Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Vasti Torres lends expertise on post-traditional college students to debate over Times Higher Education article


Professor Vasti Torres was interviewed by Sara Custer for a Times Higher Education (THE) podcast. For the podcast “Tensions between faculty and their students” Torres shares expertise on the evolving relationship between faculty and students, a growing population of whom are considered nontraditional—or post-traditional—students.

The podcast delves into a debate that began over an article written by an anonymous college instructor about students who do not meet the expectations of his or her classes. In the original article, “Millennials: the age of entitlement,” the author attributes the devaluation of intellectualism to a generational attitude.

Custer turned to Torres for insights on the author’s frustrations and on current college student traits. As Torres points out, the majority of faculty teaching today have had a traditional student experience, thus creating some dissonance with the experiences of post-traditional students. Students’ instructional needs are different and Torres warns against focusing on what students should be able to do rather than understanding the students that are in class.

Torres also describes metric fatigue around the expectations placed on faculty to improve student recruitment and retention, but without the proper support to do so. Torres places emphasis on the importance of preparing graduate students to become faculty who will successfully employ the skills needed to teach students of any generation or circumstance. 

Vasti Torres is Professor

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