Before choosing where to go for college, high school students and their parents usually spend time ____________ ____________, evaluating various colleges and universities. Many also consult the college ____________ published by a number of magazines and organizations. Those lists ____________ schools on such criteria as ____________, student SAT scores, and the number of Nobel Prize winners on ____________. This year, a new ranking considered a different ____________.
What are students at this school expected to learn? That was the question ____________ by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni to 100 colleges and universities across the country. ACTA is an independent nonprofit ____________ ____________ academic freedom, quality and ____________. Its president, Anne Neal, says ACTA wanted to compare educational ____________… not academic ____________.
The report looked at seven key subjects: math, science, ____________, U.S. history or government, economics, foreign languages and literature. Courses in these key areas of knowledge are necessary for students to be successful in their careers and life, Neal says
"Our belief is that it's ____________ that students be ____________ in reading and writing, that they understand enough math, science and economics to be able to ____________ in a 21st century society, that they will be able to communicate in a foreign language since we live in an increasingly inter-____________ world, and that they have a working knowledge of the history and ____________ institutions of their own country that ____________ them ____________ ____________ citizenship," she explains.
Survey results surprising
Neal says they were ____________ that many universities graduate students "with a very ____________, thin education. 42 of the institutions surveyed required two or fewer of the key subjects. Five institutions were given an "A" by the ACTA for requiring 6 subjects: Brooklyn College, Texas A&M, University of Texas-Austin, West Point and University of Arkansas."
"I'm very proud that the University of Arkansas has for a long time had a very serious academic ____________," says Robert Costrell, professor of Education Reform and Economics at the University of Arkansas. He explains how students could graduate from some colleges without learning much about the basic areas the ACTA report ____________.
Costrell says many selective universities in the United States have ____________ ____________ or ____________ their core corricula. "Instead what many universities moved to was a system where there were different broad ____________ of courses that a student could choose to satisfy [requirements]."He believes the choices students are given in many cases lean more "towards the ____________ treatment of serious material."
Higher tuition doesn't guarantee better education
"In fact the ____________ the tuition, we found the ____________ ____________ it is that students are left to ____________ their own general education," says Anne Neal. "For example the average tuition and fees at the 11 schools that require no subjects is ,700 and by ____________ comparison, the average tuition and fees at the 5 schools that require 6 subjects is only ,400."
For Richard Wong, Executive Director of the American School Counselor Association, the new ranking is a valuable ____________. High school guidance ____________ often help students ____________ ____________ the many colleges they could ____________ ____________. However, Wong says, there are other qualities that should be ____________ ____________ ____________ when comparing schools.
"What this ranking focuses on is the more broad, general education courses rather than the ____________ to the major," he says. "There may be some people, for example, who say if they want an engineering degree, they want to go to a school that will provide the best education in engineering and not necessarily requires that the student knows world history." He believes the ACTA survey should be just one tool among many used by parents and students to ____________ their ____________.
No matter how the ACTA report is used, University of Arkansas Professor Robert Costrell sees it as an ____________ for schools across the country to re-examine what they teach their students.
"One thing the colleges could do is to sit down and reconsider what courses they are actually requiring students to take," he says. "They may also want to look and study closely what courses students are taking." He also suggests ____________ what students learn "through some form of examinations or papers."
ACTA's President Anne Neal encourages families and students to check out updates of the study at www.whatwilltheylearn.com. Her group, she says, is currently surveying more colleges, adding more information to the ____________, and hoping to discover what college graduates have really learned and how ready they are to ____________ in the global ____________.
Note: To find the answers to the blanks, please link to the webpage to see the transcript of this new report.