Preparing for College

Who Are The Best College Professors?

Question for all you high school seniors who are heading to college: What do you think of when you imagine sitting in class at your first-choice institution of higher learning? Do you picture yourself taking volumes of notes while your distinguished, perhaps even multi-Ph.D'd professor intones endless pearls of wisdom from his elevated platform? Perhaps her credentials on her “CV" (that's a fancy term for a resume or–for you college applicants– “brag sheet") could propel her into a lofty Federal government position, maybe even a Cabinet secretary.

Professors have a certain aura and manner. Maybe that's because they are “tenured." That means that short of a direct nuclear strike, they will remain ensconced in their ivory towers forever. Does all that sound familiar? It makes sense then that these prestigious keepers of the higher education flame are the ones you should hope to encounter in order to get your money's worth out of those hard-earned, exorbitant tuition dollars, right? Well, not so fast there, guys.

A major new study has found that new students at Northwestern University learn more when their instructors are adjuncts rather than when they are Professor Kingsfield types. You know, the kind with gray beards, three-piece suits, and a pipe. Why is this? Well, let's take a look.

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