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Chances are, the average college student isn't taking Economics 101

Odds are that these students aren't studying economics or history. Credit: Digital Vision Odds are that these students aren't studying economics or history.
Credit: Digital Vision

As a bachelor’s degree becomes more expensive than ever, one new report is criticizing colleges for the content of those pricey educations.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni recently released “What Will They Learn?” — its annual report looking at what students are actually learning in class. After examining the courses offered at 1,098 colleges and universities, the council found that only a little over 3 percent of schools require students to take an economics class and less than 20 percent of them had a history or U.S. government requirement.

“One wonders what tuition and tax dollars are going toward when most colleges — even public ones — don’t require basic economics, foreign language, American history or even literature,” says Dr. Michael Poliakoff, director of the “What Will They Learn?” project in a statement. “Are we really preparing our nation’s next generation of leaders when our colleges are failing to ensure the most basic skills and knowledge?”

Colleges and universities are not required to make students take any specific classes. “But the goal [of a liberal arts education] has always been the same: Imparting the skills and knowledge needed for success in career and community and the ability to understand and appreciate the human condition,” the authors write.

Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.

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