Students & Parents | General Education

USAO Identified as “Hidden Gem” in National College Report

THE OKLAHOMAN   |  August 31, 2011 by Darla Slipke

Oklahoma colleges and universities scored well on a national report that evaluates the required general education curriculum of more than 1,000 schools.

Schools were graded based on how many core subjects they require.

The core subjects considered in the report are composition, U.S. government or history, economics, literature, math, natural or physical science and foreign language.

More than 60 percent of schools nationwide received a C grade or lower for requiring three core subjects or less, according to the report, called “What Will They Learn?”

It was produced by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a nonprofit organization dedicated to academic freedom and excellence.

About one-third of schools surveyed received a D or F.

Fifteen state schools were included in the report. All but three of them received a B, which means they require four or five of the seven core subjects.

Only 5 percent of the schools surveyed nationwide required economics, and less than 20 percent of schools require U.S. government of history, according to the report.

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha was one of 19 schools nationwide to receive an A rating. The university was identified as a “hidden gem” for integrating an “impressive core curriculum,” according to the report.

President John Feaver said USAO students complete a tightly-organized and coherent academic curriculum that forces them to relate their field of specialization to other areas of study.

“It doesn’t leave the broader realm of academic experience to chance,” Feaver said.

In addition to preparing students for jobs in their chosen career path, the university encourages students to develop a variety of skills that will enable them to lead healthy lives, Feaver said.

Rogers State University, in Claremore, and the University of Tulsa received C’s.

They each required three of the core subjects, according to the report.

In a statement released Tuesday, state Education Secretary Phyllis Hudecki said she was pleased with how Oklahoma schools scored in the report.

“If the U.S. wants to be competitive, our colleges and universities must ensure students learn about math, science, literature, history and other core academic subjects,” Hudecki said in the statement.


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