This weekend the New York Times used my alma mater, the University of Arizona, as their example for a story on how most large colleges, while offering a largely impersonal education, are trying to help students not get lost in the system.

The freshman class alone exceeds the population of a small town, and the course catalog is the size of a phone book. Mike Morefield, a junior at Arizona, remembers his first year: "It’s like somebody comes along with a pin right after high school, pops your bubble, picks you up, throws you naked into some college, and you’ve got to figure it out."

Arizona has more buildings (and probably fewer parking spaces) now than when I attended – and managed to graduate in the standard four years. But I’m not sure the experience of the students profiled in the story is that much different.

The full story (very long) is a very good look at how universities like Arizona are trying to find ways to help students find their way through the maze.