25.4.14

LOOK TO YOUR RIGHT, LOOK TO YOUR LEFT.

In the Bad Old Days when College was Not. For. Everybody., incoming students would allegedly encounter the curmudgeonly professor who would continue, "By semester's end, one of those people will be gone."  I don't recall ever encountering such a professor.  I was tempted to use the line at the beginning of the semester in introductory classes, but never did.  These days its use would probably be cause for an investigation by Student Affairs.

The attrition rate implied by the professor's warning, which once might have been a realistic appraisal of attrition, now becomes cause for brow-furrowing.
One of the main areas [Northern Illinois] officials want to address is the university’s retention rate. Officials have said that only about two-thirds of students who were freshmen in 2012-13 returned as sophomores during the 2013-14 academic year.
Left unsaid in the conversation: are students not returning because college coursework is hard, because expenses are high, because there are too few professors and student-credit-hours-per-faculty is a poor measure of productivity?

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