Press Releases | General Education

ACTA Praises CUNY Board for Adopting Rigorous Core Curriculum

May 23, 2000

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Council of Trustees and Alumni today praised the City University Board of Trustees for its decision to adopt a far-ranging core curriculum at the City System. CUNY is the largest public university system in the country with more than 200,0000 students.

Under the new plan, all graduates will be required to take courses in writing, history, literature, mathematics and science. The requirements will replace the existing curriculum which offers a smorgasbord of options and few requirements. A study conducted by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni and the Empire Foundation in early 1998—“A Failure to Set High Standards”—found that students could graduate from the CUNY system with gaping holes in core subjects and called for the adoption of a rigorous core curriculum.

“The CUNY board has taken an important step to restore CUNY to the ranks of top universities in the country and to assure that its graduates are equipped for the professional and academic challenges that lie ahead,” said ACTA president Jerry L. Martin. “CUNY is part of a growing trend nationwide to reject narrow and trivial courses in favor of a broad-based coherent body of knowledge.

CUNY’s action follows that of the State University of New York, George Mason University, and James Madison University which have all adopted more rigorous curricular requirements in recent years. Together, these universities educate more than half a million students.

“The CUNY board has provided leadership to the nation and an inspiration to other trustees,” Martin said.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni is a national nonprofit organization of alumni and trustees dedicated to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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