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ERIC Number: ED535766
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 51
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Shining the Light: A Report Card on Georgia's System of Public Higher Education
Palmiero, Phyllis
American Council of Trustees and Alumni
Parents and taxpayers are frustrated by reports of students who have failed to master the reading, writing, and thinking skills they expect of college graduates. They are searching for evidence of how much or how little students learn at competing institutions. And they are wondering why a third of full-time college graduates don't finish a four-year degree in six years, let alone four. The U.S. Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education underscored the challenges in its 2006 report, "A Test of Leadership." It said that the higher education sector's "past attainments have led our nation to unwarranted complacency about its future." Universities have "remained so far ahead of our competitors for so long," the Commission wrote, that "we began to take our postsecondary superiority for granted." Meanwhile, other nations are "educating more of their citizens to more advanced levels than we are." Against this backdrop of concern--from the highest levels of the federal government to parents and taxpayers across the country--the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) developed this report card on public higher education in Georgia. If the nation is to ensure its continued preeminence, policymakers, trustees, alumni, and taxpayers must know what's going on in higher education. This report card aims to do just that--and it will be followed by others in different states. It takes a close look at the University System of Georgia (USG), focusing on four key areas of the public's interest: what students are learning (the curriculum), whether the marketplace of ideas is vibrant (intellectual diversity), how the universities are run (governance), and what a college education costs (affordability). Applying the benchmark used by the System's largest institution--the University of Georgia--to determine whether students pass or fail (64 percent), this report card offers a Passing or Failing grade on each point. The first section focuses on general education--those courses completed usually within the first two years of a bachelor's degree program. In the second section, the author focuses on intellectual diversity, a value that lies at the very heart of the educational enterprise. The third section turns to governance and the USG Regents. Lastly, the author takes a look at USG in terms of cost and effectiveness. Appended are: (1) Selection Criteria for Core Courses; and (2) Student Survey Data. (Contains 34 footnotes.)
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
Identifiers - Location: Georgia