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ERIC Number: ED514983
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 24
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Improving Undergraduate Learning: "Findings and Policy Recommendations from the SSRC-CLA Longitudinal Project"
Arum, Richard; Roksa, Josipa; Cho, Esther
Social Science Research Council
The authors have systematically investigated the state of undergraduate learning in contemporary colleges and universities. Following several thousand traditional-age students as they enrolled in coursework from Fall 2005 to Spring 2009, across a wide range of four-year colleges and universities, the authors found a set of conditions suggesting that something indeed is seriously amiss in U.S. higher education. "In Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses" (University of Chicago Press, 2011), the authors have described some of these disturbing conditions and documented the extent to which many students show little if any growth over the first two years of college in their ability to perform tasks requiring critical thinking, complex reasoning, and written communication as measured by the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA; for more information on the CLA see the Methodological Appendix). This report extends findings reported in their recent book to document the rate of growth on the CLA for the full four years of college, academic practices associated with improved student performance, as well as differences across individuals and institutions in the level of learning. Moreover, they present recommendations for policymakers, institutions, and practitioners to consider for improving undergraduate learning at U.S. colleges and universities. A methodological appendix is included. (Contains 2 tables and 6 figures.) [Additional support for this paper was provided by a 2007-08 Fulbright New Century Scholar "Higher Education in the 21st Century: Access and Equity" award.]
Social Science Research Council. 810 7th Avenue 31st Floor, New York, NY 10019. Tel: 202-377-2700; Fax: 212-377-2727; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Practitioners; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation for Education; Ford Foundation; Carnegie Corporation of New York; Teagle Foundation
Authoring Institution: Social Science Research Council