Colleges need to raise the academic bar, says education expert


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – “Is college too easy?” Recent research by New York University sociology and education professor Richard Arum and his University of Virginia colleague, Josipa Roksa, indicates the answer is “yes.”

    Arum will discuss his findings March 30 during a free, public talk titled “Learning During Unsettled Times: College Student Academic Performance and Recent Graduate Experience in the U.S.” 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., in the University of Louisville’s Middleton Auditorium, Room 101, Strickler Hall. The talk is co-sponsored by the Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning and the College of Arts and Sciences.

    In a study that followed 2,300 students at 24 universities over four years, Arum and Roksa found that 36 percent of the students studied had no improvement in complex reasoning, writing and critical thinking skills during that time. The researchers also discovered that today’s college students study about half as many hours as college students from decades ago.

    Details of the study can be found in their 2011 book, “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses.”

    In his UofL presentation, Arum is expected to discuss updated research on his previous work, how student’s social background may affect higher education outcomes and how college graduates are faring today despite difficult economic times.

    A book signing and reception will follow Arum’s presentation.

    To register for the event, visit Parking is available in the Speed Art Museum parking garage, 2035 S. Third St. Arum’s talk will be streamed live at mms:// (those using a Mac computer may need to download software before viewing the live stream).

    For more information, contact John Whitney at 502-852-7623.

    Cindy Hess
    Cindy Hess has more than 30 years of experience in communications, marketing and investor relations, including more than a decade at UofL. She is "sort of" retired but happy to come back to the Office of Communications and Marketing to help with special projects and assignments.