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ERIC Number: ED535761
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 55
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
What Will They Learn? A Report on General Education Requirements at 100 of the Nation's Leading Colleges and Universities
Diaz, Sandra; Kempson, Lauri
American Council of Trustees and Alumni
What will they learn? That is the simple question the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) asks in this report. The authors do so by exploring the state of general education, those courses designed to give college students a firm grounding in the areas of knowledge they will use for a lifetime. Specifically, the authors evaluate whether 100 major institutions require seven key subjects: English composition, literature, foreign language, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics, and science. What they found is alarming. Even as students need broad-based skills and knowledge to succeed in the global marketplace, colleges and universities are failing to deliver. Topics like U.S. government or history, literature, mathematics, and economics have become mere options on far too many campuses. Not surprisingly, students are graduating with great gaps in their knowledge--and employers are noticing. If not remedied, this will have significant consequences for U.S. competitiveness and innovation. That is why ACTA is issuing this report. Their assessment cuts through the verbiage in college catalogs and shows what really matters: what the students will be expected to learn. Especially in this era of rising tuition and uncertain economic prospects, the authors hope their findings will help parents and students vote with their wallets and motivate trustees and alumni to demand more of their institutions. A list of colleges is appended. (Contains 26 endnotes.)
American Council of Trustees and Alumni. 1726 M Street NW Suite 802, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 888-258-6648; Tel: 202-467-6787; Fax: 202-467-6784; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Council of Trustees and Alumni