General Education, Policy on
Policy Number: 19-08
Date: May 20, 2019
POLICY ON GENERAL EDUCATION (GE Policy)
(This policy supersedes Policy Statements 12-00, 08-00, 00-00, 98-00, 96-00, 91-00 (Rev.) (1994), 91-00,
87-01, 83-04 supplements #2 (1987) and #1 (1985), 83-04, 81-11 amended (1988), 81-11 amended
(1985), 81-11 supplement #1 (1982), 81-11, 80-06 supplements #3 (1987), #2 (1987), and #1 (1983), 80-
06, 79-28, 79-20, 79-16, 78-23, 77-29, 76-04, 75-02, 73-09, 73-05, 72-15, 72-03, 71-23, 71-21.)
This policy statement was recommended by the Academic Senate on April 19, 2019
and approved by the President on April 29, 2019.
Students at CSULB earn highly valued degrees by completing at least two programs: their degree program (major) and CSULB’s General Education (GE) Program. While the major focuses on discipline-specific education and sometimes prepares students for specific professions, the GE Program teaches a broad base of knowledge from a variety of disciplines so that students can lead engaged and meaningful lives exemplifying our CSULB values of intellectual rigor, inclusive excellence, and the public good. In the liberal arts tradition, the GE Program introduces students to new areas and gives them knowledge and skills that may or may not be related to their disciplines, rather than primarily complementing the major directly or catering to students’ preexisting interests.
The GE Program exposes students at CSULB to general knowledge across various disciplines with the appropriate approaches, methodologies, and pedagogies and equips students to draw connections between those disciplines. Furthermore, in the GE Program students learn transferable skills such as, but not limited to, oral and written communication, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and problem- solving. These skills allow them to achieve their initial professional goals, and to be successful in future careers that have not even been dreamed of yet. By conveying this knowledge and these skills, the GE Program gives students the opportunity to become well-informed, well-rounded, intentional, and thoughtful citizens of their diverse local, national, and global communities.
1.2 Governing Documents
CSU Executive Order 1100 on General Education Breadth Requirements (EO 1100) states that the total number of GE units required shall not be fewer or greater than 48-semester units, except when 49 units are allowed as described in Section 184.108.40.206 below. The Executive Order is issued pursuant to several sections of Title 5, California Code of Regulations.
1.3 GE Learning Outcomes
In order to be certified in a particular GE Area or Subarea, courses must have Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) that are aligned with that specific GE Area or Subarea. A separate implementation document defining GE SLOs will be approved by the Academic Senate in its initial iteration and subsequently maintained by the GEGC (General Education Governing Committee).
1.4 Commitment to GE Program
In addition to periodic review of courses and program assessment, the University’s commitment in several other areas is important to the health of the GE Program. These areas include the following:
- faculty development and curricular innovation and improvement, including programs that offer incentives for faculty involvement in the GE Program;
- support for initiatives designed to create learning communities;
- provision of adequate numbers of course sections at times that meet student needs and in patterns that permit the formation of learning communities;
- collaboration across academic units to create Concentrations and to offer courses at accessible times;
- establishment of program enforcement mechanisms that help rather than hinder student progress through the program; and
- communication with feeder community colleges regarding the CSULB GE Program.
2.0 STRUCTURE OF THE GENERAL EDUCATION PROGRAM
The GE Program is organized as three sequential stages.
- The first is the Foundation: four courses designed to provide fundamental learning skills.
- The second is Explorations: nine courses (except when a tenth course in laboratory activity is allowed as described in Section 220.127.116.11 below) distributed across the curriculum that are intended to provide an opportunity to explore the various way of acquiring and examining knowledge while continuing to develop learning skills.
- The third is Upper-Division GE Courses: three courses designed to integrate knowledge and skills developed earlier in the curriculum.
In completing the Foundation, Explorations, and Upper-Division stages of the GE Program, all students must complete the distribution pattern described in Section 3.0 below. At the upper-division level, students must take one three-unit course each in Areas B, C, and D. These courses should be taken either at California State University, Long Beach or another California State University campus. In order to bring coherence to the Upper-Division GE Courses and the entire GE Program, students may pursue a Concentration of courses (see below Section 5.0).
2.1 Academic Preparation
All students are assessed for readiness for baccalaureate-level work in written communication in English and mathematics/quantitative reasoning. Students who have demonstrated a need for additional support in written communication in English and mathematics/quantitative reasoning will be placed in courses that provide such academic support, for instance through co-requisites or stretch components, as mandated in CSU Executive Order 1110 on Assessment of Academic Preparation (EO 1110).
The first-year program at CSULB pays special attention to the development and improvement of fundamental academic skills that are critical to student success in college. Every CSULB student will be expected to demonstrate mastery of key academic skills early in the course of study within the first year. Among the skills most central to success are oral and written communication in English, mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning, and analytical and critical thinking. Students also need a solid foundation in skills for learning, including information literacy and basic technology skills.
The following courses make up the Foundation curriculum, also known as Golden Four or Basic Skills:
- One three-unit course in Oral Communication in English (Subarea A1)
- One three-unit course in Written Communication in English (Subarea A2)
- One three-unit course in Critical Thinking (Subarea A3)
- One three-unit course in Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (Subarea B4)
- Detailed descriptions of these Areas are found in Section 3.0 below.
- The Foundation curriculum must be completed by the time the student has completed thirty units of baccalaureate-level work at CSULB. Each course must be completed with a grade of C- or better.
- Courses in the Foundation curriculum will be numbered from 100 to 199.
- Any course that fulfills GE requirements in A2 or B4 Foundation must meet the requirements of EO 1110.
After an early focus on fundamental learning and academic skills, students will have an opportunity to explore human knowledge in many disciplines. The Explorations stage encompasses all areas at the lower-division level outside the Foundation curriculum, as described in the Distribution sections in Section 3.0. It does not include the final nine units of upper-division GE that are distributed in Areas B, C, and D and described below.
GE Courses that are not in the Foundation but are numbered from 100 through 199 may be appropriately taken at the same time as courses in the Foundation curriculum; however, the GEGC will establish expectations for such courses that will acknowledge the nature of the student audience.
Courses that demonstrably integrate skills and content or content-focused courses that are linked to skills courses are especially suitable for this level.
Although the primary purpose of Explorations is the development of breadth of knowledge, it is expected that all courses will offer opportunities for continued development of foundational skills. Reading, writing, oral discussion and presentation, problem solving, quantitative reasoning, and critically and analytically based research are central to the learning of content. For this reason, all courses in Explorations must have at least one pre- or co-requisite from the Foundation, and all Upper-Division GE Courses must have the entire Foundation curriculum as prerequisite.
In addition, as students’ progress through their Explorations, they will be expected to develop additional skills and attributes, including ethical reasoning, analytical reading, creativity, respect for difference, awareness of other cultures, questioning of stereotypes, the values of citizenship, negotiating skills, and other attributes of use in a diverse society. Courses at this level will be evaluated for their attention to one or more of these areas and to Foundation skills, as well as content.
2.4 Upper-Division GE Courses
The final stage of the GE Program encompasses nine upper-division GE units. All students, including transfer students who have completed a certified lower-division GE Program, must complete nine units of Upper-Division GE Courses in Areas B, C, and D (one three-unit course in each Area).
In most cases, upper-division GE Courses should be restricted to students who have completed 60 semester units or more. This protects the integrity of the increasing complexity of degree requirements, and it conserves upper-division courses for the graduating seniors whose degree completion could be slowed without access to required upper-division GE Courses. At the same time, the CSU is committed to providing the courses students need, when they need them. There may be cases in which students with fewer than 60 units may need to enroll in an Upper-Division GE Course to continue making timely progress toward degree completion. At a minimum, students shall have attained sophomore standing, completed the entire Foundation (aka the Golden Four: oral communication, written communication, critical thinking and mathematics/quantitative reasoning), and completed at least one GE Course from the Explorations stage before enrolling in Upper-Division GE Courses.
3.0 SUBJECT AREA DISTRIBUTION, COURSE CONTENT, AND INSTRUCTION CRITERIA IN GENERAL EDUCATION PROGRAM
Students must complete forty-eight units of approved GE Courses, distributed as detailed below. After a Section on general criteria (3.1), each part of this Section of the policy details distribution as well as course content and instruction criteria specific to each Area and Subarea. Courses certified as GE
Courses must meet two sets of criteria: the general criteria for what constitutes a GE Course, and the specific criteria for the Area or Subarea in which they are being certified.
3.1 General Criteria
All courses in the GE Program must demonstrably encourage development of academic skills. GE Courses should include, as an integral component of teaching, sensitivity to different points of view and diverse learning methods.
When requesting GE certification for a certain Area or Subarea a course may be the only exposure a student gets to that Area or Subarea. The course as a whole—and not the general topic or discipline— must be appropriate to that Area or Subarea and taught at the university level. Rather than GE being an afterthought to make a course fit into that Area or Subarea, with just perfunctory treatment or minimal coverage of the Area or Subarea, a course must be created around the concept of covering GE explicitly, directly, thoroughly, and significantly, integrating the Area or Subarea throughout the course. The course may simultaneously cover discipline-specific material; however, that material must be integrated with the GE content.
At the Foundation stage, academic skills will focus on oral and written communication, critical thinking, or mathematics/quantitative reasoning. Because of the nature of the courses that constitute the Foundation stage, it is expected that they will be organized either as small groups or as large lectures with small group discussions, activities, or workshops. Although no explicit class size limit will be set for other GE Courses targeted to first-year students, the GEGC will consider whether the proposed modes of instruction are consistent with the learning objectives of the course and the level.
Courses beyond the Foundation stage must continue to enhance the Foundation skills, as well as build additional skills as indicated in the descriptions of the specific levels. Wherever appropriate, instruction approved to fulfill the GE requirements should recognize the contributions to knowledge and civilization that have been made by members of various cultural groups and genders. Wherever appropriate, the content of courses should include examples of the relationship of human and cultural diversity to the subject matter.
In order to be approved for a specific GE Area or Subarea, the course must include:
- for all GE courses: textbooks/readings and bibliography items that clearly address the Area or Subarea being requested;
- for all GE courses: Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) dedicated to the Area or Subarea being requested and taken or adapted from the implementation document defining GE SLOs approved by the Academic Senate and maintained by the GEGC;
- for all GE courses: scheduled class topics that directly address the GE SLOs dedicated to the Area or Subarea being requested;
- for Foundation courses: at least two thirds of the SLOs, assignments, assessments, evaluative criteria, and final course grade dedicated to the Area or Subarea being requested; and
- for Exploration courses: at least one third of the SLOs, assignments, assessments, evaluative criteria, and final course grade dedicated to the Area or Subarea being requested.
Courses proposed for GE certification must use the forms provided and formal requirements set by GEGC.
3.2 Lower-Division Courses
3.2.1 Area A, English Language Communication and Critical Thinking
Students must complete nine units in Area A, English Language Communication and Critical Thinking (all courses at the lower-division level), as follows:
- Area A1: Three units chosen from approved courses in Oral Communication.
- Area A2: Three units chosen from approved courses in Written Communication.
- Area A3: Three units chosen from approved courses in Critical Thinking.
18.104.22.168.1 Criteria for Subareas A1, Oral Communication, and A2, Written Communication
Courses in fulfillment of Subareas A1 and A2 will develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the form, content, context, and effectiveness of communication. Students will examine communication from the rhetorical perspective by practicing accuracy, reasoning, organization, and persuasion. Students will enhance their information literacy skills by developing their abilities to find, critically evaluate, organize, and report information, and by reading, writing, and listening effectively. Instruction will provide an understanding of the psychological basis and social significance of communication, including how communication operates in various situations.
22.214.171.124.2 Criteria for Subarea A1, Oral Communication
Courses in fulfillment of Subarea A1 will develop students’ proficiency in oral communication in English. Coursework must include active participation and practice in oral communication in English.
126.96.36.199.3 Criteria for Subarea A2, Written Communication
Courses in fulfillment of Subarea A2 will develop students’ proficiency in written communication in English. Coursework must include active participation and practice in written communication in English.
188.8.131.52.4 Criteria for Subarea A3, Critical Thinking
Courses in fulfillment of Subarea A3 will develop students’ knowledge and understanding of logic and its relation to language; of elementary inductive and deductive processes, including an understanding of the formal and informal fallacies of language and thought; and of the ability to distinguish matters of fact from issues of judgment or opinion. Courses in fulfillment of Subarea A3 will develop students’ abilities to analyze, criticize, and advocate ideas; to reason inductively and deductively; and to reach well-supported factual or judgmental conclusions.
3.2.2 Area B, Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning
Students must complete nine units at the lower-division level and three units at the upper-division level in Area B, Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning. One additional unit may be taken in Area B3 for a laboratory course of not more than one semester unit value, taken in conjunction with a Physical Science (B1) or Life Science (B2) course. The distribution within Area B is as follows:
- Area B1: Three units chosen from approved courses in Physical Science.
- Area B2: Three units chosen from approved courses in Life Science.
- Area B3: One additional unit may be taken in Area B3 for a laboratory course of not more than one semester unit value, taken in conjunction with a Physical Science (B1) or Life Science (B2) course. This additional unit brings the total GE Program from 48 units to 49 units.
- Area B4: Three units chosen from approved courses in Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning.
- Area B-UD: Three units chosen from any upper-division course in Area B.
184.108.40.206.1 Criteria for Subareas B1, Physical Science, B2, Life Science, and B3, Laboratory Course
In Subareas B1, B2, and B3, students will develop knowledge of scientific theories, concepts, and data about both living and non-living systems. Students will achieve an understanding and appreciation of scientific principles and the scientific method. The potential limits of scientific endeavors and the value systems and ethics associated with human inquiry may also be explored as appropriate for the course. Wherever appropriate, courses may address the influence that the acquisition of scientific knowledge has had on the development of the world's civilizations.
220.127.116.11.2 Criteria for Subarea B1, Physical Science
Courses in fulfillment of Subarea B1 will develop students’ knowledge of the facts and principles which form the foundations of non-living systems. Courses may focus on a specific physical science or survey physical sciences in general.
18.104.22.168.3 Criteria for Subarea B2, Life Science
Courses in fulfillment of Subarea B2 will develop students’ knowledge of the facts and principles which form the foundations of all living systems and organisms.
22.214.171.124.4 Criteria for Subarea B3, Laboratory Course
A laboratory course of not more than one-semester unit value, associated with Subarea B1 or Subarea B2, is required if neither the B1 nor B2 course includes a laboratory component.
126.96.36.199.5 Criteria for Subarea B4, Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning
Courses in fulfillment of Subarea B4 will develop students’ mathematic/quantitative reasoning skills that can be applied in the various contexts defined by personal, civic, and professional responsibilities. Courses will focus on developing and demonstrating a general understanding of how practitioners and scholars collect and analyze data, build mathematical models, and/or solve problems using quantitative methods that go beyond CSU first-year student admission requirements.
Courses in Subarea B4 shall include a prerequisite reflective only of skills and knowledge required in the course. In addition to traditional mathematics, courses in Subarea B4 may include computer science, personal finance, statistics or discipline-based mathematics or quantitative reasoning courses that demonstrably address the criteria above.
3.2.3 Area C, Arts and Humanities
Students must complete nine units at the lower-division level and three units at the upper-division level in Area C, Arts and Humanities. The distribution within Area C is as follows:
- Area C1: Three units chosen from approved courses in the Arts (Arts, Cinema, Dance, Design, Film, Music, Theatre)
- Area C2: Three units chosen from approved courses in the Humanities (Literature, Philosophy, Languages other than English
- Area C3 Three additional units chosen from approved courses either in Area C1 or in Area C2.
- Area C-UD: Three units chosen from any upper-division course in Area C.
188.8.131.52.1 Criteria for Subareas C1, Arts (Arts, Cinema, Dance, Design, Film, Music, Theatre) and C2, Humanities (Literature, Philosophy, Languages other than English)
Across the disciplines in Area C, students will cultivate intellect, imagination, sensibility and sensitivity. Activities may include participation in creative experiences; Area C, however, excludes courses that exclusively emphasize skills development.
184.108.40.206.2 Criteria for Subarea C1, Arts (Arts, Cinema, Dance, Design, Film, Music, Theatre)
Courses in fulfillment of Subarea C1 will develop students’ subjective as well as objective response to aesthetic experiences, as well as their understanding of the integrity of both emotional and intellectual responses. Students will cultivate and refine their affective, cognitive, and physical faculties through aesthetic, creative experiences and the corresponding study of works of human imagination. In their intellectual and subjective considerations, students will develop a better understanding of the interrelationship between the self and the creative arts and the role of the arts in human culture. Subarea C1 includes courses in art disciplines, for instance visual art, dance, theatre, creative writing, music, cinematography, film, and design. Wherever appropriate, courses may address diverse artistic traditions.
220.127.116.11.3 Criteria for Subarea C2, Humanities (Literature, Philosophy, Languages other than English)
Courses in fulfillment of Subarea C2 will develop students’ understanding of the integrity of both emotional and intellectual responses, as well as cultivate and refine their cognitive and affective faculties through the corresponding study of works of the human imagination and also the history of thought. . In their intellectual and subjective considerations, students will develop a better understanding of the interrelationship between the self and the humanities. Courses in languages other than English may be included in this requirement because of their implications for cultures both in their linguistic structures and in their use in literature, but courses which are approved to fulfill this requirement must contain a cultural component and may not be solely skill acquisition courses. Wherever appropriate, courses may address the humanities in a variety of cultures.
3.2.4 Area D, Social Sciences
Students must complete nine units at the lower-division level and three units at the upper-division level in Area D, Social Sciences. The distribution within Area D is as follows:
- Area D1: Three units chosen from approved courses in US History.
- Area D2: Three units chosen from approved courses in Constitution and American Ideals.
- Area D3: Three units chosen from approved courses in Social Sciences and Citizenship.
- Area D-UD: Three units chosen from any upper-division course in Area D.
18.104.22.168.1 Criteria for Subareas D1, US History, D2, Constitution and American Ideals, and D3, Social and Behavioral Sciences and History
Across the disciplines in Area D, students will learn how human social, political and economic institutions and behavior are inextricably interwoven. Through fulfillment of the Area D requirement, students will develop an understanding of problems and issues from the respective disciplinary perspectives and will examine issues in their contemporary as well as historical settings and in a variety of cultural contexts. Students will explore the principles, methodologies, value systems, and ethics employed in social scientific inquiry. Area D excludes courses that emphasize skills development and professional preparation.
22.214.171.124.2 Criteria for Subarea D1, US History
Courses in fulfillment of Area D1 will foster in students an awareness of United States history, as provided for in Title 5, Article 40404 of the California Code of Regulations. This requirement is intended to enable students to function as responsible and constructive citizens through exposure to the respective and collective experiences of the United States’ diverse population, the development and functioning of its institutions, and the events and circumstances that have shaped United States history. These larger themes will be explored by interrogating multiple perspectives, assessing causes and consequences, understanding patterns of change and continuity, and evaluating historical and contemporary significance. Courses in fulfillment of Subarea D1 will, at a minimum, include the following:
- an analysis of the significant events occurring within the entire territory of the US, including the relationships among regions within that area and relationships with external regions and powers, as appropriate;
- a chronological span of not less than one hundred (100) years;
- an examination of the nature and extent of the continuity of the US experience within itself and with the diverse ethnic, racial, national, and religious cultures from which it is derived;
- consideration of the relationship of such factors as geography, religion, natural resources, economics, cultural diversity, and politics to the development of the nation during the time period covered;
- coverage of the role of ethnic, racial, national, religious, gender, and socioeconomic groups in the events described;
- introduction to diverse groups and individual leaders who have been instrumental in the development of the US;
- attention to the phenomenon of conflict (or change) as a variable in the US national experience.
126.96.36.199.3 Criteria for Subarea D2, Constitution and American Ideals
Courses in fulfillment of Area D2 will give students a comprehensive understanding of and appreciation for American political institutions and processes established by the US Constitution and the California state constitutions, as provided for in Title 5, Article 40404 of the California Code of Regulations. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for effective political participation and citizenship. Courses in fulfillment of Subarea D2 will, at a minimum, include the following course content:
- a comparison of different forms of government, including democracy, oligarchy and autocracy, with attention to how these are represented in the “mixed” American constitutional system;
- the political philosophy of the framers of the Constitution and the nature and operation of US political institutions and processes that operate under the Constitution as amended and interpreted;
- the rights and obligations of citizens in the political system established under that Constitution;
- the principles and practices of political organization, including political parties, interest groups, social movements and the news media;
- an examination of the interactions between and the evolution, development and contemporary dynamics of the American presidency, the United States Congress and the federal judiciary;
- an introduction to constitutionally and legislatively established administrative and regulatory institutions;
- an analysis of bureaucracies and their impact on citizens at the national, state, and local levels;
- an analysis of the US citizenry, including demography, political culture, public opinion and political behavior;
- the constitution of the state of California within a framework of the historical evolution of the state and the nature of the processes of state and local government under that constitution;
- the nature of federalism, including the relationship of federal to state and local practices, the resolution of jurisdictional conflicts, and the political processes involved.
188.8.131.52.4 Criteria for Subarea D3, Social and Behavioral Sciences and History
Courses in fulfillment of Area D3 will foster in students an awareness that human social, political, and economic institutions and behavior are inextricably interwoven. Problems and issues in these areas may be examined in their contemporary as well as historical settings.
3.2.5 Area E, Lifelong Learning and Self-Development
Students must complete three units in Area E, Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (all courses at the lower-division level).
184.108.40.206.1 Criteria for Area E, Lifelong Learning and Self-Development
Courses in fulfillment of Area E will equip students for lifelong understanding and development of themselves as integrated physiological, social, and psychological beings. Physical activity may be included, if it is an integral part of the study elements described herein. Courses developed to meet this requirement may include topics such as, but not limited to, student success strategies, human behavior, sexuality, nutrition, physical and mental health, stress management, information literacy, social relationships and relationships with the physical environment, as well as implications of death and dying or avenues for lifelong learning. Courses in Area E will focus on the development of skills, abilities, and dispositions.
3.3 Upper-Division General Education Courses
All Upper-Division GE Courses must require students to demonstrate advanced college skills and knowledge such as synthesis and application of knowledge, analysis, critique, and research. While Upper-Division GE Courses will only be classified as category B, C, or D, it is understood that at the upper-division level, such courses might involve the integration of these skills in a student’s major. Project-based, interdisciplinary, and service learning courses are some examples where the emphasis on these skills will contribute to student success.” Upper-Division GE Courses are intended to help students integrate knowledge and skills developed earlier in the GE Program, working at a more advanced level than Foundation and Explorations courses. Upper-Division GE Courses must require as pre-requisites sophomore standing and completion of the entire Foundation (aka the Golden Four: oral communication, written communication, critical thinking, and mathematics/quantitative reasoning).
Courses requesting certification at the upper-division level must meet the general criteria for GE Courses articulated in Section 3.1, the content criteria of at least one of the Subareas, and the general upper-division criteria for GE Courses articulated in this Section (3.3). However, these courses will only be categorized as B-UD, C-UD, and D-UD.
Each UD GE category must offer courses intended for students without prior experience in the discipline beyond an introductory course. Upper-division course may have prerequisites that are not on the General Education Master Course List (i.e., discipline-specific prerequisites).
All courses approved for Area C at the upper-division level will require at least 2,500 words of writing. No upper-division Area C course shall have more than seventy enrolled students.
All nine units of upper-division GE courses (one each in Areas B, C, and D) should be taken at California State University, Long Beach or at another California State University campus.
4.0 GENERAL EDUCATION CONCENTRATIONS
A Concentration is a suggested cluster of courses that can give the student’s experience in the GE Program more coherence and meaning by offering the opportunity to explore (through that cluster of courses) a particular area of interest, to complement and make connections to a major field of study, or to learn more about potential majors. Concentrations may feature themes consisting of a group of courses connected through overarching content. Well-built Concentrations should offer distinctive GE experiences that capitalize on the remarkable assets of CSULB (e.g., its diversity, its location on the Pacific Rim, its strength in the arts). Concentrations should also enable the creation of informal learning communities by bringing a group of students following a Concentration together over an extended series of courses.
Students need not choose a Concentration to complete GE requirements. Students can declare a Concentration in consultation with an academic advisor and may switch Concentrations at any time. However, students can receive recognition on their transcript for no more than one Concentration. Failure to complete the declared Concentration will not prevent students from graduation as long as they complete the GE and other graduation requirements.
Concentrations may be developed by individual departments, by colleges, by other academic programs, or by collaborations among departments or academic programs. Broadly based Concentrations are encouraged. Concentrations should be housed in a department or an academic program and may be housed at the college level.
Departments and colleges are encouraged to collaborate in identifying thematically linked groups of courses in Concentrations and to schedule such courses so as to facilitate concurrent or sequenced enrollment. Thus, two or more courses from different departments that address aspects of a common theme might be scheduled so that a student could take the grouping in a single semester or in consecutive semesters.
To create a Concentration, the following conditions must be met:
A Concentration must include at least 20 GE courses, at least five of which must be at the upper- division level.
A Concentration must include courses from at least three of the five GE Areas: A, B, C, D, E.
A Concentration must include courses from at least two colleges and from at least four different departments.
To complete a Concentration, students must:
declare the Concentration,
take at least four courses from the Concentration, one of which must be at the upper-division level,
take Concentration courses from at least three of the five GE Areas, which must be from at least two colleges and at least four different departments.
4.2 Listing and Review
Concentrations shall be described in the Catalog in the department, program, or college where they are housed, and listed separately in a comprehensive list in the Catalog. Prior to publication, a Concentration must be approved by the Curriculum and Educational Policies Council (CEPC). The CEPC will review approved Concentrations every five years.
5.0 GENERAL REGULATIONS
Only courses on the General Education Master Course List at the time the student takes the course shall count for General Education (GE).
All courses may double-count for the major as well as the GE Program.
There is no limit to the number of units that may be used to satisfy both the requirements for the major and the requirements for GE.
Where appropriate exams exist, Foundation and Explorations requirements may be met by external examinations, for instance Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams.
Within the GE requirements, no course may be designated to meet more than two Areas or Subareas in the GE Program.
A course with more than one GE designation may be counted (at the student’s choice) in any one of the approved categories A-E, but not in more than one.
No course identified in the catalog as available for credit in a graduate program will be permitted for GE credit. Double-numbered courses (400 and 500 level) may not be used for GE credit.
GE Courses may be offered in various formats and instructional modalities (e.g., face-to-face, hybrid, or completely online) and in various time frames. Departments have the burden of demonstrating that the GE objectives and the expectations of student performance are maintained in all formats in which the course is taught.
Higher-unit GE Courses may not be required, but GE Courses bearing higher units may be allowed to satisfy GE Area or Subarea requirements. Major courses that double count toward satisfaction of a GE Subarea may carry a higher unit than the Subarea requires, but students need to be given the option of completing a lower-unit GE Course.
A student who has been admitted to a baccalaureate degree program is exempt from additional requirements of the GE Program if:
- the student has previously earned a baccalaureate or higher degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association; or
- the student has completed equivalent academic preparation, as determined by the appropriate campus authority.
6.0 UNIT REDUCTIONS IN HIGH-UNIT MAJORS
To achieve a reduction of required GE units for their students, the chairs of departments (or directors of programs) with high-unit degree majors may request—and the Curriculum and Educational Policies Council may recommend, with review by the Academic Senate—a reduction of the required units. A full academic justification shall be submitted by the Vice Provost for Academic Programs to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs of the CSU system, who shall submit his or her recommendation and the campus recommendation (along with all relevant documents) to the Chancellor of the CSU system. The Chancellor may grant exceptions to one or more requirements for students completing the particular program.
7.0 GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR RETURNING AND TRANSFER STUDENTS
Students who have not maintained continuous attendance status at CSULB shall be subject to the GE requirements in effect at the time of their reentry to the university, with the following exceptions:
- Previous CSULB students who were under earlier GE requirements and who before breaking continuous attendance needed no more than three additional courses to complete the entire lower-division GE requirement shall be allowed to complete the lower-division GE requirement in effect at the time of the previous attendance.
- Previous CSULB students who were under the earlier GE requirements and who before breaking continuous attendance completed one or more upper-division GE Courses shall be required to complete the upper-division GE requirements.
Transfer students who enter CSULB with full GE certification at the lower-division level from a California Community College need not complete any other GE Courses except the three upper- division courses, which cannot be met through transfer from a community college. Transfer students who enter CSULB without full GE certification or subject-area (partial) certification from a California Community College must either complete the CSULB GE requirements, or complete and obtain a GE certification from a California Community College which will be honored as meeting CSULB’s lower-division GE requirements.
8.0 GOVERNANCE OF THE GENERAL EDUCATION PROGRAM AND REVIEW OF COURSES
The authority to review and approve courses for inclusion in the General Education Master Course List belongs to the General Education Governing Committee (GEGC), with subsequent review by the Curriculum and Educational Policies Council (CEPC). The GE Program as a whole will be assessed by the General Education Evaluation Committee (GEEC). The GEEC will notify the GEGC of all decisions and reports to the PARC. Membership and duties of the GEGC and GEEC shall be specified in a charge by the Academic Senate.
8.1 Review of GE Courses
Departments with courses undergoing review have the burden of proof that the requirements of the Area or Subarea, of the other expectations of the program level (Foundation, Explorations, Upper-Division), and of the course’s contribution to the overall GE Program have been met.
Once a course has been approved for GE credit by the GEGC, it will be reviewed periodically by the GEEC. The standard period between reviews is five years. Courses approved for GE that have not been offered within a five-year period shall have GE status removed. Any course that undergoes substantial change requires appropriate reevaluation to remain on the list of approved courses. A request for inclusion in an additional GE Area or Subarea for a course already on the list of approved courses approved for GE requirements requires a review and evaluation of the course for all prior as well as requested GE Areas or Subareas by the GEGC. Except in the case of courses that have not yet been offered, departments may be asked to provide anonymous examples of student work as evidence that course expectations are appropriate.
The Colleges must submit materials for each of their courses on the General Education Master Course List for periodic review and evaluation. Failure to submit a course for by the end of the semester following the semester during which the college received a request will be interpreted as a desire to delete the course from the list of approved courses and will be so honored.
9.0 COURSE LIST APPEAL PROCEDURES
A department (via the college) may appeal a decision regarding placement of one of their own courses on the General Education Master Course List. The department (via the college) does this by requesting reconsideration and submitting further information about the course to show why the original decision was incorrect.
Although the appeal must be written and include all necessary information and arguments, representatives of the department and college may attend the meeting at which the GEGC reviews the appeal to ask and answer questions.
If a department discovers that one of its courses is approved for GE under a specific GE Area and the course is not appropriate, that department must request that the course be deleted from the General Education Master Course List.
If after the appeal referred to above a college still disagrees with the judgment of the GEGC, it may appeal to the Curriculum and Educational Policies Council. If this is done, the GEGC will prepare for the council a statement of the reasons for its decision. The college will furnish the members of the council copies of the course justification and the additional materials provided for the committee. All materials shall be distributed to council members prior to the meeting at which the matter is to be considered. Oral presentations may also be made at the Curriculum and Educational Policies Council meeting, if the college wishes.
The judgment of the Curriculum and Educational Policies Council on appeals is final.
Disagreements over the implementation of this policy shall be referred to the Curriculum and Educational Policies Council.
The actions of the committees (GEGC, GEEC) and council (CEPC) shall be subject to review by the Academic Senate.