The Chronicle Perpetuates Myths and Biases Against Undergraduate Business Students

The Chronicle has an article, Business Educators Struggle to Put Students to Work, that, I believe perpetuates a number of myths about undergraduate business students that are tied to flawed analysis reported in Arum and Roska's book Academically Adrift. My comments on the fatal flaw in Arum and Roska's analysis of undergraduate business students can be found here.

To recap, the Arum and Roksa findings about undergraduate business students are fatally flawed. Most undergraduate business programs do not admit students until the end of their sophomore year. Consequently, the Arum and Roska data concern students that may intend to become business majors. This implies that the Arum and Roska data include as business students a segment of students that, due to poor academic performance during their freshman and sophomore years, will not be accepted into business programs.

The Chronicle article is populated with myths about undergraduate business students, documented via anecdotal data rather than by data. Myths designed to perpetuate bias against undergraduate business students. and programs. This is unfortunate.

It strikes me as bizarre for the faculty faculty (quoted in the Chronicle article) to claim students are not engaged. Student engagement is usefully viewed as a course design issue. If engagement isn't designed into a course's DNA, students likely won't engage. Viewed thus, lack of student engagement is a more a reflection of the faculty member teaching the class than of the students taking the class; a reflection of a faculty member that has not, or cannot, design an engaging course experience.

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