SBU to receive ‘A’ rating for curriculum

BOLIVAR – Southwest Baptist University (SBU) received an “A” rating, based on general education course requirements, in the 2013-2014 edition of “What Will They Learn?” The report was released Oct. 23 by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA).

“As a liberal arts university, we have committed to providing a well-rounded education while preparing students to be servant leaders in a global society,” said SBU President C. Pat Taylor. “This report affirms that commitment to high academic standards.”

The study examines four crucial components of higher education excellence and value: the curriculum (rated “A” through “F”), the four-year graduation rate, freedom of speech on campus, and college cost. The analysis is based on publicly available information found in course catalogs and, occasionally, syllabi.

Only 22 institutions nationwide (2 percent) received an “A” grade for requiring at least six of seven subjects that are essential to a liberal arts education: literature, composition, economics, math, intermediate level foreign language, science and American government/history. SBU requires all but the foreign language. The average institution requires three of the seven courses.

ACTA’s website,, states that, unlike other college rankings, this study is focused on what students are – and are not – learning.

The study also shows that SBU’s tuition is about $5,000 lower than the average tuition of $24,930 among the top 22 schools and the University’s graduation rate is above the national average.

“We feel very honored to be among 22 schools listed as earning a grade of ‘A’ from ACTA,” Taylor said. “The list is quite impressive.”