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ACTA Gives Thomas Aquinas College “A” Rating and Perfect Score for Academics

November 2, 2015
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ACTA Gives Thomas Aquinas College “A” Rating and Perfect Score for Academics


SANTA PAULA, CA—Novemeber 2—The American Council of College Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) recently released its 2015-16 report on the curricular strength of American colleges and universities and, once again, Thomas Aquinas College is at the very top of the list.

On its What Will They Learn? website, ACTA has posted evaluations of the major public and private colleges and universities in all 50 states — over 1,100 four-year institutions, with more than 7.5 million undergraduate students among them. For the seventh time in as many years, ACTA has given Thomas Aquinas College a grade of “A” and a perfect rating.

By earning an “A,” Thomas Aquinas College rates among the top 0.2 percent of American colleges and universities, 24 schools in all, named to ACTA’s coveted “A List.” Moreover, the College is one of only four schools (the top 0.04 percent nationwide), to earn a perfect score for the strength of its curriculum.

While numerous guides rank colleges and universities based on popularity or reputation, ACTA’s annual rating evaluates schools solely on the basis of their curricula. “What Will They Learn? looks at the most important data — the strength of a college’s education — to find out which institutions are providing real value for the vast amounts families must pay,” says Anne D. Neal, ACTA president.

The ACTA evaluation focuses on the substance of schools’ mandatory courses and texts, or core curricula. The association has identified seven essential areas of study for undergraduates — composition, literature, U.S. government or history, foreign language (at an intermediate level), mathematics, natural science, and economics. The more of these areas of study required by a college or university, and the more substantive the curricula in these areas, the higher the school’s overall ACTA rating.

“Unlike many colleges, we do not provide training for any particular job,” says Dean of the College Brian T. Kelly. “Our mission is rather to provide our students with an intellectual and moral foundation that will sustain them throughout their lives. What we offer is an integrated, comprehensive curriculum that is thoroughly Catholic and based on the great books, with discussion-based classes that actively engage students in their own learning.”

The College’s unique academic program not only covers the seven key disciplines ACTA has identified, but orders them toward a rigorous study of philosophy and theology, culminating in the works of the Catholic Church’s Universal Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas. “While not vocational in nature,” Dean Kelly adds, “our unique program of classical education does in fact give our alumni the knowledge and skills that employers and graduate schools are looking for: the ability to think analytically, to articulate their views clearly and persuasively, and to work well with their peers in a common endeavor.”

Thomas Aquinas College alumni are accepted to many of  the best graduate schools in the country, and they go on to excel at a wide variety of professions, from law and medicine to journalism, public policy, architecture, education, and military service.


About Thomas Aquinas College

Thomas Aquinas College has developed a solid reputation for academic excellence in the United States and abroad. At Thomas Aquinas College, there are no majors, no minors, or electives because all students acquire a broad and fully integrated liberal education. The College offers one 4-year, classical curriculum that spans the major arts and sciences. Instead of reading textbooks, students read the original works of the greatest thinkers in Western civilization — the Great Books — in all the major disciplines: mathematics, natural science, literature, philosophy, and theology. Rather than listening to lectures, they engage in rigorous Socratic discussions about these works in classes of 15-18 students. The academic life of the college is conducted under the light of the Catholic faith and flourishes within a close-knit community, supported by a vibrant spiritual life. Genuinely committed to upholding civic virtue and leading lives dedicated to the good of others, Thomas Aquinas College graduates enter a wide array of fields where they are a powerful force for good in the Church and in the culture. Well-versed in rational discourse, they become leaders in education, law, medicine, journalism, public policy, military service, and business. In addition, a steady 10% of alumni go on to the priesthood or religious life.