Instead of the basics, students might look forward to more entertaining fare, such as Middlebury College’s “Mad Men and Mad Women,” an examination of masculinity and femininity in mid-20th-century America via the television show “Mad Men.”

I confess I’d enjoy a dinner discussion along these lines, but as an education consumer, I’m not sure a semester-long investigation is worth even a tiny percentage of the tuition.

ACTA President Anne Neal acknowledged that such courses may be interesting and even valuable. “What we do question, however, is allowing such classes to stand in lieu of a broad-based American history or government requirement,” she said, “when we know how severely lacking students’ historical literacy can be.”

Given the ever-escalating tuition costs, one may wonder where all that money is going.