The “Core” of Who We Are

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Study Rates Gardner-Webb’s Core Curriculum in the Nation’s Top Two Percent

Gardner-Webb University’s core curriculum ranks in the nation’s top two percent for quality and breadth, according to the 2011-2012 What Will They Learn? study by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA).  The study rated all the major public and private colleges and universities in all 50 states—a total of 1,007 four-year institutions—on an “A” through “F” scale.  Gardner-Webb was among only 19 schools—and the only school in the Carolinas—to earn an “A.”

ACTA argues that for students to gain the knowledge and values necessary for responsible democratic citizenship, they should be required to take the following seven core subjects: composition, U.S. government or history, economics, literature, math, science, and foreign language at an intermediate level.  “A”-rated schools require at least six out of the seven core courses, while “B” schools require four or five out of seven.  There were 371 schools to earn ACTA’s “B” rating, and more than 60% of schools earned a “C” or worse.

“The beauty of our core curriculum,” said GWU President Dr. Frank Bonner, “lies in its diversity, its versatility.  No matter the career field our graduates ultimately choose, their core classes provide the foundational knowledge, attitudes, values, and learning skills to enable them not only to achieve professional success but to lead fulfilled and productive lives as well.  That this latest study recognizes the excellent quality of our academic program is truly gratifying.”  Check out the video above for what a few other members of the Gardner-Webb family had to say about the “core” of who we are.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America’s colleges and universities.  For more information, visit  For more on this particular report, click here for the full story, or visit