The Real Values of What Students do in College. College Completion Series: Part One
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The country’s success in promoting a college education would be something to celebrate, if not for one big, embarrassing blemish: those who are already privileged are the most likely to get to and through college, while the underprivileged do not. This report takes a look at how government officials have pressed college accreditors to focus more on “student outcomes”—quantifiable indicators of knowledge acquired, skills learned, degrees attained, and so on. It then argues that it is not these enumerated outcomes that are the best way to hold colleges accountable, but rather the evidence of student engagement in the curriculum—their papers, written examinations, projects, and presentations—that holds the most promise for spurring improvement in higher education.