The freshmen are all right

If you guys text during a lecture, we’re taking back all the nice things we just said.

It’s likely that 2011’s batch of freshmen will be greeted by some professors who have a pretty low opinion of today’s students.

The common view is that students are much less prepared for college today, that standards are far lower and that freshmen have a shorter attention span each year.

Sound familiar?

But, according to Brent Bell, a researcher at the University of New Hampshire, students shouldn’t take their professor’s condemnations too seriously, because: Professors have almost always felt this way, and it simply isn’t true.

Bell recently authored “What Do You Expect From Millennials?” in the Journal of College Orientation and Transition, in which he takes this prevailing view head-on.

“My first year of teaching, I was shocked at how poorly my students were writing; but then I had the experience of finding my old papers from undergrad. I realized that I had improved dramatically over a period of time, but had remembered myself as a much better writer,” he explains. “For teachers, it truly feels like the students are much less prepared. But I found that this sentiment was pretty consistent right back to the early 1900s.”

Ultimately, after the initial typically rough first semester, Bell found that today’s college students are doing about the same quality of work — and maybe even better — than their predecessors.

“The best criticism of that is grade inflation — students aren’t held to the same standards,” he says. “But if you look at the SAT over the years, the scores have stayed pretty much the same — and that’s with far more students taking the test.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.