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Washington, DC — The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) honors a select group of collegiate academic honors programs as 2020’s “Hidden Gems.” Hidden Gems deserve the attention of students who seek an outstanding education grounded in the study of American government, history, and the Great Books of Western Civilization.

ACTA’s “Hidden Gems” initiative dovetails with its annual What Will They Learn? report, which assesses general education requirements at colleges and universities across the country. The “Hidden Gems” list is intended to highlight colleges which offer exemplary liberal arts curricula through specialized or selective programs. Hidden Gem programs require students to complete a rigorous curriculum designed to foster wide-ranging inquiry on questions about human nature, while building a community of students who are academically engaged inside and outside the classroom.

The newest addition to the Hidden Gem directory is Benedictine College’s Great Books Program. Students in the Great Books Program “study the foundational works of Western thought. By entering the conversation with great thinkers about the fundamental problems facing mankind, Great Books students will be able thoughtfully to consider perennial truths, timelessly expressed, embodied in the classics of our civilization.”

“ACTA’s ‘Hidden Gems’ initiative seeks to help families identify programs led by distinguished faculty that cultivate a truly well-educated person: ready for informed citizenship, a rewarding career, and a meaningful life,” said ACTA President Michael Poliakoff. “Unfortunately, too many students wander through their college years, sometimes at highly prestigious institutions, without the structure and mentorship that shapes intellect and character. By raising public awareness of excellent ‘Hidden Gems’ programs, ACTA hopes more students will benefit from an education of great and enduring value.”

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