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As the total number of credits taken by high school students has increased since the early 1980s, so have the number of credits taken in the humanities and the share of students earning credits in key humanities subjects.1

Endnotes

  • 1In 1982, the mean number of credits taken by high school students was 22. By 2013, the number had risen to almost 27. (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics [NCES]: High School and Beyond Study of 1980; and High School Longitudinal Study of 2009.Estimates prepared by Elise Christopher [NCES] and Bruce Daniel [Sanametrix, Inc.] at the request of the Humanities Indicators. The Indicators thank them for their generous assistance.)

    To ensure that totals are consistent over time and across institutions, credits are reported in Carnegie units (one of which is equal to 120 hours of classroom instruction).
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* All 2013 values are statistically significantly different (p < .05) from the corresponding values for both earlier time points.
** Includes civics/government/politics, economics, psychology, sociology, U.S. and world history, and world geography.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES): High School and Beyond Study of 1980; National Assessment of Educational Progress High School Transcript Study of 2000; and High School Longitudinal Study of 2009. Estimates were prepared by Elise Christopher (NCES) and Bruce Daniel (Sanametrix, Inc.) at the request of the Humanities Indicators. The Indicators thank them for their generous assistance. Data presented by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Indicators (www.humanitiesindicators.org).

This indicator focuses on trends in course-taking in public and private high schools. To ensure that totals are consistent over time and across institutions, credits are reported in Carnegie units (one of which is equal to 120 hours of classroom instruction). The data presented here were collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) as part of the high school transcript studies it periodically conducts.

Social studies, as defined by NCES, includes history, as well as several subjects that are not treated as part of the humanities for the purposes of the Humanities Indicators. (For an explanation of the way in which the “humanities” is conceptualized by the Humanities Indicators, please see the scope statement.)

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Source: 1990–2009 values: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), National Assessment of Educational Progress Data Explorer, http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/. 2013 values: U.S. Department of Education, NCES, High School Longitudinal Study of 2009. The 2013 estimates were prepared by Elise Christopher (NCES) and Bruce Daniel (Sanametrix, Inc.) at the request of the Humanities Indicators. The Indicators thank them for their generous assistance. Data presented by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Indicators (www.humanitiesindicators.org).

This indicator focuses on trends in course-taking in public and private high schools. To ensure that totals are consistent over time and across institutions, credits are reported in Carnegie units (one of which is equal to 120 hours of classroom instruction). The data presented here were collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) as part of the high school transcript studies it periodically conducts.

Social studies, as defined by NCES, includes history, as well as several subjects that are not treated as part of the humanities for the purposes of the Humanities Indicators. (For an explanation of the way in which the “humanities” is conceptualized by the Humanities Indicators, please see the scope statement.)

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