Students may graduate easier after CSU chancellor Timothy White’s executive order changes general education requirements

In Local News, News, State News

CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White issued an executive order on Aug. 23 requiring all CSU campuses to implement a 48-unit minimum for general education effective fall 2018.

Executive Order 1100 is to be implemented for the subsequent catalog years.

“So students that come to Cal State Fullerton under the ‘18-’19 catalog will be the ones that are experiencing the revised GE,” said Interim Director of Undergraduate Studies Brent Foster, Ph.D.

In the social sciences (area D), the new unit requirement for students will be 12 units. The current requirement is 15 units.

With the order, major requirements and other required courses approved for general education credit will count toward both major and total general education units. However, classes will still only be worth three units.

“That does not mean that it will equal six units; it will only equal three units toward your 120 (units) to graduate, but it will satisfy both that GE category and one of your required courses for your degree,” Foster said.

The executive order aims to streamline graduation requirements to help students achieve a timely graduation.

“I think it will be helpful to a more efficient graduation and I believe that students will see the value of getting the double counting. And I also firmly believe the executive order helps to clarify what GE is,” Foster said.  

One way it does so is by clarifying some general education grade expectations to reflect a C- grade or better being sufficient in the “golden four” categories: English language (A2), oral communication (A1), critical thinking (A3) and mathematics/quantitative reasoning (B4).

“The policy with the new executive order confirms that a C- is required across all CSUs,” Foster said. “As for transfer students that come in, a C- is the threshold.”

However, the Academic Senate is worried the alteration to prerequisite B4 could spur a lack of student preparedness for college math courses.

“I talked to a lot of people, and they don’t seem to think the unlimited double counting is an issue. But that’s just going to put more students into departments that are already big and the little departments are going to shrink,” said Academic Senate member Nancy Fitch.

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