gregbo (gregbo) wrote,

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Why do 50% of US engineering students drop out?

Don Dodge, formerly of AltaVista, provides some commentary from Daniel Hastings, MIT's Dean of Undergraduate Education.

I'd like to comment on one bullet point:

"Why aren't these professors fired? How is it acceptable that 50% of students drop out? Why are the Deans and Professors of these schools still employed? Some wear it as a badge of honor. Engineering is supposed to be tough and it is expected that students will drop out. However, MIT, Olin College, and other elite engineering schools have dropout rates of less than 2%."

Heh. Professors, especially tenured ones, are not required to pass a given percentage of students. That's not what they are primarily evaluated on. They are there to do research. The higher quality research, the better. That generally involves getting published, and getting their PhD students published, on the way to earning their doctorates. (Publish or perish.) I've even heard professors say they'd like to get out of teaching undergrad classes if they could. One even told a grad student that getting an undergrad TAship was a waste of time.

Another item for the "why engineering is hard" folder.
Tags: education

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