31 May 2014

Only 3% of University Students Get These Six Things That Predict Future Success

Gallup asked students about their levels of support and deep learning during college.

These factors - from feeling supported by a professor to having work experiences that allowed them to apply what they were learning in the real world - more than doubled their odds of engagement and success after school. And yet only 14% of students get all three elements of support and only 6% get all three. (It's nice to see that nearly two-thirds encounter at least one professor who makes them excited about learning and nearly a third are on a project that lasts longer than a semester.) But all of these seems kind of random: just 3% get all six elements during their university education.

3% suggests to me that these results have nothing to do with the educational system and everything to do with enterprising students and professors who are working outside of the system. It's nice that heroic and enterprising students and professors are out there. It would probably be more effective if we actually designed universities to provide these experiences for students, making this sort of mentoring a part of professors' 30 to 50 work week (instead of expecting them to do this outside of their regular teaching and research) and making these sorts of work experiences a normal part of an education.

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