What Will They Learn?® evaluates over 1,100 general education programs annually so that high school counselors, students, and parents know, in advance, which institutions offer rigorous liberal arts-oriented general education programs.
We aim to encourage institutions to strengthen their general education requirements so that students graduate better prepared for the workforce, ready to participate in their communities as informed citizens, and acquainted with our cultural and intellectual inheritance. We also work to educate families, high school counselors, and educators about the importance of students selecting colleges or universities with a strong core curriculum.
Reasoned debate and free inquiry are the cornerstone of a quality collegiate education. That is why we work to spotlight universities that have adopted the Chicago Principles on Freedom of Expression as well as academic programs that foster intellectual community in pursuit of liberal learning and a free and open marketplace of ideas.
We envision a future where American colleges and universities have strong liberal arts education programs, campuses foster a free and open marketplace of ideas, and families have the resources necessary to choose the right school for the right reasons.
What Will They Learn?® is an initiative of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a higher education policy nonprofit dedicated to academic excellence, academic freedom, and governance accountability.
Founded in 1995, ACTA is the only organization working with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold academic standards, and safeguard free expression and open exchange of ideas on campus. Our network consists of alumni and trustees from nearly 1,300 colleges and universities, including over 23,000 current board members. Our quarterly newsletter, Inside Academe, reaches more than 13,000 readers.
ACTA’s What Will They Learn?® project is a survey of general education programs that began in 2009 as a part of ACTA’s commitment to fostering academic excellence on college campuses. The initial evaluation assessed the core curriculum at 100 of the nation’s leading colleges and universities. This year will mark the the thirteenth edition and our annual report, which has grown to include over 1,130 institutions.