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How Does Your University Measure Up?

The Pope Center and ACTA examine the state of general education at colleges and universities in North Carolina.

By Jenna Ashley Robinson

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February 24, 2011

While all North Carolina colleges and universities claim that they require undergraduates to take courses in such core subjects as composition, mathematics and science, a new Pope Center survey shows that many schools fall short.

The survey examines general education requirements at 48 of the state’s 54 accredited four-year nonprofit colleges and universities. The core subjects are composition, economics, foreign language, literature, mathematics, science, and U.S. history or government.

The data were compiled and analyzed by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), an independent non-profit organization that works with trustees, alumni, and education leaders across the United States.

A solid core curriculum is an important part of university education for many reasons, which Jay Schalin outlined here. Strong basic courses help students develop a spirit of inquiry, logical thinking, and a regard for the proper evaluation of evidence. General education requirements also give students an understanding of the scientific method, make students more literate, and provide students with a sense of history and framework of time.

The only school in North Carolina to receive an “A” was Wingate University. Only two schools in the state, UNC Pembroke and Wingate University, require students to study economics and only two others, Belmont Abbey College and Chowan University, require courses in U.S. government or history. Twenty-two universities required at least 4 of the 7 surveyed courses, receiving a grade of “B.”

How did your university do?

 


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