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Regent Receives "A" Rating for General Education

| October 10, 2012

Dr. Michael Poliakoff of ACTA talks about Regent's 'A' rating.
Photo by Patrick Wright

Regent University's College of Arts & Sciences has received a coveted "A" rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) for its general education curriculum. Regent is the only university in Virginia and one of fewer than two-dozen nationwide to receive an "A" in this year's ACTA report. Dr. Carlos Campo, president of Regent University, made the announcement today at the beginning of the university's weekly chapel service.

"We are thrilled to receive this 'A' rating, which clearly demonstrates Regent's commitment to a unique, distinctly Christian approach to providing our students with a rigorous and comprehensive liberal arts education," said Dr. Campo. "I commend the faculty, staff and leadership team at the College of Arts & Sciences for their outstanding work to develop this transformational curriculum and provide our students with such a high quality program of study."

ACTA is a non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence and accountability at America's colleges and universities. The rating comes as part of its "What Will They Learn?" project that surveys more than 1,000 institutions of higher learning to evaluate whether they require seven key subjects: English Composition, Literature, Foreign Language, U.S. Government or History, Economics, Mathematics and Science. "What Will They Learn?" surveys private faith-based and non-faith-based institutions, including the Ivy League and other highly selective colleges and universities, as well as all public four-year liberal arts institutions.

"Regent University's new core curriculum sets a standard for others to follow. Many schools talk about the importance of the liberal arts. Regent has acted on its commitment to produce graduates educated for the challenges of career and community," said Dr. Michael Poliakoff, ACTA's vice president of policy, who joined the Regent community for the announcement. "While, sadly, we so often see colleges weaken their academic expectations, Regent has reversed this process and challenged students to undertake a comprehensive education."

Prior to earning its "A" ranking, Regent had received a "B" rating in 2011, still a superior score considering the school began offering undergraduate programs in 2005.

"This 'A' rating by ACTA truly highlights the continued excellence in the College of Arts & Sciences' programs," said Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. "Last year's rating challenged us to continue to improve and expand our curriculum, and it's a tremendous recognition to be one of only 21 schools nationwide to receive an 'A' this year."

Regent's general education requirement is a liberal arts core curriculum centered on the mission of the university that seeks to transform students to think, live and serve as Christian leaders in the 21st century, Moreno-Riaño said. The curriculum, which mirrors ACTA standards, includes courses in quantitative and scientific literacy, written and oral communication, global studies, the humanities and social sciences, and U.S. history.

"We've been very intentional about developing our general education curriculum to conform to the rigorous academic standards of excellence proposed by ACTA," Moreno-Riaño added. "Our 'A' rating confirms the academic integrity of our curriculum."

Also announced today, Regent is receiving a $400,000 grant from The Beazley Foundation in Portsmouth, Va., to help support further enhancements to this curriculum.

"We are so grateful to receive such generous support from The Beazley Foundation, which has a long history of supporting quality education in Virginia," Dr. Campo added. "This grant award from such a prestigious foundation underscores the significance of Regent's general education curriculum."

The Beazley Foundation was established in December 1948 with funds provided by the late Fred W. Beazley, his wife, Marie C. Beazley, and son, Fred W. Beazley, Jr., all of Portsmouth, Va. From the inception of the Foundation, the needs of community and young people have been the primary focus of its philanthropy.

"The Beazley Foundation is pleased to partner with Regent University with funding to assist its bold initiative to strengthen its core curriculum," said Beazley Foundation President and CEO, Judge Richard S. Bray. "Additional professors teaching an array of enriched courses fundamental to an education in the liberal arts will enhance the credibility and substantive value of a Regent diploma. Enlightened students will be better prepared in their selected majors and, importantly, intellectually ready to pursue postgraduate studies or career opportunities. The Foundation congratulates Virginia's first ACTA 'A' institution."

Learn more about Regent's College of Arts & Sciences and the ACTA rankings.

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Mindy Hughes, Public Relations

Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888

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