Quick Links – College students seek mental health assistance; students not prepared for college writing; we need to ‘create education better’

by Grace

Almost 40% of Harvard students seek mental health treatment.

45.1% of females and 30.1% of males have sought mental health assistance while at Harvard, according to the Harvard Class of 2013 Senior Survey

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Graduates from low performing D.C high schools:  ‘Students almost universally said writing is a significant challenge when they get to college.’

… Darryl Robinson, a Georgetown student and 2011 graduate of Cesar Chavez, a D.C. charter school, said it was his first college writing assignment that taught him how much he had to learn.

Asked to analyze a memoir, Robinson wrote a simple plot summary. He hadn’t known how to develop an argument and back it up. His paper received a D-minus, as he recalled in an opinion piece he wrote for The Washington Post last year.

“Other Georgetown freshmen from better schools had been trained to form original, concise thoughts within a breath, to focus less on remembering every piece of information,” Robinson wrote. “My former teachers simply did not push me to think past a basic level, to apply concepts, to move beyond memorizing facts and figures.”

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America needs to “create education better“, according to the response Miss Utah gave to a question during the Miss USA pageant.

Of course this flub went viral.  Here’s the question Miss Utah was asked.

“A recent report shows that in 40% of American families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men,  What does this say about society?”

I agree with Linda Holmes of NPR that this was a “simultaneously (1) dumb and (2) impossible to answer question”.  And it may have had another purpose.

That type of question is meant to weed out the un-PC.

Here’s Miss Utah’s complete answer:

“I think we can relate this back to education and how we are continuing to try to strive to figure out how to create jobs right now,’’ she replied at the pageant. “That’s the biggest problem and I think, especially the men are, um, seen as the leaders of this and so we need to try to figure out how to create education better so that we can solve this problem. Thank you.”

In her second try during an appearance on the Today Show, Miss Utah gave a revised answer.

“This is not OK,’’ she said. “It needs to be equal pay for equal work. It’s hard enough already to earn a living, and it shouldn’t be harder just because you’re a woman.”

Given my views on this touchy subject, I don’t care for either response.  But her second try was certainly a politically correct answer.

5 Comments to “Quick Links – College students seek mental health assistance; students not prepared for college writing; we need to ‘create education better’”

  1. I think the Harvard mental health numbers are similar to many schools. I keep reading about student health centers not growing sufficiently to meet burgeoning demand for mental health services. If administration costs begin to be subject to cuts as schools try to survive, I wonder how these services will be affected.


  2. Why can’t the students get mental health services in the community like everyone else? It is stuff like this that is driving the cost increases. Students had mental health issues back when I went to college too, but when a student went to the barebones health clinic on campus, he or she was referred to services out in the community. If a student was disruptive, the parents were asked to come collect him (this happened several times in my experience, most notably when a student in my dorm took off all his clothes one night and started roaming, pounding on everyone’s doors).


  3. Hmm, I believe part of it may be that there are higher expectations among parents and students that if you’re paying $60,000/year for college you should have this service available on campus. A mental health issue (anxiety or depression, or a naked psychotic episode) can make a student lose a semester or more of college, and that’s expensive to parents. Plus, many college locations have lousy community mental health services.

    Perhaps it’s part of the whole up-scaling of the college experience. However, for my money I’d prefer spending on mental health services rather than on rock climbing walls.


  4. But what parents aren’t getting is that college costs 60,000 a year BECAUSE they want mental health on campus. The only way to cheaper tuition is to offer fewer services. You can cut the education part or you can cut ancillary services. As a parent, which do you prefer? I know I want my kids to have the best education part, and I don’t mind skipping the ancillary stuff


  5. I think it’s a “chicken or egg” thing. Today’s college parents didn’t necessarily choose to include mental health or rock walls or gourmet menus, but they are nonetheless confronted with that $60,000 bill. But since they’re paying these inflated prices, they want commensurate services to go along.

    Maybe colleges could start to offer la carte options, with the ability to save money by foregoing certain services.

    It’s simply a mess.


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