Students and teachers who work in institutions like public universities, private colleges, and state universities can be better prepared to meet the challenges of today’s changing workforce than those who are forced to attend schools where they’re not used to working with students.
But that doesn’t mean that students and workers can’t benefit from a greater focus on academic performance, according to a new study.
In fact, the study found that students who work at a college or university experience lower academic performance and graduation rates than those at other schools.
Students who are not exposed to classrooms with classroom work experience are less likely to achieve academic and job success, the researchers said.
And, the higher the proportion of students who attend institutions where they work, the worse their grades and graduation are.
“Students who attend higher-quality institutions are more likely to have their grades rise and be successful in the future, and they are more educated, so the longer they’re there, the better they are,” said lead author Roberta Wiesner, an associate professor of education at the University of Chicago.
“The more they’re here, the more they understand the classroom, and the more it becomes part of their culture.”
“The bigger the impact, the bigger the benefit,” Wiesen said.
The study, which was published in the journal Education Research and Policy, analyzed data from the National Center for Education Statistics.
Researchers found that, across a range of variables, students who had worked in schools with classrooms that met the educational needs of a majority of students received higher academic performance on average than students who did not.
More broadly, the findings showed that students at schools where teachers were exposed to the classroom worked more effectively and graduated more often.
Wiesner noted that the results also found that the more students who attended an institution, the lower their graduation rates.
Among other findings, the survey found that teachers were more likely than other teachers to use their classroom time to help students learn.
Also, the students who worked in institutions with classrooms where they had more classroom work experiences were more than twice as likely to be successful academically than students in other schools, the results showed.
For students, the impact of the study was especially notable for those who had previously attended an elite college or a university.
Because they’re more likely for a variety of reasons to be in college or graduate school, higher-achieving students and those who have been in the workforce longer were more able to see their academic performance improve, the authors said.
The authors also found students who were in schools where classroom work was allowed to continue had lower rates of poor academic achievement and graduation.
Even more striking, the research also found higher-performing students and students who have a history of working with disadvantaged students had the greatest impact.
But the researchers cautioned that the study did not necessarily prove that students should stay at school or work for a particular institution.
Other research shows that students with the same academic and career potential as their peers may have a higher chance of attending the same institution or working at a different one.
This research was funded by the National Science Foundation.