Survey Questions How Challenging College Has Become

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New research from the National Survey of Student Engagement found the number of hours college students spend studying has decreased dramatically.

The survey found the amount of time they spent studying, reading and writing has gone down from 24 to about 15 hours a week.

Mark Metzler Sawin, a professor of U.S. History and director of the honors program at Eastern Mennonite University, said where he teaches, professors are encouraged to assign about three to four hours of work outside of class for every hour they are in class.

He said most professors are doing that, but pointed out that it is up to the students whether they choose to do the work or not.

Metzler Sawin said he would like to see how juniors and seniors feel about the study, adding that classes become more difficult later on during a student's college career.

"I think we could make it harder, especially in the first two years. But the consequence of that would be a lot more students failing out in their first two years, so the question is: Do you keep it a bit easier and encourage and coach them along? Or do you make it rigorous and cut them off within their first two years?" he said.

Metzler Sawin said now, most colleges have started honors programs and remedial programs to target students at individual learning levels that are at the same college.

He said professors are also spending more time monitoring attendance.