Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Mindsby Richard J. Light
Pub. Date: 03/28/2004
Why Do Some Students make the most of college, while others struggle and look back on years of missed deadlines and missed opportunities? What choices can students make, and what can teachers and university leaders do, to improve more students' experiences and help them achieve the most from their time and money? Most important, how is the increasing diversity on campus -- cultural, racial, and religious -- affecting education? What can students and faculty do to benefit from differences, and even learn from the inevitable moments of misunderstanding and awkwardness?
From his ten years of interviews with Harvard seniors, Richard Light distills encouraging -- and surprisingly practical -- answers to fundamental questions. How can you choose classes wisely? What's the best way to study? Why do some professors inspire and others leave you cold?
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- New Edition
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Table of Contents
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Powerful Connections
- 3. Suggestions from Students
- 4. The Most Effective Classes
- 5. Good Mentoring and Advising
- 6. Faculty Who Make a Difference
- 7. Diversity on Campus
- 8. Learning from Differences
- 9. What College Leaders Can Do
- The Assessment Project
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I loved this book! It really highlighted the importance of creating an experience for students. Also, it is a good explanation of what is missing from many online learning experiences.
Practical, easily understood functional educational politics, includes admissions criteria, what kids are looking for and what is truly available to them in undergraduate school. A text to be placed along side any college catalog to help validate or repudiate the meaning and direction of school philosophy, academics, student participation and organization, and everything the 'inexperienced parent' needs to help their child make worthy choices for college application.
I did not know whether I would enjoy this new book, yet found it almost an emotional experience to read it. I mean that in the best sense. This book describes and gives results from Light's work with 25 universities over more than ten years, and it shows. It has three pieces to it that make it different from other books on college. 1. It is written for both students and professors at colleges, which is unusual and yet the author somehow carries it off beautifully. There are lots of concrete recommendations for both groups. 2. It has lots of surprises, especially in the racial diversity chapters even though they are only a small fraction of this book. The biggest surprise is that the author finds a great balance between anecdotes that illustrate positive outcomes, yet he certainly includes some obviously negative examples. For me, the take-away point is that 'it all depends on choices that students make, and that the professors and Deans must make.' This is great stuff. Plus, the anecdotes that Light includes offer many surprises. There is one from a Korean American woman that illustrates in a compelling way how racial diversity on campus often does not involve students learning ideas from one another - - rather it gets individuals on a campus to re-think their own values. This is not a Democrats or Republicans book - it is a sensible book. 3. The many dozens of students' anecdotes are riveting. Maybe Harvard students are particularly articulate, yet since the author reports he worked with two dozen different colleges when organizing this book, and has visited 90 others to gather information, I assume his results really do apply pretty widely to many places. I bet many of his suggestions for improving education apply to my own kids' high school, and I have shared the book with the Principal. In summary, I wish professors and students and even high school teachers would read this. It is awfully good, and surprisingly easy to understand. Probably because it is always so specific. The author obviously made a great effort to write for a wide audience. And it is clearly based on good research design, so that I can believe the author's findings. Highly recommended.
Unlike many of the more traditional guides, this book examines the academic, political, and social issues that are affecting the education of students within the selected colleges and universities. There are a number of essays that evaluate the learning, process and student life. There is also information on tuition, enrollment, and other important factors that may influence your chances of gaining entry to a particular school. Being acquainted with the admissions process, as a former student, and now, as an instructor of English literature I would suggest you take a look at my recommendations for improving your future studies.