Congratulations CHSS grads

May 21, 2011
Posted by Jay Livingston

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences had its convocation Thursday on the football field. The students walked across the platform, shook hands with the president and the dean, then went back to the bleachers.

(MSU photo. Other pictures are here.)

I had nothing to do with the program. I sat on the stage with the other department chairs, and I stood up when the guys from the Dean’s office read the names of graduating Sociology majors. But if it had been up to me, I would have made a large backdrop of this graph showing scores on the CLA, an assessment of how much students learn in college.

(Click on the graph for a larger view.)

The authors of the report* summarize their findings
There is notable variation in academic experiences and outcomes across fields of study. . . .While appreciating the diverse causes of differences by field of study, we observed several patterns in our data:

Students majoring in traditional liberal-arts fields, including social science, humanities, natural science, and mathematics, demonstrated significantly higher gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing skills over time than students in other fields of study.

Students majoring in business, education, social work, and communications had the lowest measurable gains.
*“Improving Undergraduate Learning: Findings and Policy Recommendations from the SSRC-CLA Longitudinal Project” by Arum, Roksma, and Cho. (Full report downloadable here.)


Stone Parliament of Art said...

Congratulations to CHSS grads!!

Thank you Jay for the photo link. Incredible photography! Wow!

Jay Livingston said...

Just to be clear -- those photos were taken by Mike Peters and the other MSU photo staff, not by me.