Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses 

Richard Arum, New York University

How much are college students really learning?  Professor Richard Arum presented findings from a major longitudinal study of student learning in higher education.  His research follows approximately 2,400 students at 24 diverse U.S. colleges and universities over a two year period to examine how institutional settings, student backgrounds, and individual academic programs influence how much -- and whether -- students learn on campus.  His study uses a recently developed, unique learning assessment tool, the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), which measures the "higher order thinking skills" that colleges and universities aim to teach: problem-solving, critical thinking, analytical reasoning and communication skills. 

Richard Arum is professor of sociology and education at New York University and the program director for educational research at the Social Science Research Council.  He holds a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.  He is the author of several books and articles about student achievement, social stratification, and the organization of schooling, including, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming), Stratification in Higher Education: A Comparative Study (Stanford University Press, 2007), Judging School Discipline: The Crisis of Moral Authority in American Schools (Harvard University Press, 2003).

Read news coverage of the event here.