Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa

Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa is a follow up to their landmark Academically Adrift that made the case for how many college students end up learning very little, end up unemployed or under employed, and living at home. Now they follow this same college cohort two years after graduation and see that many found a difficult transition to adulthood. Together these works should challenge students and colleges to rethink the aims, approaches, and achievements of higher education. Click here to read my summary of Academically Adrift.

Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa

  • Richard is a professor in the Department of Sociology with a joint appointment in the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University. He is a senior fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the author of Judging School Discipline: The Crisis of Moral Authority in American Schools. Josipa Roksa is associate professor of sociology and education and associate director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at the University of Virginia.

1. The Study

  • This book is based on research that tracks more than 1,600 students (emerging adults) through their senior year at twenty-five diverse four-year colleges and universities, and approximately 1,000 college graduates from this sample for two years following their graduation in 2009. They also did in-depth interviews with a subset of 80 graduates in 2011 in order to find how post-college outcomes were associated with collegiate experiences and academic performance. Like their previous study, they used the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) to measure critical thinking, complex reasoning, and written communication around the time of their graduation.
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