Bluefield, VA – For the ninth year in a row, Bluefield University has earned an “A” rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) for its outstanding core curriculum — a prestigious recognition reserved for 22 colleges and universities in the nation in 2022-‘23. BU has also been ranked #3 by U.S. News & World Report for social mobility, a rating that measures how well schools graduated students who received federal Pell Grants.
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) is a non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America’s colleges and universities. Launched in 1995, the ACTA is the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the country to support liberal arts education and uphold high academic standards.
The ACTA’s “A” rating is associated with its “What Will They Learn?” project, designed to encourage colleges and universities to strengthen their core curricular requirements to provide students with a strong foundation of skills and knowledge. “What Will They Learn?” achieves that goal by focusing on core requirements and making the information readily available to college-bound students, parents, high school guidance counselors, and higher education policymakers.
“‘What Will They Learn?’ looks at the most important data — the strength of a college’s education — to find out which institutions are providing real value for the vast amounts families must pay,” said Anne D. Neal, ACTA president. “Regrettably, very few are ensuring students have the solid foundation they will need for success after graduation.”
As part of its “What Will They Learn?” initiative, the ACTA surveyed more than 1,100 public four-year liberal arts institutions, along with private faith-based and non-faith-based colleges, to evaluate whether they require seven key subjects in their general education curriculum: English composition, literature, intermediate-level foreign language, United States government or history, economics, mathematics, and science.
Only two percent of the more than 1,100 institutions reviewed —Bluefield University, Baylor University, the United States Air Force Academy, Pepperdine University, the University of Georgia, the United States Military Academy, and other highly selective schools — earned the “A” rating. Some of the best-known schools, the ACTA noted, have “weak, if any, general education requirements.” For example, according to the ACTA, Johns Hopkins University does not require students to take a single class in any of the seven core subjects. Students at the College of William and Mary can graduate without taking a course in composition, literature, or U.S. history, and at the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson, who believed in a solid liberal arts education, there are no requirements for U.S history, math, or literature.
U.S. News and World Report ranked Bluefield University #3 in social mobility. According to U.S. News and World Report, this ranking is measured by “how well schools graduated students who received federal Pell Grants – typically from households earning less than $50,000 annually. The social mobility ranking was computed by aggregating the two ranking factors assessing graduation rates of Pell-awarded students.”
“We are grateful for the recognitions Bluefield University received from the ACTA and U.S. News & World Report,” said president Dr. David Olive. “These achievements are evidence of the extraordinary work our faculty and staff are accomplishing as they develop our students into servant leaders to transform our world.”