U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-27-2019, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Texas
43,010 posts, read 51,519,650 times
Reputation: 69170

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
I got my bachelor's twenty years ago, am getting my master's in a few weeks.

I attended fairly academically demanding institutions for both. In the years in between getting my undergrad and graduate degree, I haven't personally witnessed a difference in standard.
One thing that makes stuff easier is the internet.
Online resources, study/support groups, tutoring, advice, etc.

Man, that would have been quite the boon.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-27-2019, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Texas
43,010 posts, read 51,519,650 times
Reputation: 69170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mircea View Post
Look at the text-books.

They're Level 10 on the Slosson/FROG scale. That's equivalent to the reading comprehension level of a high school sophomore.

Text-books should be at level 14-16 for college freshman and sophomores, and in the past, they were.

I taught for two years, and I can tell you a lot of kids neither know how to read nor how to write.

I had to waste an hour of valuable class-time every quarter teaching the Declaration of Independence, not for its historical value, rather for its value as an essay, since it's one of the best examples of an essay.

I never expected students to provide a preface or make generalizations, but I did expect them to state an hypothesis, provide evidence and draw conclusions from it, yet many were incapable of doing that.
In 1940, 4% of the population had a bachelor's degree.
25 years ago, when I went, ~18%, IIRC.

Now it's over a third.
That sudden jump didn't happen without a major lapse in standards.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-27-2019, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Northern Appalachia
4,952 posts, read 6,131,000 times
Reputation: 5749
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
Do you think that's true though, or is he being too black and white about that? Or if he's absolutely right, why is college a lot more easy to pass nowadays?
I graduated from college in 1977. I went back to school in my 50s to get my teaching certification. There were a few surprises. I never remember a professor giving a study guide in the 1970s. I was shocked when professors said you could bring a 3x5 index card to the test with any notes you wanted on it. In the 70s, they called that a cheat sheet. I found it to be very common.

One caveat is that when I received my first degree, I took all classes at one college. The second time around, I took classes at five different campuses including some online courses. I found there is a huge difference in intelligence at different schools. I took classes at some schools where I noticed many students should not be in college. At another campus of the same university, the majority of students were very intelligent and worked very hard. Most of these students were going on to law school or other grad schools.

I took a few online courses at a community college and they were a joke. From the online discussions required for some of these classes, it appeared many of the students were illiterate.

So the bottom line is, it depends on the school. I think it is easier to get a degree today, but I think the most competitive schools are more competitive than ever. Top students are better prepared than their counterparts 40-50 years ago.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-27-2019, 04:16 PM
 
1,106 posts, read 814,218 times
Reputation: 1713
Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
So the bottom line is, it depends on the school. I think it is easier to get a degree today, but I think the most competitive schools are more competitive than ever. Top students are better prepared than their counterparts 40-50 years ago.
I generally agree with this. My experience is as a undergrad and graduate student ~ 20 years sgo, and as adjunct faculty for a graduate program for most of the last decade. At the top schools, in general the students are bright and study hard. These schools are much harder to get into than they were back in the day of the baby boomers. In the late 1960's, Harvard was accepting between a quarter to a third of applicants. In the late 90's, it was 10-12% Today, it's around 5 percent. School is way more expensive as well. The students that get into those schools are already top students, so most of them master the material and get good grades. At the less selective schools, there is grade inflation, but obviously there are smart and hardworking students at those schools too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-27-2019, 05:07 PM
 
551 posts, read 120,024 times
Reputation: 1060
The dumbing down of our previously "racist" school system. Now everyone can graduate.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-27-2019, 06:27 PM
 
3,522 posts, read 1,467,709 times
Reputation: 7058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texamichiforniasota View Post
I generally agree with this. My experience is as a undergrad and graduate student ~ 20 years sgo, and as adjunct faculty for a graduate program for most of the last decade. At the top schools, in general the students are bright and study hard. These schools are much harder to get into than they were back in the day of the baby boomers. In the late 1960's, Harvard was accepting between a quarter to a third of applicants. In the late 90's, it was 10-12% Today, it's around 5 percent. School is way more expensive as well. The students that get into those schools are already top students, so most of them master the material and get good grades. At the less selective schools, there is grade inflation, but obviously there are smart and hardworking students at those schools too.
Keep in mind that today there is one online application. I started college in the mid-‘90s and back then, you still had to apply to every school except a select few by paper application and that really cut down how many you could do. We had one person in my class who applied to 14 schools and the rest of us thought that was absolutely outrageous. Most of us applied to 5-6 maximum. Now it seems like it is average for every kid to apply to at least that many, so of course the admit rate is going to go way down. When you have more kids applying in the first place and then those kids are putting in 3-4x the applications they used to put in, of course it is harder to get in somewhere.

That doesn’t mean that the schools themselves are harder. They probably end up with fewer accepted students who actually attend. I know between the time I went to law school and finished undergrad (they aggregated with LSAC) over 8 years, the median GPA at my school went up by .3 - that is an objective sign that school is getting easier. At the top schools, the grade inflation now is apparently insane. When I went to my school, the mentality was that they would NOT inflate to flunk out kids who did not deserve to be there (a flagship state school). I also went to the flagship state school in my home state for a summer and they certainly did not inflate. I think 90% of my friends lost their scholarships because they couldn’t meet the GPA requirement to maintain it, and it wasn’t like it was an ultra high GPA. I had the same in my own school, although it was above the median at mine.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-27-2019, 07:25 PM
 
276 posts, read 40,878 times
Reputation: 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mircea View Post
Look at the text-books.

They're Level 10 on the Slosson/FROG scale. That's equivalent to the reading comprehension level of a high school sophomore.

Text-books should be at level 14-16 for college freshman and sophomores, and in the past, they were.

I taught for two years, and I can tell you a lot of kids neither know how to read nor how to write.
This.

Our children all went from 8th grade to college. Now that may sound miraculous, we simply used a standard prepackaged education and supplemented as we saw fit. We did an analysis of the first two year college texts and high school texts as well as the lessons in 6th, 7th, 8th grade and determined that they really had dumbed down education and a decent, old school 8th grade education was all that was needed to be successful in college., We graduated 4 for 4: Summa *** Laude in STEM fields. The last graduated last year. My point is, while it would be nice to say how great out children are and super smart, we see it more as a shift in the standards of education. We also questioned the qualifications of some of the instructors.

Judging by the behavior of some of our children's roommates, even in a STEM dorm, it seems a lot of student's priorities were slanted toward things other than academics. In contrast to when we went to college it was easy to find professors staying late on campus to host debates in the hallways outside their office or in the cafeteria. They made it a point to try and provoke the young minds. Our children found none of that.

Just our observations and experiences; your mileage may vary.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-27-2019, 08:05 PM
Status: "What a revoltin' development this is! (William Bendix)" (set 18 hours ago)
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
11,882 posts, read 7,213,416 times
Reputation: 15400
Is it true that university and college is much easier to pass that it was before?

It depended upon your major when I was an undergrad, and I have every reason to believe that those standards haven't changed. STEM majors (not to mention graduate study) have always been more challenging, but it's easy for a struggling STEM major to transfer to a liberal arts discipline, or maybe just load up on a few "soft" courses while his/her GPA (hopefully!) recovers.

One other thing I recall (or maybe just failed to see) from those years was the point that progress in some disciplines (math and economics come immediately to mind} could depend a lot on identifying your instructor's perspective, and the points (s)he was seeking to emphasize, Calculus was a struggle for me -- until, about forty years later, I came across a small (<100-page) soft-cover written by a long-since-deceased Englishman who put things perfectly into perspective.

At one time or another, I have lived within a short distance of three well-reputed (and expensive) liberal arts colleges. What wasn't emphasized years ago (and is now) was the disparity in both coursework and the time that had to be devoted to it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-27-2019, 10:23 PM
 
1,016 posts, read 358,090 times
Reputation: 3111
You could not possibly pass as many people today WITH THE SAME STANDARDS as fifty years ago because the pool of applicants encompasses so many more people thus lowering the general level of intellectual proficiency.

So rather than failing those students they do the obvious, and most lucrative thing - they lower the bar!

Can you just imagine what a 50+% failure rate would do to those students .. and to the career of the teachers?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Yesterday, 06:47 AM
 
Location: S.W. Florida
2,083 posts, read 837,437 times
Reputation: 5803
On my daughters 1st day of college 2 years ago, she was told by a classmate that “C’s and D’s get degrees”. We both took that to mean that showing up for class and making minimal effort was enough. So far her observations are that that is indeed the case.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. | Please obey Forum Rules | Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top