A Primer on the College Student Journey

A Primer on the College Student Journey. American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education. October 2016.

Higher education continues to be one of the most important avenues of opportunity in American society. But the education landscape is changing rapidly. There are more options for how and when Americans receive some form of higher education. New populations, for whom the traditional four-year degree was once an impossibility, can now pursue undergraduate education in two-year, four-year, for-profit, and online institutions, according to schedules that fit their own lives. And technological advances offer new approaches to student instruction and collaboration. At the same time, rising costs are challenging the affordability of traditional postsecondary degrees.

The American Academy has undertaken a three-year project to examine the state of postsecondary education in America, and to provide ideas for how to ensure that individual Americans receive the education they need to thrive in the twenty-first century. To give the Commission a clear direction, the Academy has begun by compiling A Primer on the College Student Journey, a comprehensive and data-rich portrait of American postsecondary education—incorporating quantitative and qualitative studies that examine every type of postsecondary institution, from early college high schools to private universities. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 60 pages, 6.44 MB].

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