Baylor Again Named to “A” List for Core Curriculum

Oct. 30, 2014

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Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275

Baylor is one of only 23 institutions to earn top marks in report on core education requirements

WACO, Texas (Oct. 30, 2014) – Baylor University is one of only 23 institutions nationwide to earn an “A” for its high-quality core curriculum, according to a report on the state of general education at the nation’s colleges and universities from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA). Baylor also is showcased as a “Hidden Gem” university for its additional required core classes in religion and fine arts.

The ACTA study – which can be found at www.WhatWillTheyLearn.com – looked at curriculum offerings at the major public and private colleges and universities in all 50 states – a total of 1,098 four-year institutions that together enroll more than seven-and-a-half million undergraduate students.

Institutions are assigned a letter grade ranging from “A” to “F” based on how many of seven core subjects they require. Those subjects are: composition, literature, foreign language at an intermediate level, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics, and natural or physical science. ACTA said its grade is based on a detailed examination of the latest publicly available online course catalogs at the time of review.

Baylor – on the “A” list for the fifth consecutive year and one of only 2 percent of all institutions to receive an “A” – requires that students take six of the seven core courses, with the exception of economics. No other Big 12 university and only two other Texas institutions – University of Dallas and University of Texas at San Antonio – made the “A” list.

ACTA said 35 percent of all institutions, or 389 schools, earned a “B” for requiring four or five core courses. Thirty percent received a “C” or worse for requiring three or fewer subjects while 33 percent, or 357 institutions, received a “D” or “F” for requiring two or fewer subjects.

Of the U.S. American public and private colleges and universities included in the study, only 18 percent require a course in U.S. government or history, 13 percent require a foreign language and only 3 percent require economics. Overall, the average number of subjects required at U.S. higher education institutions is 3.085 out of 7, a “C” grade.

When writing about Baylor, ACTA cited passages from the University’s College of Arts and Sciences website about Baylor’s focus on the core curriculum:

    "The Baylor University College of Arts & Sciences exists to nourish students' individual lives, fostering their development as imaginative, engaged leaders who will use their skills and character to address the needs and challenges of the larger world. The College of Arts & Sciences is the foundation upon which all Baylor students' educational experiences build. Skills in critical thinking, problem solving and oral and written communication are informed by introductory courses such as religion, literature, the arts, science, history and politics."

A nationwide survey conducted for ACTA in 2001 by Roper Public Affairs and Media found that 70 percent of Americans believe colleges and universities should require that all students take basic classes in core subjects.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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