The New College Exam: A Test To Graduate
Career College Central summary:
Increasingly, colleg students are being asked to take a test before they get out of college. The advent of the college exit test is being driven largely by parents, lawmakers and others intent on making sure they’re getting their money’s worth from colleges and universities—and by employers who complain that graduates arrive surprisingly ill-prepared.
Ohio this year started testing candidates for education degrees before they graduate. The Wisconsin Technical College System requires its graduating students to take tests, or to submit portfolios, research papers or other proof of what they know. And all undergraduates at the University of Central Missouri have to pass a test before they are allowed to graduate. Such activity is up “significantly,” according to a new report from the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.
The trend unmasks a flabbergasting reality: that those expensive university degrees may not actually prove a graduate is sufficiently educated to compete in the workforce. And it advances the seemingly obvious proposition that students should be made to show they are before they get one.
Forty-three percent of grades given out by college faculty are A’s, according to research published by Teachers College at Columbia University. Yet one-half of students about to graduate from four-year colleges and 75 percent at two-year schools fall below the “proficient” level of literacy, according to a survey by the American Institutes for Research. That means they’re unable to complete such real-world tasks as comparing credit-card offers with different interest rates, or summarizing the two sides of an argument.
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