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How College Affects Students 21st Century Evidence that Higher Education Works von Mayhew, Matthew J. (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 23.08.2016
  • Verlag: Jossey-Bass
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How College Affects Students

The bestselling analysis of higher education's impact, updated with the latest data How College Affects Students synthesizes over 1,800 individual research investigations to provide a deeper understanding of how the undergraduate experience affects student populations. Volume 3 contains the findings accumulated between 2002 and 2013, covering diverse aspects of college impact, including cognitive and moral development, attitudes and values, psychosocial change, educational attainment, and the economic, career, and quality of life outcomes after college. Each chapter compares current findings with those of Volumes 1 and 2 (covering 1967 to 2001) and highlights the extent of agreement and disagreement in research findings over the past 45 years. The structure of each chapter allows readers to understand if and how college works and, of equal importance, for whom does it work. This book is an invaluable resource for administrators, faculty, policymakers, and student affairs practitioners, and provides key insight into the impact of their work. Higher education is under more intense scrutiny than ever before, and understanding its impact on students is critical for shaping the way forward. This book distills important research on a broad array of topics to provide a cohesive picture of student experiences and outcomes by: Reviewing a decade's worth of research; Comparing current findings with those of past decades; Examining a multifaceted analysis of higher education's impact; and Informing policy and practice with empirical evidence
Amidst the current introspection and skepticism surrounding higher education, there is a massive body of research that must be synthesized to enhance understanding of college's effects. How College Affects Students compiles, organizes, and distills this information in one place, and makes it available to research and practitioner audiences; Volume 3 provides insight on the past decade, with the expert analysis characteristic of this seminal work.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 784
    Erscheinungsdatum: 23.08.2016
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781119101970
    Verlag: Jossey-Bass
    Größe: 2161 kBytes
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How College Affects Students

Studying College Outcomes in the 2000s

Overview and Organization of the Research

The purpose and value of higher education are under fire. As national confidence in the aims of higher education and the subsequent value of degree attainment erode (see Arum & Roksa, 2011, 2014), scholars interested in college and its influence on students are faced with a series of emergent challenges, ranging from the decoupling of the once tightly held belief that participation in higher education was the primary means for learning and thus social mobility to ontological questions about learning itself: Is learning about making money? Why is learning important if it does not lead to financial gain? Indeed, some students are paid to forgo college-going for pursuing entrepreneurial start-ups. Peter Thiel, founder of the Thiel Foundation, an organization that pays up-and-coming entrepreneurs to leave formal education, noted, "University administrators are the equivalent of mortgage brokers, selling you a story that you should go into debt massively, that it's not a consumption decision, it's an investment decision. Actually, no, it's a bad consumption decision. Most colleges are four-year parties" (Jenkins, 2010, p. A.13). This comment exemplifies the emergent American learning conundrum: How utilitarian and pragmatic does learning need to be in order to hold value in and to American society? Is higher education an investment in one's future or a consumable good of questionable value?

In light of these questions and challenges, educators from across disciplines are designing and executing rigorous college impact studies that draw on the scholarly work of generations past to further develop a robust understanding of college as critical to not only the learning enterprise but to other social and economic factors as well. Rather than shy away from the difficulties of studying outcomes that many think are ineffable and even irrelevant, these scholars are approaching the study of college impact with the thoroughness needed to appraise historic claims regarding the roles and purposes of higher education and the innovation needed to tackle questions once believed too challenging to address. Our aim in this volume is not to provide silver-bullet answers to these pressing and difficult questions but to review carefully the evidence for helping educators make claims about college and its impact on students.

Conceptually, this volume is based on Astin's (1984) framework for understanding how college affects students. Put simply, this framework deconstructs the college experiences into three discrete categories: inputs, environments, and outcomes. Inputs include demographic characteristics, academic preparedness, and predispositions that students bring with them to campus (e.g., race, high school grade point average, SAT scores, degree aspirations, and academic motivation, to name a few). Environments include, but are not limited to, institutional cultures and climates and specific educational experiences designed to shape students in some meaningful way. Outcomes relate to the attitudes (e.g., student satisfaction), aptitudes (e.g., critical thinking), and behaviors (e.g., departure) that students exhibit as a result of going to college.

Of critical importance to this review is how these categories work together to explain college and its effects on students. When organizing studies, we based our review on two relationships: that which we call "general" to describe the relationship between environments and outcomes (i.e., how exposure to and participation in college generally affect all college students) and that which we call "conditional" to underscore the relationship between environments and outcomes as it relates to student inputs (i.e., how exposure to and participation in college experiences affect students differentially based on

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