The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to approve an amendment to Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations. This amendment will modify the university’s General Education (GE) requirements to include a course addressing ethnic studies and social justice. This marks the first significant change to the university’s GE requirements in 40 years.
“Our goal is for CSU students, from every major and in every workplace, to be leaders in creating a more just and equitable society,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “This action, by the CSU and for the CSU, lifts Ethnic Studies to a place of prominence in our curriculum, connects it with the voices and perspectives of other historically oppressed groups, and advances the field by applying the lens of social justice. It will empower our students to meet this moment in our nation’s history, giving them the knowledge, broad perspectives and skills needed to solve society’s most pressing problems. And it will further strengthen the value of a CSU degree.”
The one-course requirement will be implemented in the 2023-24 school year to allow time for faculty on 23 campuses to develop plans and coursework that best meet the unique needs of their students and communities. Grounded in the traditional Ethnic Studies discipline, comprised of African American, Asian American, Latinx and Native American studies, the requirement can be fulfilled through a broad spectrum of course offerings that address historical, current and emerging ethnic studies and social justice issues. The requirement advances a unique focus on the intersection and comparative study of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion, immigration status, ability and/or age. CSU courses on Africana literature, Native Californian perspectives, police reform, disparities in public health and the economics of racism, to name just a few, would meet the new requirement.
The CSU has a long history of leadership in the field of Ethnic Studies, with San Francisco State University creating the nation’s first College of Ethnic Studies in 1969. Since then numerous departments of ethnic studies have flourished across the CSU offering hundreds of courses each semester.
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The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 482,000 students. Half of the CSU’s students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 127,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.8 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.