Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates

Featured Session
Friday January 23, 2015 2:45pm to 4:00pm

Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa—authors of Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses—will discuss their new book, Aspiring Adults Adrift, which follows the same cohort of undergraduates through the rest of their college careers and out into the working world.  Built on interviews and detailed surveys of almost a thousand recent college graduates from a diverse range of colleges and universities, Aspiring Adults Adrift reveals a generation facing a difficult transition to adulthood.  Recent graduates report trouble finding decent jobs and developing stable romantic relationships, as well as assuming civic and financial responsibility—yet they remain surprisingly hopeful and upbeat about their prospects.  Analyzing these findings in light of students’ performance on standardized tests of general collegiate skills, selectivity of institutions attended, and choice of major, Arum and Roksa not only map out the current state of a generation too often adrift, but enable us to examine the relationship between college experiences and tentative transitions to adulthood.  Sure to be widely discussed, Aspiring Adults Adrift will compel us once again to re-examine the aims, approaches, and achievements of higher education.


Richard Arum
Professor of Sociology and Education
New York University
Josipa Roksa
Associate Professor of Sociology and Education and Associate Director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
University of Virginia