University Advancement

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How Well Do Elite Colleges Contribute to the Public Good?

On the first point, Howard Gardner, a professor in Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, shared some troubling findings from a study he’s been conducting since 2012 at 10 institutions, including Tufts, Kenyon College, Ohio State University, the University of New Hampshire, and California State University at Northridge. From 2,000 interviews with students and others, and observation of campus life, he and his co-author, Wendy Fischman, found that learning and civics are not foremost in students’ thoughts. Mental health, by contrast, is a “salient” issue, with doubts running deep among many undergraduates about whether they truly belong in college. “When the word ‘help’ is used,” he said, “it’s because students need help rather than wanting to help others.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education

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