Students & Parents | General Education

What Will They Learn? 2016-17

A Survey of Core Requirements at Our Nation's Colleges and Universities
September 29, 2016 by ACTA Download PDF Press Release

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 policymakers, at a time when college graduates are already too familiar with both financial debt and intellectual deficit. This report and the companion website,, 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.


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