CONTACT: STEPHEN PRADARELLI
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 6, 2001
Pascarella's 'How College Affects Students' named classic
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa College of Education professor's
book on the impact of college on students has been selected as one of the
"100 most important and influential books about U.S. colleges and universities
in the 20th century."
How College Affects Students: Findings and Insights from Twenty Years of
Research, written in 1991 by Ernest T. Pascarella, the UI's Mary Louise Petersen
Professor of Higher Education, and Patrick T. Terenzini, a professor of higher
education at Penn State, is included in a new publication titled 100 Classic
Books About Higher Education: A Compendium and Essays, by Cameron Fincher,
George Keller, E. Grady Bogue and John R. Thelin.
The book was published this month by the foundation of Phi Delta Kappa International,
a professional association for educators based in Bloomington, Ind. Members
of Phi Delta Kappa range from classroom teachers and school administrators
to college and university professors.
In addition to Pascarella's book, 100 Classic Books includes such notable
works on higher education as Investment in Learning: The Individual and Social
Value of American Higher Education, by Howard Bowen, a former University of
Iowa president; the Uses of the University, by Clark Kerr; and even William
F. Buckley's God and Man At Yale: The Superstitions of "Academic Freedom."
"So, yeah, we're pretty happy to be in that company," Pascarella
In an introduction to the 79-page 100 Classic Books, Keller -- a higher-education
scholar and education consultant who previously chaired the program in higher
education studies at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education
-- said he and his coauthors included what they regard to be "100 of
the most important and influential books about U.S. colleges and universities
in the 20th century." By classics, he writes, the authors meant "those
books that in one way or another had a significant effect on the public understanding
about higher education during the past century."
The authors describe Pascarella's book as "a comprehensive and eye-opening
meta-evaluation of some 2,600 research studies detailing the effect of college
on student cognitive growth, values and attitudes, psychosocial changes, career
attainment, moral development and economic benefits."
They say the 900-page book, which features summary tables and exploration
of effect by college type and size, "finds that what a college does with
students is more important than where students attend college, that student-faculty
interaction makes a big difference, and many other revealing insights."
How College Affects Students was published by Jossey-Bass in San Francisco
when Pascarella was a professor of higher education at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Pascarella and Terenzini had collaborated on research since they were in graduate
school together at Syracuse University in the mid-1970s.
Although the authors only expected to sell a couple thousand copies of their
book, How College Affects Students has gone on to sell almost 16,000 copies
and is now in its fifth printing. Pascarella thinks that one reason for his
book's success is that it synthesizes 2,600 studies.
"I think that's been useful for a lot of people, and that's why it's
used in a lot of places," Pascarella said, adding that the book has found
favor not only with social scientists and higher education scholars, but also
with educators teaching research methods. "There's a lot of mythology
about how college impacts students. There's a huge body of evidence, but most
people don't know where it is or choose to ignore it."
Pascarella and Terenzini are now writing an updated edition of How College
Affects Students, which originally covered research published between 1968
and 1989. The new version, which Pascarella hopes to see published within
two years (again by Jossey-Bass), will fold in research from the decade of
More information about 100 Classic Books is available on Phi Delta Kappa's
Web site at http://www.pdkintl.org/products/nps015.htm.