The Cal State Fullerton Academic Senate made strides toward bringing general education policies into compliance with Cal State University Chancellor Timothy P. White’s Executive Order 1100, revising two documents at Thursday’s meeting.
The Academic Senate made changes to a university policy outlining general education unit requirements, academic standards, and exceptions to ensure the information it details matches changes mandated by the executive order. It was heavily debated, undergoing additional revisions throughout the meeting.
The first motion to amend it further came from Brady Heiner, academic senator and associate professor of philosophy, who wanted to use language from a Chancellor’s Office FAQ to clarify that the “golden four” core competency requirements and necessary prerequisites be the minimum work necessary to take upper-division general education courses.
The golden four lower GE requirements are oral communication (A.1), written communication (A.2), critical thinking (A.3) and mathematics or quantitative reasoning (B.4).
“There are significant enrollment impacts in my college related to this minimum,” Heiner said. “So we should use the language directly from the Chancellor’s Office.”
His motion was seconded by Nancy Fitch, academic senator, who said the school should make it as easy as possible for students to complete their degrees faster.
“Why not let them take one of these GE classes when they have fewer than 60 units if they’ve met, at a minimum, the golden four,” Fitch said.
The amendment ultimately passed 19 to 12.
The second substantial change to the document at Thursday’s meeting was to list out the individual general education categories in the text and specify that the B.5 requirement, “Implications and Explorations of Mathematics and National Sciences,” must be fulfilled by a three unit upper-division course.
While some senators did not agree with every change to general education requirements that the chancellor ordered, the revised document was unanimously approved and the Pollak Library Instruction Room was filled with applause.
The last time revisions were made to the document was on July 6, 2016.
Another document detailing policies regarding new and existing general education courses was given a clause requiring those classes that have not been offered within five years have their status removed by the Office of Academic Programs.
The revisions were to be approved without discussion, but General Education Committee member Greg Childers asked to re-evaluate the policy to apply two minor changes in language.
“These items do not pertain at all to Executive Order 1100, they’re just some outstanding issues,” Childers said about the mid-meeting adjustments.
The statute of limitation update was approved soon after.
“This actually is the end of a stage of a lot of work people did. We’ll continue to talk about GE down the road, but this is an incredible moment,” said Academic Senate Chair Stephen Stambough.
General Education Committee Chair Brenda Bowser said the committee has “no time to rest” as they now have to focus on repositioning academic courses into new categories.
“Right now I feel relieved because this was a big effort and we’ve achieved the major milestones of revising our policies,” Bowser said.
She also recommended students watch for opportunities to participate in the general education requirement revision process coming later this year.