How Do College Students Learn?

One of the most important things to evaluate about prospective schools is their academic life. After all, you will be spending a lot of time in the classrooms of the college where you eventually enroll. There are lots of ways to do this: you can investigate majors, sit in on classes, check out the faculty on, and even arrange meetings with teachers while you're visiting campus.  Another research tool for applicants is the National Survey on Student Engagement, a survey of students at hundreds of colleges that examines their participation in the classroom and academic life -- including how many hours a week they study, whether or not they participate in internships, and even how many books a year they read and whether they contribute to classroom discussions.  The results are provided to the participating colleges, which may or may not publish them. But check and see if the colleges to which you're applying make their results available. It's a great way to see if that school is a good fit for how you learn. The 2011 NSSE Survey is now available.

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