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 Will They Learn? 2016-17

A Survey of Core Requirements at Our Nation's Colleges and Universities

September 2016 by ACTA

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni today released the seventh edition of the What Will They Learn? ratings. Early this year, in a Gallup survey of universities, nearly 100% of provosts said they felt their institutions were either “very effective” or “somewhat effective” at preparing students for the workforce. But a survey of employers showed that over 70% found college graduates were not well-prepared in skills such as “written communication,” “working with numbers/statistics,” “critical/analytical thinking,” and second-language proficiency. This is a wake-up call for students, parents, and policy makers, at a time when college graduates are already too familiar with both financial debt and intellectual deficit. This report and the companion website, WhatWillTheyLearn.com, evaluates the core requirements at over 1,100 institutions and details whether each school requires literature, U.S. government or history, foreign language, mathematics, economics, science, and composition. ACTA assigns each school a letter grade, and notes explain the grades assigned and noteworthy programs within schools.


Selected Findings

Executive Summary

A college education is a very big part of the American Dream. It has long been recognized as the pathway to prosperity for both the individual and the nation. Access to a high quality, affordable college degree is, not surprisingly, a topic of intense interest in the lead-up to the coming presidential election. But so too is a quite different value proposition not often asked in the past: Is college worth it? Continue Reading>>

Press

Report: Most liberal arts requirements are average or below average

USA Today
October 22, 2016 by Christy Osler |

For many college students, taking core and general education requirements is a drag.

But it could be that we need more core requirements, not fewer.

A report released… Continue Reading >>

How Colleges Are Failing Liberal Arts Majors

Money
November 2, 2016 by Kenneth Kolson & Alexis Zhang |

Students get too many soft electives and too few core courses, these experts say.

Despite the upturn in the job market, many recent graduates are unemployed or underemployed, and the cautionary… Continue Reading >>

Penn State nets a ‘C’ in gen ed assessment

Centre Daily Times
October 8, 2016 by Lori Falce |

Report cards are how we measure what kids learn.

Penn State recently got one critiquing what it teaches.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni put out an assessment of general education… Continue Reading >>