Roksa’s book, when looking at students who graduated in 2009, two years later, only half of those who weren’t in grad schools were working full time and making more than 30K a year! The other half struggled in different ways, from being unemployed to working in unskilled jobs; three-fourths were getting financial assistance from their parents.
Yet, students are extremely pleased with their college experiences.
So why is this happening?
- Students only study about 12 hours a week. Some of that time is spent with peers, which truly helps few people. With that little time spent studying, why would you expect students to develop complex skills?
- College students seem to believe that college is about “finding yourself” more than academics and this belief is not being challenged by higher education institutions.
- Universities need to better structure each student’s experiences, including academic and extracurricular. Currently, when they leave… most of them are unsure of what to do.
“In higher education we tell students ‘the world is yours’, but we don’t provide you with the tools to make that world yours, and we should.”
Roksa comments that the students she interviewed were extremely optimistic and believe that their lives are going to be better than their parents’. This is coming even from the unemployed graduates still living with their parents. “It’s amazing optimism,” she stated. But is it justified?
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