Students Learn Citizenship Skills at Rhodes

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Publication Date: 9/28/2006

Rhodes College recently gained favorable recognition following a survey undertaken to gauge how well higher education institutions teach American history, government, economics and “America and the world.” The survey, conducted by the University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy (UConnDPP) for the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), queried more than 14,000 randomly selected students from across the country and claims to offer the “first-ever ranking of U.S. colleges based on the learning added to or subtracted from college students’ knowledge of America’s history and institutions.” Rhodes was ranked number one.

First-year college students and seniors were asked “60 multiple choice questions about (1) America’s history; (2) government; (3) America and the world; and (4) the market economy,” according to a release issued by ISI. “The average overall score for college seniors was 53.2 percent, just 1.5 percent higher than the average overall score for freshmen, which was 51.7 percent.” Based on these results, the researchers concluded that some colleges and universities “are failing to teach students about their country’s history and founding principles.”

Rhodes president William E. Troutt says, “We value recognitions such as this one and others that promote understanding and appreciation for how we change student lives. We see it as another endorsement of our commitment to graduate students with a life-long passion for learning and compassion for others, and the ability to translate academic study and personal concern into effective leadership and action in their communities and the world. Our students take their classroom skills into the community where they connect knowledge with practice through research, service, internships, and international experiences. And they return to the classroom inspired and committed to deeper understanding of our country and the world.”