'Major' Change Might Help College Students Graduate
Only 60 percent of students seeking a bachelor's degree at an American college or university finish their study program within six years.
That information comes from the United States Department of Education. It was part of a report released in May.
The report talks about full-time students who attended a four-year college or university for the first time in 2008. It states that 60 percent of them completed their degree program by 2014.
Experts say there are many reasons why this number is so low. But many schools are looking for ways to increase the graduation rate.
For example, every American college or university requires students to identify the main subject, or "major," of their studies. After all their requirements have been met, students receive their degree in that major.
Some universities require individuals to declare a major at the beginning of their studies. Other schools let students wait until their second year. Changing majors is also acceptable. But some experts argue against changing majors. They note it may cause students to take more time to complete their degree program.
However, a new study suggests that students who change their majors may be more likely to graduate.
The Education Advisory Board (EAB) released the report on the study last month. The board studies higher education and tries to help American colleges and universities make improvements.
The study was based on information gathered from over 78,000 college students. It looked at the graduation rate of students who changed majors within the first four years of study. On average, their graduation rate was between about four to six percent higher than students who never changed majors.
The report also suggests that changing majors within the first three years of study has little to no effect on the average time it takes students to complete their degree.
The EAB's senior director Ed Venit wrote the report. He would not comment on whether or not college students should change majors. But he said that about 80 percent of students do change at some point.
Venit also said it is not completely clear why changing majors might help students. But he thinks some people become more invested in their studies once they have had time to decide what they truly want to do.
"Students who chose a major early on: maybe they didn't have full information about what they wanted to do. Maybe they just picked something that felt familiar ... or their parents pushed them to something, whatever it might be. But maybe they didn't make a full choice early on. ... Those students were only, perhaps ... just kind of attached to their major, versus students who either wait and explore a little bit longer or have declared something, explored further and found something else that they like even better."
Venit added that the Department of Education's graduation rate information is not completely correct. It only includes the rates for students studying for the first time -- not for those who have changed schools. These students represent about 40 percent of the university population across the United States.
The real six-year graduation rate is only between 53 and 55 percent, Venit said. He said that it is difficult to understand why the rate is so low. Some students leave school because of poor academic performance. Others leave because they lack the money to pay for their schooling. And others leave because they feel they are not getting enough in return for the high cost of higher education.
No matter the reason, Venit said, this is the biggest and most complex problem facing higher education.
I'm Pete Musto.
1.bachelor's degree 学士学位
I have received a Bachelor's degree in finance.
The way she did it, mothering was a full-time job.
3.the graduation rate 毕业率
Since then the graduation rate has improved by ten to fifteen percent.
4.in return 作为报答
I'll sell at a discount in return for a speedy sale.
1.On average, their graduation rate was between about four to six percent higher than students who never changed majors.
On average 平均；普通
American shares rose, on average, by 38%
On average each report requires 1,000 hours to prepare
2.The report also suggests that changing majors within the first three years of study has little to no effect on the average time it takes students to complete their degree.
has no effect on 对...没有作用
The medicine has no effect on me.
The advice has no effect on me.
该报告主要以2008年入学就读于四年制高校的全日制学生为研究对象 。截止2014年，只有60%的大学生完成了学业 。
专家称，这一数字如此之低有多方面的原因 。然而，很多学校都在想方设法提高学生毕业率 。
例如，所有的美国大学都要求学生选择主修学科，即“专业” 。待学生达到要求后，就会获得该专业的学位 。
一些大学要求学生在入校之初就选定专业 。而其他学校则让学生在第二年选修专业 。学校还允许调换专业 。但是一些专家反对调换专业 。他们觉得这会让学生花费更多的时间来修完学位课程 。
教育咨询委员会（EAB）上月发布了一项报告 。该机构专门研究高等教育以帮助美国高校进行改进 。
该研究对7.8万名大学生的数据材料进行分析 。主要调查前4年里调换专业学生的毕业率 。平均来说，这些学生的毕业率比从未曾调换专业的学生高4%-6% 。
教育咨询委员会的资深总监Ed Venit是这份报告的作者 。对于学生是否应该调换专业，他未作出任何回应 。但他表示，80%的学生都会在某个时间作出某些改变 。
Venit表示，还不完全确定为何调换专业会有助于学生毕业 。但他认为一旦能够自行决定真正想做什么，学生就会更加投入地学习 。
“提前选择专业的学生，也许他们还没有完全意识到自己真正想做什么 。也许他们只是选择了相对熟悉的专业，或者迫于父母的压力而做出了选择 。他们在早期并未充分地考虑 。那些学生只是被迫学习这些专业，而另一些学生则先观望，等更深入地了解后再做选择；或先选择某一专业，之后进一步探索，然后发现更倾心的专业”
Venit还补充道，教育部的毕业率信息并不完全正确 。该数据只囊括了那些初次入学的学生的毕业率，并不包括那些转校学生的毕业率 。转校学生占美国大学生40% 。
Venit说，真正的6年毕业率只有53%到55% 。他表示很难理解为什么毕业率如此之低 。一些学生因为表现差而退学 。另一些则是难以承担高昂学费而辍学 。还有一些人是因没能从学费高昂的高等教育中获取相应的回报而退学 。