How much do cultural and technological shifts affect the mindset of college students? According to the annual Beloit College Mindset List, faculty would do well to keep in mind how dated cultural references and “the changing worldview of each new college generation,” impacts the learning experience. With the class of 2016 arriving on campuses over the next few weeks, faculty and administrators will soon find out what it’s like to interact with a crop of freshman who’ve never known a world without the internet and are concerned about whether a college degree is worth the money.
Some of the list is lighthearted. Today’s college freshmen, most of whom were born in 1994, see Robert De Niro “as Greg Focker’s long-suffering father-in-law, not as Vito Corleone or Jimmy Conway.” These students also have no real memories of a Clinton presidency, have always seen women pilot space shuttles, and are used to getting their news from The Daily Show.