Katie Couric's notebook: college learning

Katie Couric, Anchor, Managing Editor, CBS Evening News; Correspondent, 60 Minutes, 2010 photo CBS

Parents of college kids might remember the old Sam Cooke song: don't know much about history, don't know much biology. It's a tune their children could be singing today.

A study by a New York University education professor found 45 percent of students made no real learning gains during their first two years. It goes on to question whether college is even worth the money.

In the two dozen schools studied, the average student spent 51 percent of the time socializing and only seven percent studying. A third spent five hours or less preparing for class every week. Half said during the previous semester, no teacher required writing more than 20 pages.

If you dig deeper though, a pattern emerges. Those students who did study more, wrote more, read more and took tougher classes were also the ones who learned more.

Hard work still pays off. Something for parents to ponder the next time that tuition bill comes in.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.

  • Katie Couric

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