What a day! Today, the day before the VP Candidate faceoff (I can hardly wait!), the AP busts out with a fabulous story that Sarah Palin switched colleges 6 times in 6 years!
This makes Palin what I referred to in my U. Penn. doctoral dissertation as a "swirling student." Changing colleges is relatively common among today's college students, but as my research shows, it's especially common for students with poor college grades. Palin started at U. Hawaii-Hilo, a four-year school. She moved to Hawaii Pacific (another 4-year) then to North Idaho College (2 year), then to U. Idaho (4 year), then to Matanuska-Susitna College (4- year), and then back to U. Idaho.
What to make of this? Well, as the AP story indicates, her reasons are very unclear. Normally, I would caution anyone against assuming these are indicative of poor decisions (but I won't do that, since this woman is clearly not a maker of good decisions!). But one thing is very, very clear -- it is INCREDIBLY hard to get a coherent, rich college education when you're constantly changing schools. Congrats to Palin for eventually attaining a degree, but it's far from certain that she learned anything from the college experience.
"Aha", you say-- well, that explains her incredible lack of intellect or awareness of the world around her, interest in reading newspapers and so on. Maybe those things are associated with a college education, not a college degree.