GWU ranks in top two percent

An annual study on core curriculum requirements at more than 1,100 U.S. colleges and universities placed Gardner-Webb University at the head of the class for the sixth year in a row.

Gardner-Webb is among 25 institutions throughout the nation with an “A” grade, and the only school in the carolinas to earn that distinction for general requirement standards.

The 2016-17 “What Will They Learn?” study, conducted by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, ranks the general education curriculum requirements of all the major public and private colleges and universities in all 50 states. The ranking places GWU in the top two percent in the nation, included with schools such as Pepperdine University in California, Baylor University in Texas, Morehouse College in Georgia and the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.

The study analyzes seven core subjects and rates universities accordingly. ACTA believes that composition, U.S. government/history, economics, literature, math, science and foreign language components help students gain the knowledge and values necessary for responsible democratic citizenship. “A”-rated schools require at least six out of the seven core courses; “B” schools must offer four or five out of seven.

Gardner-Webb blends a liberal arts core curriculum with more than 60 specialized major and minor programs. Officials say the result is a truly comprehensive academic experience grounded in a Christian environment of service, leadership and intellectual freedom.

Dr. Ben Leslie, provost and executive vice president for Gardner-Webb, believes the distinction is proof of the University’s commitment to providing an excellent academic backbone for its students.

“We are certainly gratified by this endorsement by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. General education is the foundation of a four-year college degree,” he said. “We take this award very seriously, and we’re encouraged that we appear to be doing something really worthwhile in the lives of our students.”

The 1,100 institutions measured in the study are all public universities with a stated liberal arts mission, as well as hundreds of private colleges and universities selected on the basis of size, reputation and regional representation. Each year, roughly 20 institutions in the U.S. receive an “A” rating.