VIA Inside HigherEd: “Student Success, In the Classroom” by Vincent Tinto

Vincent Tinto describes the current state of “student success” at most institutions:

Over the past 20 years, if not more, colleges and universities, states and private foundations have invested considerable resources in the development and implementation of a range of programs to increase college completion. Though several of these have achieved some degree of success, most have not made a significant impact on college completion rates.

This is the case because most efforts to improve college completion, such as learning centers and first-year seminars, sit at the margins of the classroom and do not substantially improve students’ classroom experience. Lest we forget, many students, certainly those in community college, commute to college and work and/or attend part-time. For them, if not for most students, the classroom is one, and perhaps the only, place where they meet with faculty and other students and engage in learning activities. Their success in college is built upon classroom success, one class and one course at a time. If our efforts do not reach into the classroom and enhance student classroom success, they are unlikely to substantially impact college success.

I agree with almost everything written here, but wondered why the learning efforts of faculty members seemed almost like an afterthought in this piece.  We hear about “professional development programs,” but very little about why faculty would want to learn how to do this work, or might resist it.  Is that a problem? Take a look at the comments and decide for yourself. DM
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2011/11/03/essay-focus-student-success-efforts-what-happens-classroom#ixzz1ckm18e5a
Inside Higher Ed
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