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Lifelong Learning for Recent UNLV Graduates

What do recent UNLV graduates say about aspects of their learning that matter most to them after UNLV?

UNLV participated in a large-scale national study conducted by Project Information Literacy (PIL) on college graduates and lifelong learning—defined as purposeful and ongoing learning that aims to improve skills and knowledge for: (1) use in the workplace, (2) engagement in community activities, and (3) participation in personal activities and hobbies.

It may surprise you to discover that the college learning that mattered most to recent graduates was not specifically tied to their major. Regardless of major, the learning they reported as most helpful in “real life” came through doing things like extracurricular projects and challenging academic assignments such as a senior thesis or a capstone experience. This confirms what other studies have also shown: that "learning through doing" transfers even more than content knowledge.

The full study will be released in December 2015, but preliminary reports and our local data have already provided some interesting and useful information about recent UNLV graduates and their information-seeking behaviors. Your recent graduates expressed that:

• UNLV was most important for “teaching them to learn how to learn,” “to think analytically,” and giving them confidence to “learn anything on their own” so that they could grow by keeping up-to-date in their learning;
• they face having a wide range of learning needs once they make the transition from college to “real life” and are challenged by “staying smart” in a rapidly changing world;
• they prefer to learn through either face-to-face job training opportunities or popular online sites like YouTube and Pinterest to pick up new skills and “how to” information;
• almost half had read five or more books in the last year and were as likely to use public libraries as they were to use search engines for finding information they can use in their personal lives.

Library faculty at UNLV partner with classroom faculty to prepare students to approach life with curiosity and a sense of personal agency. This research supports the value of our collaboration with you to embed discovery-based learning into curriculum and reveals that our graduates themselves recognize its worth.


Contact your subject librarian to discuss ways to integrate discovery-based learning in your courses.


Early Survey Trends reported by Project Information Literacy (PIL). Infographic Source: PIL, 2015