Author of Academically Adrift to Speak at Smith on March 9:
"What (if anything) are undergraduates learning during college?"
The Teaching Enhancement Committee at the University of Maryland's Robert H.
Smith School of Business invites you to a lecture by
Josipa Roksa, co-author of "Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College
Campuses." The event will take place at March 9, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. to noon in
Van Munching Hall's Tyser Auditorium.
Roksa and co-author Richard Arum answer the fundamental question posed in
their book, "What (if anything) are undergraduates learning during college?"
According to their extensive research and analysis, the students surveyed
demonstrate no significant improvement in a range of skills.
"What is even more disconcerting is that students majoring in business,
education, social work, and communications had the lowest measurable gains in
critical thinking and complex reasoning. Although the authors propose
recommendations to remedy the situation, implementation will not be easy. and
action is required by all of the stakeholders, including administrators, faculty
and students," says Frank Alt, Associate Professor of Management Science and
Statistics and organizer of the event.
Roksa is associate professor of sociology and education, special advisor to
the provost, and the associate director of the Center for Advanced Study of
Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at the University of Virginia. In her
research, she has examined to what extent education amplifies, preserves or
reduces social inequality. She has aimed to extend the conversation beyond
focusing on academics to consider broader social contexts of education. She
examined the role of state contexts in shaping access and attainment in higher
education, the importance of life course transitions, including work,
marriage/cohabitation and parenthood, for educational success, and the role of
parenting in fostering academic achievement among K-12 students. Moreover, she
has studied not only entry and completion in higher education (i.e., who enrolls
and who graduates), but also what happens within colleges and universities, what
activities students engage in and how that shapes their learning.
For more information, e-mail Professor Frank Alt at