Aspiring Adults Adrift

George Leef

That's the title of the new book by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa. It follows up on their earlier book, Academically Adrift, examining how the students they studied while undergrads were faring two years after graduation. In this week's Pope Center Clarion Call, I review the book, which I find illuminating, even while telling us pretty much what we already knew. Many graduates are struggling, even those who went to prestigious schools.

The authors conclude that our institutions of higher education are adrift -- low standards, inflated grades, courses meant to keep students happy and so on. They're right, but I think that sad condition reflects the interests and desire of the students coming out of high school. They want fun, not hard work. Colleges want their money, and therefore give them what they want.

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