Literacy drop may not apply at NU

Literacy drop may not apply at NU

By Brian Benson

College students are getting less intelligent.

A study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics in 2003 and released earlier this year showed a substantial drop in college students’ literacy, specifically their ability to understand readings and tables. Students and administrators, however, said the statistic does not apply to the more hands-on Northeastern method.

The study, recently published in The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, tested college graduates from around the country in basic reading skills. It revealed only 41 percent of graduate students and 31 percent of undergraduates obtained a proficient score, which involved understanding information in short texts and reading tables. Both statistics were down 10 and 9 percentage points, respectively, from their 1992 levels.

“My sense is that it’s a curious finding,” said Malcolm Hill, vice provost for undergraduate education. “It’s been my experience that it does not apply [at Northeastern].”

Hill cited a rise in accepted students’ SAT scores and high school grade point averages as one reason Northeastern is above average.

“For us at Northeastern, we haven’t been in a static environment.

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