If you're a history major at George Washington University located in our nation's capital, you are no longer required to take a U.S. History class to graduate.
GWU recently released new requirements for its history majors and has joined other universities that have made history class requirements a thing of the past.
Unfortunately, this requirement change isn't isolated to just George Washington University. According to a report conducted by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), less than one-third of the top universities in America require that students take a U.S. History course in order to graduate.
President-elect of ACTA, Michael Poliakoff, thinks this trend is distressing.
“Historical illiteracy is the inevitable consequence of lax college requirements, and that ignorance leads to civic disempowerment. A democratic republic cannot thrive without well-informed citizens and leaders. Elite colleges and universities in particular let the nation down when the examples they set devalue the study of United States history.”
What may be more troubling are the courses that are offered in place of the now-elective history classes. At Middlebury College one can take a pop culture relevant, “Mad Men and Mad Women” course. And if you are lucky enough to go to the University of Connecticut, you can choose from an array of courses such as “Hip-Hop, Politics, and Youth Culture in America.”