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Relevance and Perceptions of Higher Education

April 4, 2018

People are much more likely to have positive perceptions about the value and quality of their college experience when they feel their college courses are relevant to their work and daily lives, according to the results of a survey conducted by Strada Education Network and Gallup.

The survey, which is part of a broader series from the two groups, included a nationally representative sample of 78,000 adults who were employed and had taken at least some college courses. It found that respondents who had a positive feeling about the relevance of their college courses were 63 percentage points more likely to strongly agree that their education was worth the cost. They also were 50 percentage points more likely to strongly agree that they received a high-quality education.

“The clarity and strength of these findings tell us that career relevance of courses and experiences is a key driver of consumer assessments of the quality and value of their education,” Brandon Busteed, executive director of education and work-force development at Gallup, said in a written statement.

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Paul Fain

Paul Fain, Contributing Editor, came to Inside Higher Ed in September 2011, after a six-year stint covering leadership and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Paul has also worked in higher ed P.R., with Widmeyer Communications, but couldn't stay away from reporting. A former staff writer for C-VILLE Weekly, a newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., Paul has written for The New York Times, Washington City Paper and Mother Jones. He's won a few journalism awards, including one for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association and the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. Paul got hooked on journalism while working too many hours at The Review, the student newspaper at the University of Delaware, where he earned a degree in political science in 1996. A native of Dayton, Ohio, and a long-suffering fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Fain plays guitar in a band with more possible names than polished songs.

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