ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

What benchmarks can states use to measure the effectiveness of their public higher education systems? ACTA’s series of state report cards provide in-depth analysis.

Trustees and policymakers look to ACTA’s state report cards for at-a-glance information in key areas of public interest including general education requirements, cost and effectiveness, intellectual diversity, and governance structures. Students and families can use ACTA’s state reports as a resource as they make critical decisions about their investment in a college education.

Each report card examines trends in academic standards, affordability, student performance, and resource utilization, and highlights best practices for governing boards at public institutions of higher education across the state.

WHAT WE ARE DOING

General Education

ACTA’s reports examine the general education requirements at each public college and university in the state, in order to answer the question of whether college graduates will acquire the critical liberal arts skills and knowledge needed for success in career and community. ACTA also looks for evidence of the use of nationally-normed assessments to measure student progress in gaining core collegiate skills such an formal writing and analytical reasoning.

Intellectual Diversity

Intellectual diversity is the very lifeblood of higher education. When the free exchange of ideas ceases, only indoctrination and intellectual stagnation will remain. Accordingly, through student surveys and analysis of campus practices, ACTA gathers information and reports whether students and faculty are free from coercion, intimidation, and indoctrination and whether their institutions foster or restrict vigorous academic inquiry and discourse.

Cost and Effectiveness

The price of tuition has skyrocketed over the past few decades—and ACTA’s state reports show how these costs affect everyday households as a rising percentage of median household income. Our analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Education reveals how institutions are spending their money, tracks changes in graduation and retention rates, and analyzes whether institutions are efficiently using their classroom and laboratory space.

Governance

ACTA’s reports assess the structure and procedures of governing boards and highlight best practices. We report the extent to which trustees and regents execute their fiduciary responsibilities and examine both their successes and shortcomings in furthering accountability and transparency in public higher education.

Resources

Florida Rising

June 2013 by ACTA |  

ACTA’s 11th state report finds higher education in Florida has both sunny spots and storms to avoid, yet overall has strong potential to set an example for other states to follow. The report,… Continue Reading >>

Best Laid Plans

June 2012 by ACTA |  

At a time of major fiscal crisis and growing student and faculty unrest, ACTA's report points the finger at California's college and university trustees as both the problem-—and the solution-—to… Continue Reading >>

What’s going on in California?

June 2012 by ACTA |  

A video overview of ACTA’s recent report Best Laid Plans examines the alarming state of higher ed in the Golden State and what the public can do about it. 

Continue Reading >>

Press

ACTA on Tallahassee’s Talk Radio 100.7 WFLA

Tallahassee's Talk Radio 100.7 WFLA
June 19, 2013 |  

Host Preston Scott interviewed American Council of Trustees and Alumni Vice President of Policy, Michael Poliakoff, about ACTA's new state report card, "Florida Rising: An Assessment of Public… Continue Reading >>

Report: Florida Universities Improve Grad Rates While Keeping Costs Down

NPR StateImpact Florida
June 06, 2013 |  

A new report finds Florida’s public university system is a good model in affordability for the rest of the country.

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Waste, Bloat and Excess: Report outlines derailment of California higher education

June 04, 2012 |  

WASHINGTON, DC—At a time of major fiscal crisis and growing student and faculty unrest, a new report by the American Council of Trustees points to California's college and university trustees… Continue Reading >>