Times Are a’Changing: The Beloit College Mindset List

Each year I pass along this Beloit College Mindset list to just about everyone I know. Compiled by Professor Tom McBride and colleague Ron Nief at Beloit College, the list is a set of observations about the entering freshman class — designed to help the Beloit faculty understand a bit more about the thinking and the experiences of their new students. This year’s entering students are in the class of 2014.

According to the Mindset List introduction, “The college class of 2014 reminds us, once again, that a generation comes and goes in the blink of our eyes, which are, like the rest of us, getting older and older.”  Read about the history and background of the Mindset List which Professor McBride has been compiling since 1998.

If you find your self constantly contemplating, even marveling at fast-paced changes in your life, your senior parent’s life, your child’s life and your grandchild’s life, this is a fun read, whether or not you have a college freshman in the family.

Here are a few items from the Mindset list to get you started. Go the Mindset website to read a many more.

  • A quarter of the class has at least one immigrant parent, and the immigration debate is not a big priority unless it involves aliens from another planet.
  • Few in the class know how to write in cursive.
  • With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder to accommodate people with disabilities.
  • They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.
  • Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.
  • Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.
  • American companies have always done business in Vietnam.
  • The dominance of television news by the three networks passed while they were still in their cribs.

…. and more

A Bit More  from Professor McBride’s Introduction:

A generation accustomed to instant access will need to acquire the patience of scholarship. They will discover how to research information in books and journals and not just on-line.

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