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Colleges Are Planning on Coddling Freshmen (More Than They Already Do)

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Apparently, colleges are having a hard time keeping students and graduating them.

As NPR reports, according to the National Student Clearinghouse, colleges across the country are struggling to get students through to graduation: “In 2015, only a little more than half of students who enrolled in college in 2009 made it to graduation, with the largest percentage dropping out after their freshman year…” Colleges are, and have been for some time, struggling to halt those losses.

In response, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is beginning a three-year project with 44 colleges called “Re-Imagining the First Year of College.” It’s designed to make the college experience easier on freshmen with extra advising and curriculum changes.

In other words, the AASCU is encouraging colleges to coddle freshmen.

So why, you might ask, are freshmen having such a difficult time? The article gives a number of testimonies from students and administrators:

"Some students don't find a connection between being in college, their career path and graduation,"…

And…

"I was like, 'Why am I taking business classes? I need to be in chemistry, forensic science, stuff like that,'"…

And…

"I didn't know where to go… I didn't know where a lot of the offices were."

Hmm… When freshman cannot survive in college for reasons such as an inability to read a campus map, one begins to wonder whether it's the colleges that need to change or the students. Hand-holding might get more students through college, but one would think that higher learning should be marked by the independence and determination indicative of adulthood.

Rather than babying incoming college freshmen, perhaps we need to examine why they aren’t adequately prepared for college and/or whether we are pressuring too many people on to the university path who would be better-suited for success in other areas. 

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