Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Assess Before You Transgress


The cost of college students’ switching majors is high: for them, for taxpayers, and for the economy. It often extends their education by one, two, or more semesters — prolonging the time before they start their careers and the time that taxpayers or parents must subsidize them.

One possible solution is to have them take tests to assess their abilities and interests at the start of their college careers, writes Jenna Ashley Robinson. She took one such test recently — called the Birkman Method — and found it to be a worthwhile exercise that accurately predicted her professional interests (at least in hindsight) and recommends that colleges adopt it or some similar assessment tool.

In fact, high schools might want to start using such tools as well to determine whether students should go to college in the first place, or whether they should enter apprenticeships, join the military, or just go to work until they have a better idea what they want to do. Right now, it seems they often get no serious direction at all.


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