Kennesaw State scores at top in nationwide curriculum study

For the second consecutive year, American Council of Trustees and Alumni gives KSU an “A…

Georgia (Sep 1, 2011)For the second consecutive year, American Council of Trustees and Alumni gives KSU an “A” for its high-quality core curriculum

KENNESAW, Ga. (Sept. 1, 2011)  –– Kennesaw State University is among a select group of 19 colleges and universities that scored an “A” for its high-quality core curriculum in a nationwide study on the state of general education released this week by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.

This is the second consecutive year that Kennesaw State earns an “A” in the annual “What Will They Learn?” report. In this year’s study, KSU came in the top 2 percent among 1,007 major public and private four-year institutions surveyed, according to the Washington, D.C.-based American Council of Trustees and Alumni, an independent, nonprofit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence and accountability at America’s colleges and universities.

Schools are assigned a letter grade ranging from “A” to “F” based on how many of seven core, basic subjects they require: composition, U.S. government or history, economics, literature, math, science and foreign language at an intermediate level. “A” schools were those that require a course in at least six out of the seven academic subjects. Other universities earning the top grade included the United States Air Force Academy, Texas A&M University and Baylor University.

“Kennesaw State is honored to be among a select group of universities that received the highest score given by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni,” said Kennesaw State president Daniel S. Papp. “This recognition attests to the rigor and breadth of the core curriculum that our undergraduates are required to take. They are getting a high-quality, comprehensive education at KSU.”

This is the third year that the council has conducted the “What Will They Learn?” study and every year the number of institutions surveyed grows.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni said that more than 60 percent of all institutions received a “C” or worse for requiring three or fewer subjects, allowing students to graduate with major gaps in their academic skills and knowledge. Less than 20 percent require U.S. government or history, and less than 15 percent require an intermediate-level foreign language. Military academies were leaders among the institutions evaluated, and historically black colleges and universities scored impressive grades.

“Kennesaw State University's commitment to a rigorous core curriculum is too rare in higher education today,” said Anne D. Neal, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.“KSU realizes that a strong core curriculum is an essential ingredient in preparing students for success. Today, it is more important than ever for students to have a solid foundation of knowledge in an array of subjects.  I applaud Kennesaw State University for providing that foundation.”

According to a recent nationwide survey conducted for the council by Roper Public Affairs and Media, 70 percent of Americans believe that colleges and universities should require that all students take basic classes in core subjects.

At Kennesaw State, the required core courses are: two English composition courses; one U.S. government course and two history courses; one economics course (global economics or principles of microeconomics); a world literature course; two math courses; and two science courses.

“We are quite pleased that Kennesaw State’s core curriculum has earned this honor,” said Ken Harmon,  interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Our core curriculum was designed to provide a broadly-based, strong and coherent program to promote the learning outcomes we desire for every KSU graduate. This award is testimony that our students are acquiring the knowledge and skills to survive and flourish in a diverse, global society.”

The “What Will They Learn?”study shows that many colleges are letting students and taxpayersdown, said council president Neal. “Tuition is at an all‐time high, yet colleges and universities aren’t ensuring students have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in careers and life.”



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit