Pop Quiz: Be prepared!
In the world of college and university admissions, teaching, and advising, we spend time discussing the “preparedness” of our entering students. Ideally, students come in with the basic framework of reading, math, etc, as well as some skills like time management, critical thinking, etc. This makes them prepared for the hopefully more rigorous and deep specialized education they should get in addition to finishing rounding out their general knowledge. The better prepared students are the ones who succeed and complete their degree, at least in theory.
jodee’s post on including courses on subjects like computer programming may feel to some like a distraction to the goal of preparedness, and to others like me as another way to foster the needed skills. Also, you may have noticed that the computers won, and they now rule the earth.
We’ve all seen articles on the eroding educational system, the changes technology may bring to our students and our classrooms, but the age old problem of preparedness and the transition from high school to college keeps coming back. That last link has the alarming statistic that 60% of new college students are in remedial math or English classes in their first year, and that doesn’t even start to assess skills preparedness.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it appears high school educators and college educators don’t agree on what preparedness means. One thing I noted in all this googling was that the primary focus was on students taking remedial math and English, with a side of discussing other skills, but no list or description of what those skills are (some articles did mention specifics like being able to construct an argument in writing, but that’s it.)
Here’s my question to you: what are the specific skills students should have mastered before entering college? Which skills should be learned in college?
The Pop Quiz is a question posed to you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the afternoon (ET).