Evaluation of the situation of current and future higher education

Evaluation of the situation of current and future higher education

Paper instructions:
The senator asks you to evaluate the implications (both current and future) of Academically Adrift’s findings. He wants you to consider the broad question, “So

what?” and to entertain the possibility of crisis and further courses of action to improve higher education.

The memo, he emphasizes, must be fair, balanced, and well-researched. There are many public organizations, congressmen and citizens on various sides of these

issues, so it is imperative that your work is complete so McDuffy is well prepared to talk with these people about his vision of American higher education.

Fortunately, another intern (who has since been let go for not following directions) has performed some preliminary background research and found the following

sources below. You need to review these sources before determining your position as the articles offer varying critical perspectives from trusted publications. You

will also need to find at least two more sources.

An important note: McDuffy has already consulted with statistical experts regarding the credibility of the research found in Academically Adrift. These experts

have informed him that the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) and other aspects of Arum and Roksa’s research methodology are sound. Thus, McDuffy wants you to assume

that AcAd’s research and major findings are credible so you can focus on the implications of that research, and entertain the central questions about crisis and

avenues for reform.


McDuffy prefers a fairly typical memo format, of which you can get a sense by reviewing resources pages found at OWL@Purdue and Writing@CSU. The senator also

prefers the following:

An introductory section that orients McDuffy to the purpose of your memo and summarizing your recommended position
An annotated bibliography (MLA style), because McDuffy wants to know the basic arguments and information offered by each source, how you use them in the memo,

whether you find some sources less useful than others, and whether you decided not to use some sources at all
McDuffy–who is not a trained academic researcher in such fields as education, economics, political science, history, etc.–is fairly busy. All writing has to be

clear, concise, elegant, and accurate.