What won’t they learn?

Our friends at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) have put together a terrific site called WhatWillTheyLearn.com. It allows you to find out for any college whether it requires students to take courses in the following areas: composition, literature, foreign language, U.S. history or government, mathematics, science, and economics.
When my children were applying to college, I spent considerable time reading college guide books. I don’t recall any of them addressing the fundamental question of what subjects a given college requires students to study or, as I would put it, what it allows students not to study.
ACTA’s guide fills this void. In doing so, it arguably provides readers (or at least adult readers) with more pertinent information about a given school than is presented in the lengthy essays I used to read in guide books.
On ACTA’s page about Dartmouth, for example, we learn that it does not require its students to study literature, mathematics, history or government, and economics. ACTA notes that it doesn’t credit Dartmouth with having a literature requirement because it permits students to fill the “requirement” with “niche courses” such as “Bob Dylan” or “The Graphic Novel,” a course about comic books.
As I said, you can learn a great deal about a college from ACTA’s guide.


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