Close to half of U.S. humanities graduates feel that their undergraduate institution did not prepare them for life and regret their choice of major, a leading scholarly society has found.
The analysis of survey data by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences found – as it and others have done in the past – that U.S. university graduates across the range of fields, including many in the humanities, have generally satisfying lives and careers.
Where there are problems among humanities graduates, according to the 241-year-old academy, they appear to be driven largely by unrealistic expectations of entering students.
One leading cause of that, said a co-author of the report, Robert Townsend, director of humanities, arts and culture programs at the Academy, was that humanities faculty too often failed to make clear to their students that they were teaching them both skills and content.
“If students leave their classes without understanding they are learning more than just subject knowledge, I think that is on the teacher,” Dr. Townsend said. “I suspect that failed connection lies behind the doubts about their majors and their larger experience in college.”
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