Today the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) released its new ratings for 1091 four-year institutions of higher education in its “What Will They Learn?” project designed to give prospective students information on whether the colleges and universities they are considering require students to study seven core subjects. In addition to looking at whether a school requires courses in basic areas like composition and mathematics, ACTA’s report now includes FIRE’s speech code ratings. (FIRE has no institutional position on what should be included in college curricula.) The What Will They Learn? websiteexplains the decision to include Spotlight ratings this year:
The What Will They Learn?™ project is driven by ACTA’s deep commitment to maintaining academic excellence in higher education. But we know that academic excellence is about more than taking a particular set of classes. It also requires that students be able to speak their minds freely and express themselves without fear of censorship. A liberal education is one that liberates the mind. Restrictive speech codes are antithetical to this freedom. That is why FIRE’s work is of a piece with What Will They Learn?™, and why we are proud to be working with them this year.
We at FIRE are very pleased that ACTA is helping to make prospective college students aware of our resources. It is essential that college students be able to engage in frank and unfettered debate on campus, and the Spotlight database serves to aid students in deciding what college or university will allow them to do so.
Students, head over to the What Will They Learn? website to see how your college (or dream college) is rated.