What Will They Learn? Not That Much

The redoubtable Anne Neal, President of ACTA, has released a survey entitled “What Will They Learn?” – a sobering analysis of general education in the nation’s colleges and universities. The report covers major public and private institutions in all 50 states.

Each of the higher education institutions was assigned a letter grade from “A” to “F” based on the requirement seven core subjects: composition, U.S. government or history, economics, literature, math, science, and foreign languages. 

The results are troubling. Only 5 percent of those in the survey require economics. Slightly less than 20 percent require intermediate level foreign language. Moreover, cost is not correlated to quality. The higher the tuition, the more likely it is that students are left without guidance on general education subjects.

This study demonstrates that most parents are not getting what they believe they are paying for. Most assume there are general education requirements. However, it is clear that faculty members have abdicated any responsibility for guiding the curriculum. Students are increasingly seeking programs without rigor. And administrators tend to pander as long as students continue to enroll. But, by any standard, college education – based on this survey – is a fraud that, thanks to the ACTA report, has been exposed.


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