Thursday, August 30, 2012

Generation on a Tightrope

About the Book:
An understanding of today’s undergraduate college students is vital to the effectiveness of our nation’s colleges and universities. As Generation on a Tightrope clearly reveals, today’s students need a very different education than the undergraduates who came before them: an education for the 21st Century, which colleges and universities are so far ill-equipped to offer and which will require major changes of them to provide. Examining college student expectations, aspirations, academics, attitudes, values, beliefs, social life, and politics, this book paints an accurate portrait of today’s students. Timely and comprehensive, this volume offers educators, researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and employers guidance and a much-needed grasp of the forces shaping the experiences of current undergraduates. The book: 
  • Is based on completely new research of 5,000 college students and student affairs practitioners from 270 diverse college campuses
  • Explores the similarities and differences between today’s generation of students and previous generations
My Comments:
As the parent of a daughter who is getting ready to head off to college in another year, I found this book very interesting if a bit repetitive.  It talks about helicopter parents, students glued to cell  phones, and hooking up.  It discusses how college students are not as involved in college life as their predecessors -- or in the political life of the community.  It discusses drug and alcohol use, church attendance, club membership and social relationships. It looks at how college students today use technology and media.  I think most parents of college-aged students would find the book interesting, though I don't agree with all the conclusions drawn.  Grade: B.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  

Addendum:  After I wrote the review of this book, and before it published, I got a first-hand example to go with the review.  My daughter is a high school senior and is taking a dual enrollment class at the University of New Orleans.  Monday she went out there and got her ID and a map.  She located where her class was going to be.  Tuesday she went to the classroom (a large auditorium) and asked someone if that was the class.  The person to whom she spoke said that (course no) was there; she had asked by class name.  She called me in tears, she needed to know if that course number was the for course she took.  Google quickly told me it was and that afternoon we had a talk about how UNO really wanted her to succeed out there, that they'd like nothing better than to convince her that she doesn't want to go off to school, but wants to stay right there next year, but that she needed to ask for help when she needed it.  I also told her there was a reason that the only thing that happened in the first class was that the instructor handed out the syllabus.  I guess my daughter isn't all that unlike other kids her age.

1 comment:

  1. Universities have to change from being park and rec departments. I still believe the best learning happens in the setting, but they have gotten out of hand with the "enticements"
    Not sure what the real solution is---but loads of prayer and a small school that actually watches for the students.


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