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.

No U.S. History?

How College History Departments Leave the United States out of the Major

July 2016 by

Just as July 4th celebrations are set to begin, ACTA's new report, No U.S. History? How College History Departments Leave the United States out of the Major, reveals that less than 1/3 of the nations leading colleges and universities require students pursuing a degree in history to take a single course in American history. Only 23 undergraduate history programs at the U.S. News & World Report’s top 25 national universities, top 25 public institutions, and top 25 liberal arts colleges require a single U.S. history class. And many of the same institutions that do not require history majors to take a course on United States history do specify that they must complete coursework on areas outside the United States. "Historical illiteracy is the inevitable consequence of lax college requirements, and that ignorance leads to civic disempowerment,” observed Michael Poliakoff, ACTA’s president-elect. “A democratic republic cannot thrive without well-informed citizens and leaders."


SELECTED FINDINGS

Instead of U.S. History . . .

Given what we know about the historical illiteracy of young Americans, it would seem irresponsible not to make the study of our history and government mandatory for all students. Not to require students majoring in history to take, at a minium, a course with reasonable chronological and thematic breadth on the history of the United State would be a truly breathtaking abandonment of intellecutal standards and professional judgment.  Continue Reading >>

Press

Few Top Schools Require History Majors to Broadly Study U.S.’s Past

Wall Street Journal
June 29, 2016 by Melissa Korn |

History majors at top colleges don’t know much about U.S. history—or at least they don’t have to.

A new report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a nonprofit group that advocates for...

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Opinion Journal: Who Cares About U.S. History?

Opinion Journal
June 30, 2016 by |

American Council of Trustees and Alumni President Michael Poliakoff on why top colleges aren’t requiring history majors to study U.S. history.

Continue Reading >>