VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (October 14, 2020) – Regent University is one of just 23 schools in the nation to receive an “A” rating for comprehensive liberal arts core curriculum, according to the 2020-21 What Will They Learn?® report released by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA). Regent was the first “A” rated university in Virginia and has received this prestigious recognition every year since the 2012-13 report. This ranking places Regent in the top 2% of all universities for its commitment to rigorous undergraduate education.
“Our country needs high-quality education now, more than ever, yet only 18% of schools require a course in U.S. government or history and less than 32% require a course in literature,” said Regent University founder, chancellor & CEO, Dr. M. G. “Pat” Robertson. “Regent University, however, is one of the 23 ‘A’ rated schools that remains committed to a rigorous core curriculum rooted in the liberal arts and Western tradition.”
What Will They Learn?® assesses the core academic requirements at 1,127 four-year institutions that together enroll more than eight million undergraduate students. Grades are assigned based on whether colleges and universities require all students to take courses in seven priority subject areas as part of their general education programs. These subjects, identified as critically important to a 21st century college education by ACTA’s Council of Scholars, include: Composition, Literature, (intermediate-level) Foreign Language, U.S. Government or History, Economics, Mathematics, and Natural Science.
“This rating is a testament of the great vision of our chancellor and his commitment to excellence,” said Regent’s executive vice president for Academic Affairs, Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño. “I also commend the tireless efforts of the dean and faculty of our College of Arts & Sciences and The Honors College to educate students in a rich and rigorous general education curriculum that prepares them for lives of virtue and the demands of a complex and ever-evolving job market.”
According to the report, curricular gaps are common in every subject except composition and the natural sciences.
- 82% of institutions do not require students to take a foundational course in U.S. government or history.
- 42% of institutions do not require students to take a college-level mathematics course.
- 68% of institutions do not require students to study literature.
- 88% of institutions do not require intermediate-level foreign language courses.
- 97% of institutions do not require a course in economics.
Recent studies demonstrate that overall, liberal arts colleges bring a higher return on investment than most other four-year colleges. A liberal arts-oriented core curriculum, focused on courses in the traditional arts and sciences, is the best way for students to develop the capacity for critical analysis, oral and written communication skills, and intercultural fluency that employers increasingly demand.
In response to the study and its particular importance this year, ACTA President Michael Poliakoff said, “I extend congratulations and warm thanks to Chancellor Robertson for his bold leadership, guidance, and friendship.” He noted that the pandemic is upending higher education and forcing families to pay more attention to the value proposition of a collegiate education: “Students must be educated to think critically and be prepared to navigate an uncertain career path.” He also said the schools that score well in What Will They Learn?® “graduate expert learners who are prepared for their first job and ready to confront the new challenges they will face.”
Founded in 1978, Regent University has more than 11,000 students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from a Christian perspective in 135+ areas of study including business, communication and the arts, counseling, cybersecurity, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing, healthcare and psychology. Regent University, ranked among top national universities (U.S. News & World Report, 2020), is one of only 23 universities nationally to receive an “A” rating for its comprehensive liberal arts core curriculum.