Metrics of college performance don’t reach adult students | Inside Higher Ed

  • tags: metrics college performance reach students higher ed higher inside

    • Websites that measure how colleges stack up are all the rage these days. But prospective adult students aren’t using those tools, and are instead relying on information from friends, advertisements and college websites.


    • only 18 percent of adults who were considering enrolling in college had used interactive websites like the Campus Explorer or the White House’s College Scorecard
      • This doesn’t seem terribly revolutionary.
    • In contrast, 76 percent of the surveyed potential students said they learned about colleges from friends, families and colleagues. And 64 cited advertisements on TV and billboards as sources.
      • This is pretty scary, but also reinforces what we know about students needing support learning how to be effective students. Also indicative of digital illiteracy perhaps?
    • A related report on the for-profit higher education sector is forthcoming.
    • Potential students had little understanding about for-profits’ financing and governance structures, according to the survey. They became more skeptical about the sector when the term “for-profit” was used in the focus group and when they were told about the “basic differences” between how for-profits and nonprofits operate.
    • He said the study’s principal findings, including adult students’ favorable take on online courses and quality instruction, support the reasons why adult students often choose for-profits.
    • recommendations, the report suggested consideration for “leveling of the playing field for marketing to adult prospective students.”
    • Adult students are a large and growing portion of American higher education. Slightly more than a third of first-time students do not enter college right after high school, the report said, and a third of undergraduates are older than 25.
      • We are all nontraditional.
    • Yet the survey found lukewarm feelings among potential students about whether those measures are valuable. Only half of respondents said knowing the average debt levels of graduates is essential information about a college. Faring worse were graduation rates (47 percent) and information about what jobs and salaries graduates typically get (45 percent).
      • I’m curious as to the demographis of their sample group and also their questions. This seems counterintuitive to what we’ve read about reasons students go to college – particularly the job part.
    • Furthermore, just 17 percent of respondents cited significant worries about dropping out of college. That contrasts with the reality that more than half of adult students will fail to complete a bachelor’s degree within six years.
      • Dissonance between goals and skills and steps needed to get there.
    • Some focus group participants wondered why the websites weren’t better-marketed and felt “cheated” for not having seen them before.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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