Recent college graduates who are struggling to start careers are being hurt by their lack of learning, according to Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, authors of the groundbreaking book, “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses.”
In the original study, the authors had a sample of four-year undergraduates take the Collegiate Learning Assessment during their freshman year. The same students then took the CLA again during their senior year, and their scores saw very little change. The test includes essay-based critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and communication skills questions.
A recently published follow-up study of the same students,tracking them for two years following graduation, found skills measured by high-scoring CLA students had made a significant difference to finding and keeping a first job.
Students who had higher CLA scores had spent more time studying alone and took classes where teachers enforced high expectations, such as writing long papers.
Low CLA scoring students were twice as likely to lose their jobs as high CLA students, implying employers can tell who got a good college education and who did not. Low CLA scoring graduates were also 50 percent more likely to end up in an unskilled occupation, and were less likely to be satisfied with their jobs.
Merit Software helps build the skills that are highly correlated with high CLA scores, including critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and communications skills.
Merit programs provide detailed coverage of the core competencies students require to succeed. Concepts in reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary are covered from the basics to higher levels.
Built-in hints and tips support students while they work. Progress is automatically monitored in an easy-to-use tracking tool for instructors. The software is adaptive and adjusts to a suitable level of challenge with minimal teacher intervention.