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How College Works

ISBN-10: 0674049020
ISBN-13: 9780674049024
Edition: 2014
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Description: Constrained by shrinking budgets, can colleges do more to improve the quality of education? And can students get more out of college without paying higher tuition? Daniel Chambliss and Christopher Takacs conclude that the limited resources of  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 2/17/2014
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 224
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.298
Language: English

Constrained by shrinking budgets, can colleges do more to improve the quality of education? And can students get more out of college without paying higher tuition? Daniel Chambliss and Christopher Takacs conclude that the limited resources of colleges and students need not diminish the undergraduate experience. How College Works reveals the surprisingly decisive role that personal relationships play in determining a student's collegiate success, and puts forward a set of small, inexpensive interventions that yield substantial improvements in educational outcomes.At a liberal arts college in New York, the authors followed a cluster of nearly one hundred students over a span of eight years. The curricular and technological innovations beloved by administrators mattered much less than the professors and peers whom students met, especially early on. At every turning point in students' undergraduate lives, it was the people, not the programs, that proved critical. Great teachers were more important than the topics studied, and even a small number of good friendships--two or three--made a significant difference academically as well as socially.For most students, college works best when it provides the daily motivation to learn, not just access to information. Improving higher education means focusing on the quality of a student's relationships with mentors and classmates, for when students form the right bonds, they make the most of their education.

Daniel F. Chambliss , PhD, is the Eugene M. Tobin Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he has taught since 1981. He received his PhD from Yale University in 1982; later that year, his thesis research received the American Sociological Association's Medical Sociology Dissertation Prize. In 1988, he published the book Champions: The Making of Olympic Swimmers , which received the Book of the Year Prize from the U.S. Olympic Committee. In 1989, he received the American Sociology Association's Theory Prize for work on organizational excellence based on his swimming research. Recipient of both Fulbright and Rockefeller Foundation fellowships, he published his second book, Beyond Caring: Hospitals, Nurses, and the Social Organization of Ethics , in 1996; for that work, he was awarded the ASA's Elliot Freidson Prize in Medical Sociology. In 2014 he published How College Works , co-authored with his former student Christopher G. Takacs. His research and teaching interests include organizational analysis, higher education, social theory, and comparative research methods.

Christopher G. Takacs is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Chicago.

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