Study of the Literacy of College Students Finds Some are Graduating with Only Basic Skills

  • January 19, 2006

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The following is an excerpt from The Literacy of America's College Students:

"Rapid changes in technology make it necessary for adults of all ages to use written information in new and more complex ways. For example, learning how to operate computers, filling out complicated tax forms, and comparing price labels when shopping for groceries are just a few of the many tasks that are important parts of our lives.

Every adult needs a range of literacy skills to achieve his or her personal goals, pursue a successful career, and play an active role as a citizen. High levels of literacy also enable individuals to keep pace with changing educational expectations and technologies and support the aspirations of their families.

With the recent attention on accountability measures for elementary and secondary schools, accountability in institutions of higher education has been all but overlooked. The National Survey of America's College Students (NSACS) is a study that examines the literacy of U.S. college students, providing information on how prepared these students are to continue to learn and use the skills that they will need in the years to come. Such an examination provides a valuable set of indicators of performance in higher education, informing such issues as the relationship among educational experience, literacy, and preparedness for the job market."

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