College Freshmen Increasingly Unprepared

New Textbook Supplements Helping More Students Succeed

Professors are Cost-Conscious, but Value Effectiveness More

Sep 14, 2006, 01:00 ET from Association of American Publishers

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- More than half (55 percent) of
 college instructors say this year's entering freshmen are not ready for
 college-level studies, according to a new Zogby International study that
 was released today by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). The
 figure is even higher at two-year colleges, where three-quarters (75
 percent) of faculty members consider incoming students to be unprepared.
     To address this growing challenge, a majority of college professors (53
 percent) are using some form of textbook supplements or integrated learning
 tools in their classrooms.
     "These findings are a wake-up call for anyone who is concerned about
 the future of higher education and America's competitiveness," said
 Patricia Schroeder, president and chief executive officer of AAP. "Too many
 college students are not ready for college work, and they need new types of
 learning tools to succeed."
     The survey found that:
     * Two in three professors (65 percent) say that supplemental course
       materials, such as study guides, online homework and tutorial systems,
       help retain students who might otherwise fail to complete courses or
       drop out of school.
     * Nearly eight in ten (79 percent) college-level instructors say their
       less-prepared students would do "significantly better" in introductory-
       level courses if they spent more time using supplemental materials.
       Nine in ten professors (90 percent) say these students would do better
       if they made greater use of the assigned textbook.
     "Professors say these tools enable students to learn more efficiently,"
 said Bruce Hildebrand, AAP's executive director for higher education. "In
 response, publishers are offering more options than ever before for
 textbooks and integrated or supplemental learning materials."
     The findings released today are relevant for all students, the study
 noted, not just for those who are less prepared. Among these findings:
     * More than three in four professors (77 percent) say that supplemental
       materials "clearly enhance most students' learning."
     * A 57 percent majority say most students would be more successful in
       their coursework if faculty members required the use of supplemental
     * More than four in five (86 percent) instructors require or recommend
       supplemental materials for their students, an 11 percent increase from
       an earlier faculty survey conducted by Zogby in December 2004, and about
       the same number (90 percent) require or recommend a textbook for courses
       they teach.
     "To meet the needs of diverse student populations, college instructors
 are relying more heavily on new types of learning tools that accompany
 today's modern textbooks and personalize the learning process," said
 Schroeder. "The fact that the use of these materials has increased 11
 percent over a year and half ago is a clear sign that professors are seeing
 positive results, and that means academic success for more students."
     When deciding which textbook to adopt for their courses, the survey
 found that instructors consider both price and quality. According to Zogby
 International, "Professors are requiring the materials they believe can
 help their students succeed -- new textbooks and supplemental tools --
 which suggest professors believe the price of success outweighs the cost of
     Approximately three quarters (73 percent) of instructors agree that
 price is important to them when choosing a textbook, but nearly as many
 said the usefulness of the textbook is the more important factor. By more
 than 17 to one (71 percent to 4 percent), instructors said they place more
 importance on the effectiveness of a learning tool than on the price.
     Today, publishers offer a variety of supplemental materials, including
 study guides, practice quizzes, and interactive or online tutorials. In
 addition, modern textbook choices can range from split editions, textbooks
 by the chapter, electronic versions, black-and-white editions, custom books
 and abbreviated editions, thereby providing students with lower costs and
 better value.
     Zogby International conducted the nationwide survey of more than 500
 college or graduate school instructors at two-year and four-year
     To view the complete survey results, please visit the Association of
 American Publishers at
     About the Association of American Publishers:
     The Association of American Publishers is the national trade
 association of the U.S. book publishing industry. AAP's more than 300
 members include most of the major commercial publishers in the United
 States, as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses
 and scholarly societies -- small and large. AAP members publish hardcover
 and paperback books in every field, educational materials for the
 elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and professional markets, scholarly
 journals, computer software, and electronic products and services. The
 protection of intellectual property rights in all media, the defense of the
 freedom to read and the freedom to publish at home and abroad, and the
 promotion of reading and literacy are among the Association's highest
     About Zogby International:
     Zogby International, a leader in the field of public opinion, has been
 tracking public opinion since 1984 in North America, Latin America, the
 Middle East, Asia, and Europe. Zogby International is constantly searching,
 testing and measuring hypotheses and principles on polling and public
 opinion research. Working with a panel of psychologists, sociologists,
 computer experts, linguists, political scientists, economists, and
 mathematicians, the company explores every nuance in language and tests new
 methods in public opinion research.
     Survey Methodology:
     Zogby International conducted online interviews with 502 college / tech
 / graduate professors from August 29 - 30, 2006. The margin of error is +/-
 4.5 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.

SOURCE Association of American Publishers