About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Community Colleges Augment ACTA School Evaluations

Every year I present an update of the evaluations of colleges & universities of the American Council Of Trustees & Alumni (ACTA) that is published as the ACTA What Will They Learn? report.  The original report started in 2009 & each year ACTA updates their evaluations of over 1,100 colleges & universities grading them from A to F based on what the schools require students to learn in order to graduate.  There are some famous high priced schools that receive failing grades year after year.

Thanks to ACTA Vice President of Development & Philanthropy Emily Koons Jae for letting me know that the grading category has expanded to acknowledge seven schools as A+.  ACTA also has developed a B+ grade that 71 schools have earned.

In summary, out of the 1,132 schools ACTA evaluated this year 7 are A+, 13 are A, 71 are B+, 262 are B, 339 are C, 291 are D, & 149 are F.

Click here to view ACTA's homepage from which you can select any school you want more information on.  I know of no better place to start, or really finish, in choosing a college.  Without this resource a student may have a certain school or two in mind but nothing to objectively compare them to.  What better way than to use this resource to see if there is a better &/or more cost effective way to get a college education.  

Emily reminds us that "With the college decision deadline right around the corner, we encourage students, parents, and high school counselors to visit WhatWillTheyLearn.com. On the website, users can view and compare each school’s WWTL grade, as well as data on tuition costs, graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratios, free speech policies, and more.  ACTA updates the WWTL ratings on a rolling basis, providing much-needed transparency into educational quality at America’s colleges and universities."

In this regard I have put together this link that lists all 91 schools that received a grade of B+ or higher.  The schools are shown alphabetically thirty on a page so click on all four pages to see them all - Xavier being the only school on page 4.  There are some on this list that I never heard of & plenty that I have, including recent NCAA national champions in both football & basketball.  All five of the service academies, the universities of Georgia, Oklahoma, & Mississippi, Baylor, Clemson, Hillsdale College, JMU, NYU, & Columbia are well known schools that made the list based on academics.  

NYU & Columbia, like other progressive schools, require further evaluation because of their critical-theory-woke alignment & tendencies, including the anti-Israel protests & "Gaza Solidarity Encampments" going on @ campuses across America today.  Mark Levin addressed this on page 258 of American Marxism: "Thus the parent must become intimately familiar with a school's reputation for academic freedom, free speech, traditional education, & the like, or whether it is a hotbed of Marxist radicalism & intolerance."

Usually the ACTA grading system protects against poor school management problems (i.e., school grades of A & B indicate serious institutions of higher learning) but with NYU & Columbia we see that wokeness can sneak in anywhere.

In my forty years of direct personal involvement in higher education I have never tolerated anything close to the encampment protests that encroach on other students ability to learn & freely participate in campus life - whether it was the Duke lacrosse players episode, pie throwing @ Brown, or the minuteman incident @ Columbia let alone campuses with "speech codes."  Once a school shows they don't have the management & leadership to squelch critical-theory-wokeness, parents & students have to be ready to pull the plug & move on to a university that can provide the education they are looking for.  It is that important & I know a student who recently transferred 2,000 miles from their last school to find the right fit.

There are reports that even medical schools have been infected with critical-theory-wokeness.  Glenn Beck has reported "our top medical schools are teaching often MANDATORY classes on social change, antiracism, 'race, power, and privilege,' 'confronting U.S. history,' and how 'gender is a social construct."'  If you are paying tens of thousands of dollars per year to become a doctor (or professional engineer, CPA, pharmacist, airplane pilot, or other professional) & don't think mandatory courses or seminars on critical race theory & gender ideology should be part of your curriculum you should run as fast as you can from that school & transfer to another.   I have seen that finding the right college is a real chore for the last twenty years.  You are making important decisions in the first quarter of your life that will affect your standard of living throughout the rest of your life.

I reported years ago of impending doctor shortages & some readers of this blog have started to experience it & this wokeness in medical schools will only exacerbate the shortage.

But back to the ACTA report.  To tailor your own list - like, for instance, to make a list of all schools receiving an F - click on "Explore Schools" @ the top of the home webpage.  Go to the left hand side & select F from the drop down menu for "Select Grade(s)."  I just did it while writing these instructions & 5 pages of 30 schools per page came up.  You may be surprised @ some of the schools on the F list.

In doing my own surfing on the ACTA website I was glad to see that the University of Oklahoma had virtually the exact same chemical engineering curriculum & academic requirements that UMD had decades ago when I was there.  It was gratifying to see this test of time hold up.

Last fall I finished a two year study to determine whether it is cost effective to replace the first two years of a four year college with study @ a two-year community college.  My work centered on the example of a chemical engineering student graduating from Raritan Valley Community College & transferring his credits to nearby Rutgers.

I found that not only was there significant savings with this arrangement but the success rate outcome is very high - which of course is the most important thing.  The Director of Transfer & Career Services @ Raritan Valley provided me with quite a bit of information including the following criteria of Raritan Valley's chemical engineering curriculum that would be submitted by a graduating Raritan Valley student to Rutgers for transfer acceptance.  Note in this example it is recommended that a summer school course or two be completed before starting the junior year @ a four year college - which in the overall swing of things is a small consideration compared to what is gained using a qualified community college to reduce the ever increasing cost of four year colleges. 

Major: Chemical Engineering - BS (Starting FALL 2001)

Raritan Valley Community College to Rutgers-School of Engineering

Display only Active Courses

Please review any information that appears under 'Additional Requirements & Information' below.

Top of Form

General Education, Core Requirements:

6 Credits

Humanities/Social Sciences

Major Course Requirements:

7 Credits

CHEM103 and CHEM104 and CHEM103 or CHEM104

8 Credits

(CHEM211 and CHEM212) or (CHEM213 and CHEM214)

3 Credits

ENGL112 or ENGL112H

4 Credits


4 Credits

MATH152 or MATH152H

4 Credits


4 Credits


8 Credits

PHYS150 and PHYS151

1 Credits


1 Credits


3 Credits


3 Credits


3 Credits


3 Credits


62 Credits

RTP Last Updated: June 22, 2021


  1. Great Stuff. You should be commended for undertaking this.

  2. Thx for the info Doug.....very interesting. Hope all is well.