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Students Say Challenging Curriculum Is a Top Barrier to On-Time Graduation

More than a third (38 percent) of college students in a recent survey reported they are somewhat worried or very worried that they won't graduate on time, and half (52 percent) are concerned that they won't be able to find a job. The "2017 Student Life and Technology Survey," conducted by OnePoll and sponsored by DubLabs, a company that helps academic institutions develop mobile apps, polled more than 500 United States college students currently enrolled in higher education programs of two or more years, in order to identify "potential barriers to graduation and [learn] how students are leveraging campus resources to stay on track," according to a press release.

The top barriers cited by students were:

  • Challenging curriculum (35 percent);
  • Financial issues (27 percent);
  • Additional responsibilities including work and family (18 percent); and
  • Lack of support/guidance from administration/faculty (8 percent).

When asked about their job prospects after college, 42 percent of respondents said they are concerned about not finding a job that's satisfying, while 39 percent worry about finding a job that pays well. Other fears include having to be financially responsible and not being able to pay off student debts (cited by 31 percent of respondents); living back home with parents (13 percent); and starting a family (11 percent).

The study also examined students' attitudes toward using their campus mobile app to help stay on track. Among the findings: 

  • 75 percent of respondents said their campus mobile app helps them stay on top of course assignments;
  • 71 percent said that their campus app saves them time;
  • 69 percent use their campus mobile app to stay connected to campus life;
  • 67 percent said their campus app helps them better manage their day-to-day life as a student; and
  • 59 percent said their campus app helps them communicate better with teachers.

Students were asked to rate the importance of various campus mobile app features. Academics, including assignments, course discussion and grades, were considered "extremely important" by 79 percent of respondents, followed by:

  • Mobile alerts about grades and assignments (72 percent);
  • E-mail access (63 percent); and
  • Communication with professors, staff and classmates (60 percent).

For more information, visit the DubLabs site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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