Definition, Philosophy and Criteria for General Education Breadth Requirements
(Senate: 11/24/81, 2/16/82, 12/3/85, 6/1/93, 6/4/96, 10/9/96, 11/6/96 [EC], 2/29/97[EA], 4/21/98, 6/2/98, 11/17/98, 11/7/00,, 5/8/12; President: 12/9/81, 3/5/82, 3/10/86, 6/11/93, 8/27/96, 10/14/96, 3/28/97, 4/22/97, 6/9/98, 9/21/98, 2/1/99; 1/30/01, 8/31/12; Editorial Amendment: 8/01)
I. Definition and Philosophy of General Education
California State University, Los Angeles is a comprehensive institution that offers educational opportunities to its students who are as varied as the city's population. Cal State L.A. has a special mission to provide an educational experience that recognizes and takes full advantage of this diversity, while emphasizing the knowledge, experiences, and ethical concerns common to all people.
The General Education program enriches the lives of students as they acquire knowledge, learn to think critically, and use methodologies of the various disciplines. Students also learn to prepare for participation in a democracy, to appreciate a sense of shared cultural heritage, and to understand the environment. Students experience self discovery and personal growth and recognize them as lifelong processes.
General Education is a critical component of students' academic and personal development. The General Education program endeavors to develop the following three separate, but related and equally important qualities in our students:
- A knowledge and understanding of themselves, their social and natural environment and a wide range of cultural achievements.
General Education courses provide students with an opportunity to acquire knowledge about their own bodies and minds and about human kind's common heritage and cultural achievements. The General Education program also enable students to develop global perspectives; to develop common commitments and mutual respect among diverse social, cultural and ethnic groups; to establish an understanding of the biological and physical aspects of the world and the universe; and to nurture an understanding of environmental responsibilities.
- A firm command of communication and analytical skills.
The General Education program develops the ability of students to think clearly and logically, to find and examine information, to communicate effectively in oral and written form, and to perform quantitative analysis. The General Education program also cultivates the students' ability to reason critically, to solve problems creatively and to understand the major methods of intellectual inquiry.
- A moral commitment to their fellow human beings and an awareness of ethical and social concerns.
The General Education program emphasizes the interdependence of individuals with the human community and the natural world by focusing on the knowledge, experiences, relationships and ethical concerns common to all people. In affirming the community's claim on its individual members, General Education courses explore shared and diverse cultural heritages and an agenda of common and pressing contemporary problems, cultivate mutual responsibilities to the commonwealth, and stimulate commitments to moral values and ethical behavior. Consistent with the mission of the University, the purposes of General Education are to provide a knowledge and understanding of common problems, experiences and traditions that will enhance students' participation in a culturally diverse global society, and to provide an assessment of finite resources, mutual human needs and values.
General Education at Cal State L.A. is devoted to a number of basic goals, these include:
- Developing an awareness of a sense of community and global inter dependence of human experience and of the concomitant ethical responsibilities to fellow human beings.
The General Education program is designed to help students achieve a sense of the essential relationship of self to the community and environment with emphasis on their responsibilities to human society. Group and individualized experiences that encourage ethical behavior should be a part of the General Education program.
- Fostering intellectual curiosity and appreciation of the major discoveries and achievements in the arts, letters, natural and social sciences, technology and other major academic disciplines.
The General Education program is designed to stimulate curiosity for knowledge and excitement for lifelong learning. The nature of the courses and experiences in the program are planned to encourage students' interest in diverse aspects of education. The faculty is committed to offering students unique classroom opportunities and to challenging them to continue to study and learn long after course requirements are met. The General Education program includes an historical awareness of the major developments in the human experience as well as a contemporary awareness of the applications of new technologies which will play an increasingly important role in life.
- Achieving competence in basic skills.
The General Education program is designed to ensure that students master basic communication, critical thinking, and quantitative skills so that they may achieve academic excellence. In meeting this goal, the General Education program pays special attention to the multicultural nature of the Cal State L.A. campus community and to the needs of students who are limited in English language proficiency. Language development instruction is an integral part of General Education at Cal State L.A. The General Education program at Cal State L.A. places an emphasis on developing competence in the English language through its curriculum.
- Recognizing and appreciating the multicultural nature of human existence in general and of American society in particular.
The General Education program is designed to encourage students to develop appreciation for the multicultural dimensions of life in California, the nation, and the world. Uniquely on this campus, faculty draw upon the special expertise and the abundance of multicultural experiences of the student population in cultivating this cultural awareness. The General Education program offers students the opportunity to recognize the rich heritage and socially diverse environment of California and of the nation. The program also enables students to become aware of universal experiences that are part of all cultures as well as the varieties of value systems that are in operation in today's global society.
- Developing an appreciation of a shared and diverse cultural heritage and cultivating an awareness of the contemporary world and its problems.
The General Education program provides for its diverse student body a familiarity with a critical appraisal of American culture and its historical roots and antecedents. Students assess critically the impact and influence of American tradition, which includes the political economic social and communication systems, as well as the artistic and literary heritage, on the contemporary world.
- a. All courses, including General Education replacement courses, approved for General Education are mandated to require the practice of writing in English, including, where appropriate, library assignments. Evaluation of such writing shall be included in all courses.
- b. General Education breadth requirements will provide ample opportunity for students to be active learners during their educational experience.
- c. The General Education breadth requirements shall be organized in such a manner that their objectives shall be perceived as interrelated elements rather than isolated fragments.
- d. The General Education breadth requirements shall be structured so that introductory courses are taken prior to participation in integrative experiences. Students are expected to have completed the General Education requirements in written communication, oral communication, critical thinking, and mathematics, and at least one course each from blocks B, C, and D before enrolling in any upper division General Education course. No course with a non-General Education prerequisite may be used as a General Education course.
- e. The General Education breadth requirements shall be organized into a variety of cores or themes with unifying rationales among which students may choose.
III. Lower Division Criteria for Judging Whether Any Particular Course or Program Should be Offered as a Part of the General Education Program
Block A. Basic Subjects (16 units)
Communication in the English language, to include both oral and written communication, and in critical thinking, to include consideration of common fallacies in reasoning, and inquiry into mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning and their applications.
This block must be completed within the first 45 units counted toward the baccalaureate degree. Transfer students who have not completed this requirement must take at least one of these courses each quarter until the requirement is met.
- Communications (8)
- Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning (4)
- Critical Thinking (4)
Oral and Written Communication.
- a. Communication courses should focus on the significant content and forms of human communication.
- b. These courses should emphasize reasoning and advocacy, organization, accuracy and the skills of discovery, critical evaluation and reporting of information.
- c. Student participation in communication courses should include reading, speaking, writing and listening
Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning.
- a. Courses in this area must have a prerequisite of intermediate algebra and should encompass inquiry into basic mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning and their application. Courses that are designed for a particular major are not appropriate.
- b. Any mathematics courses for which a course at the level of college algebra or higher is a prerequisite may be substituted.
a. Courses in critical thinking should focus primarily on the further development of skills of analysis, criticism, advocacy, and inductive and deductive reasoning and impart an understanding of the relationship of language to logic.
b. Courses in this area should enable students to distinguish between knowledge and belief, facts and values, and enable students to develop an understanding of the fallacies of communication and thought.
Within the context of the General Education program at Cal State, L.A., the basic subjects core is intended to build upon and enhance students' capabilities leading to a successful higher education experience. Essential to basic subjects is the acquisition of a fundamental understanding of effective communication, quantitative analysis and critical reasoning and inquiry. Students who successfully complete the basic subjects core will have acquired:
1. oral and written communication skills to succeed in their academic programs;
2. initial skills in mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning to enter their academic programs, and;
3. critical thinking skills to succeed in their academic programs.
- American Institutions (8 units)
Statutory Requirements. Statutory requirements should be included among the total units of the General Education program with the understanding that they meet the criteria for General Education.
- American History (4)
- Government (4)
1. The subject matter elements to be included in giving consideration to the historical development of American institutions and ideals, all of which are necessary to satisfy this requirement, are as follows:
- a. Significant events occurring in the whole area now included in the United States of America, including relationships of regions within that area and with external regions and powers as appropriate to the understanding of those events within the United States during the time period considered.
- b. Significant events covering a time span of not less than 100 years during the period from 1750 to the present.
- c. The important contributions of the major national, ethnic, and social groups to the events considered and the contexts in which they occurred.
- d. The events within a framework that illustrates the continuity of the American experience within itself and with the cultures from which it was derived, and the relationships of politics, economics, society, cultural diversity, geography, and natural resources to the development of the nation during the time period covered.
2. The subject matter elements to be included in giving consideration to the Constitution of the United States and the operation of representative democratic government under that Constitution and the processes of California state and local government, all of which are necessary to satisfy this requirement, are as follows:
- a. The political philosophies of the framers of the Constitution and of the nature and operation of United States political institutions and processes that operate under that Constitution as amended and interpreted.
- b. The rights and obligations of citizens under the democratic political system established under the Constitution.
- c. The Constitution of the State of California within the framework of historic evolution of the state and the nature and processes of state and local government under that Constitution.
- d. The relationships of state and local government to the federal government, the resolutions of conflicts and the establishment of cooperative processes under the Constitutions of both the state and the nation, and the political processes involved.
3. Courses in this area must reflect the subject matter within the context of a diverse society.
Upon completion of this block students will:
1. Understand the subject matter of American institutions within the context of a changing multi-cultural society including the impact of government on the introduction and modification of various cultures and institutions in the United States and the effect of new cultures and institutions on the structures and policies of government;
2. Understand the effects of historical, technological and economic changes on government and the effects of governmental policy on technological and economic change;
3. Understand the effects of changes in the global society on the nature and role of the United States government and American institutions as well as the influence of American institutions on a global society; and
4. Understand the requirements for democratic citizenship, including skills in critical thinking and the need for various modes of regular participation by the citizenry.
Exceptions to the American Institutions Requirement
Exceptions to the American institutions requirement may be authorized only under the following circumstances:
a. In individual cases, the Dean of Undergraduate Studies may grant exceptions to the requirements specified herein for the conferral of a posthumous or honorary degree.
b. A postbaccalaureate student who is enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program shall not be subject to the requirements set forth in this section if:
1. The student has previously earned a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution; or
2. The student has completed equivalent academic preparation, as determined by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
Area Requirements (32 units)
Students will take three courses in each of the following areas, except for omission of one course (noted below) in the block related to the student's major. Each department/division/school in a block may have a limited number of courses.
Block B Natural Sciences (8-12 units) One course each from physical sciences and from biological sciences, both with lab (8 units). The third required course may be an integrated course or a course that addresses the application of scientific knowledge and technology to human beings and their concerns (4 units). Students majoring in biological science-based fields need only one physical science GE course and one other natural science GE course. Students majoring in physical science-based field need only one biological science-based GE course and one other natural science GE course.
Block C Humanities (8-12 units) One course each from any three of the following areas (an integrated course counts as an area): arts, integrated courses, literature and drama, philosophy and religious studies, and languages other than English. Students majoring in humanities-based fields need to take two GE courses.
Block D Social Sciences (8-12 units) One course each from any three disciplines that address social science issues. An integrated course may be used as one of the three required courses. Students majoring in social science-based fields need to take two social science GE courses.
An integrated course in each of the three discipline areas must address the following concepts:
1. The methods of inquiry used by the disciplines in the area.
2. Significant differences and similarities among the disciplines.
3. Where appropriate, historical developments of the disciplines to include major contributions from various cultures of the world.
4. Where appropriate, how the various disciplinary methodologies are used to solve problems.
Block B. Natural Sciences
Courses in this block must inquire into the physical universe and its life forms.
- 1. Courses in the natural sciences should promote an understanding and appreciation of the approaches and methodologies employed in the sciences.
- 2. Courses should be required in both the physical and biological sciences, each with laboratory practice, that should include the fundamental general concepts necessary for understanding the discipline's scope and concern.
Block C. Humanities
Courses in this block should result in developing students understanding of the interrelationship between the creative arts, the humanities and self. Studies in these areas should include exposure to a diverse range of world cultures.
C1. Literature and Drama
- 1. The content of literature and drama courses in this group should be selected on the basis of literary and dramatic merit, whether of written or oral tradition.
- 2. Courses in this area should consider the cultural and social concerns which have affected the nature and forms of the works studied.
- 3. Courses in this area should require students to make critical, creative or interpretive judgments about literary and dramatic works.
- 1. Courses in the arts should focus on cultivation of the imagination and develop sensitivity to all arts disciplines.
- 2. Arts courses should include, where appropriate, direct participation in creative experiences.
- 3. These courses should require students to demonstrate their own ability to make critical, creative or interpretive judgments about artistic works in both the visual and performing arts thereby engaging in an intellectual process which increases their understanding and appreciation. While arts courses considered as a whole block must encompass both visual and performing arts and cultivate a sensitivity to all arts disciplines, it is not required that each individual course meet these standards. Individual courses should draw connections among the arts where appropriate.
C3. Philosophy and Religious Studies
- 1. Courses in this area should focus on fundamental human beliefs and an investigation and an analysis of the justification of those beliefs.
- 2. The great thinkers and ideas presented should be representative of major traditions in the development of philosophy.
C4. Languages Other than English
Courses in this area should rely heavily on usage of language skills within a cultural/social context and include an examination of a number of aspects of the culture of the language being studied, including but not limited to customs and social, political, and cultural institutions.
Block D. Social Sciences
The courses in the social sciences block must reflect the fact that human, social, political, and economic institutions and behavior are inextricably interwoven. No course which is to be included in Block D should be devoted exclusively to a specific nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion, culture, or social institution. Course content should be comparative in nature.
Outcomes of Blocks B, C, and D
1. Upon completion of a block, students will have acquired content area knowledge in at least two disciplines, through which they can begin to understand more fully the processes of inquiry of the disciplines within the block.
2. As a result of completing a block, students will have acquired a broader base of information outside their own discipline.
3. As a result of completing a block, students will have developed a greater understanding of the relationship of their own discipline to a broad spectrum of other areas of study.
Block E. Lifelong Understanding and Self Development (4 units)
The courses in this block are designed to equip students for lifelong understanding and development of themselves in the context of global and multicultural environments and in the context of social and cultural institutions.
Courses should include considerations of the impact of human beings on their social or physical environments and of the impact of environment on the individual.
Courses in this block should study the human being as an integrated physiological, social, and psychological organism, and thus should provide a multidisciplinary perspective.
- Students will gain a multidisciplinary basis for a lifelong understanding of themselves as integrated physiological, psychological, and social organisms.
- Students will learn how they have an impact on their physical, social and cultural environments and how such environments affect them.
- Students will learn how to understand themselves and their actions in a diverse and changing global environment and how to adapt to such an environment.
IV. Upper Division Requirement (12 units).
Upper Division Theme (4-4-4)
Students will be required to complete one course in each of the three discipline areas (Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences and Mathematics).
Structure of Themes
- A theme consists of three interrelated courses on the same topic, one from each of the areas: Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences and Mathematics). Students are thereby provided with the perspectives of at least three different disciplines on the theme's topic. Theme courses are 4 units each. Each of the three areas in a theme includes at least 2 courses and not more than 4 courses.
- Alternatively, a theme may be a 12-unit interdisciplinary course sequence with substantially equal emphasis in the three areas above, integrating at least three disciplinary perspectives into the course work.
- When considered together courses must have a coherent rationale. Thus, regardless of students' course choices, both a common topic and course interrelatedness is evident throughout the students' theme course.
- There should be no more than eight themes.
- Subject Matter of Themes
- Theme topics must be of current, enduring, and significant importance for humanity.
- Topics must reflect the University's mission and goals for General Education: they must, for example, lend themselves to promoting: (a) an understanding of oneself and one's fellow human beings, the social and physical environment, and a wide range of cultural achievements; (b) an understanding of the shared concerns of all people as well as diverse cultural heritages; (c) an awareness of ethical and social concerns and a cultivation of moral responsibility.
- Themes with suitable subject matter may be designated "diversity themes" if all courses in at least two areas of the theme meet the standards for "diversity courses" set forth in section V. Students completing a diversity theme will have met the diversity requirement of General Education.
- Theme Courses
- Courses are all 300-level courses.
- All upper-division theme courses must include as prerequisites the completion of the Basic Subjects and at least one course each from blocks B, C, and D.
- A theme course may not be prerequisite to another, although an order may be recommended. If a sequence of courses is needed, the theme must be proposed as a single 12-unit course sequence with suffixes "abc."
- Courses must require writing assignments consistent with General Education policy.
- Courses used to meet upper division general education requirements may not be used for a major.
- Each area within a theme should be offered equally and all courses must be offered at least once per year.
- The number of students in upper-division theme classes should allow for student/faculty and student/student interaction and for timely feedback on writing assignments. This is normally not more than 40 students per class.
- Student must choose theme courses outside of their major department/division/school unless a departmental/divisional/school waiver has been approved by the General Education Subcommittee.
- Upon completion of the theme students shall understand the topic of the theme from the perspective of at least three disciplines.
- In the context of the topic of the theme, students shall have increased their understanding and appreciation of several of the goals of General Education, specifically: (a) an understanding of themselves and their fellow human beings, the social and physical environment and a wide range of cultural achievements; (b) an understanding of the shared concerns of all people as well as diverse cultural heritages; (c) an awareness of ethical and social concerns and a cultivation of moral responsibility.
- Students shall be provided with opportunities to improve upon the basic skills of General Education, namely, oral and written communication, critical thinking, and where appropriate, mathematical skills.
A student who has completed the upper-division theme is deemed to be "GE satisfied" at the upper division level. That student will not be held to further upper division course requirements upon a change of major.
V. Diversity Requirement (2 courses)
Students will be required to complete two courses certified as diversity courses. These courses can be completed either at the lower division or upper division level from among courses satisfying G.E. requirements. It is the intent of the diversity requirement to promote understanding of diversity and encourage tolerance and acceptance of others. Therefore, students should be encouraged by their advisors to take courses reflecting the life experiences of people with whom they are less familiar.
1. Diversity courses should deal with both theoretical and practical issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and class and provide a comparative treatment of no fewer than two internationally, nationally or regionally significant cultures.
2. Diversity courses should provide for a consideration of special needs, sexual orientation, language, religion, and age when appropriate.
- Students will develop an awareness of similarities and differences among ethnic and racial groups.
- Students will develop an understanding of differences in interaction between one group and another, one individual and another and between the group and the individual.
- Students will develop an understanding of how social, economic and political forces shape diversity and may be shaped by diversity.
Outcomes Should Also Include Some of the Following:
- Students will be provided with the tools to explore their own culturally based beliefs and develop tools to change those beliefs which lend themselves to prejudice.
- Students will be provided with the means to express thoughts and feelings about other individuals and other groups in a constructive way.
- Students will be provided with the means to recognize how and why communication between individuals and groups breakdown.
VI. Approved General Education Course Replacements
Departments/divisions/schools which require of their majors specific courses that are certified by the offering department/division/school as at least equivalent to the General Education courses in the given subject may, with the approval of the General Education Subcommittee, substitute such courses.
VII. Periodic Review
The entire program must be reviewed every five years by the appropriate curriculum committee for reapproval. Courses and themes, including approved General Education replacement courses, must meet the General Education guidelines. Courses and themes, including approved General Education replacement courses, not reapproved within the review cycle will be deleted from the General Education program. All courses and themes must continue to meet the General Education guidelines as they are currently taught.
(Senate: 4/15/86, 1/27/87, 10/24/95; President: 6/5/86, 4/27/87, 12/1/95)
Each baccalaureate student who enters Cal State L.A. fall 1982 or later and who is subject to requirements in the 1982-83 or any later Catalog shall complete the General Education program described below.
It is essential that students plan their General Education programs with the help of an academic adviser. Please consult the current Schedule of Classes for specific information about distribution requirements, unit requirements, and current General Education courses. General requirements include a minimum of 72 quarter units to be selected in accordance with the specified distributions among the designated categories. At least 12 units of upper division course work must be included, taken subsequent to the attainment of upper division standing (completion of 90 quarter units) and selected from the list of approved courses. Effective Fall Quarter 1986 a minimum grade point average of 2.0 is required in all course work used to satisfy the General Education breadth requirements. In addition, effective for those students subject to the 1987/89 or later Catalog, a minimum C grade (2.00 grade points) is required in each course taken to satisfy basic subjects course requirements (Block A): written communication, oral communication, critical thinking and mathematics. No course used to satisfy the upper division General Education requirement may also be used to satisfy a major requirement. A minimum of 12 quarter units of General Education courses must be taken in residence at Cal State L.A.
Departments/divisions/schools that require of their major specific courses that are certified by the offering department/division/school as at least equivalent to the General Education courses in a given subject may permit approved substitutions for General Education courses. All such substitutions must be arranged by the student in consultation with the major departmental/divisional/school academic adviser.
(Senate: 7/26/78; President: 8/15/78; Editorial Amendment: 9/99; 9/00, 8/01; 9/03)
For Students: To offer General Education opportunities which are appropriate in content, process and enrichment to academically highly capable students or those who show potential for such performance through out their General Education experience. This work will usually be completed during their freshman and sophomore years.
For the University: To attract a larger number of high potential students to this campus and encourage their continued attendance by recognition of academic excellence through a special program.
- To provide high potential students with an opportunity to participate in an intellectually demanding and academically challenging experience.
- To provide students with opportunities for modified General Education course work which may be interdisciplinary in nature and which provides greater interaction with peers and actively encourages involvement from students.
- To offer opportunities in the University through which high potential students can receive academic, personal, and career counseling that will help them better define their goals.
- To offer opportunities for high potential students and faculty members to establish closer educational and personal relationships.
- To offer encouragement to students to develop Departmental/Divisional/School Honors programs for the students' junior and senior years.
Opportunities Offered by the Program to Students Who Participate
- Differential educational experiences - Courses or proseminars will be developed which meet the needs of high potential students and which will utilize multidisciplinary, innovating and experiential learning when appropriate. As these are developed by departments/divisions/schools, they will be made available to General Education Honors program students.
- Special sections of General Education courses - Participation in courses appropriately modified in content, methodology, and level of enrichment for the high potential student. (General Education Honors program students are required to complete no less than 24 units with a minimum 3.0 GPA.)
- Special counseling and advisement - Academic, personal and career guidance will be offered for General Education Honors program students. All students accepted to the General Education Honors program will be required to take an introductory course which will provide a transition to the University's academic expectations, inform them of the resources available at this institution and introduce them to special skills needed for research, academic excellence and personal growth. This is a credit/no credit course and will not count toward the 24 total unit requirement for General Education Honors program students. During the second quarter, group meetings will be available to continue support on a noncredit basis.
- Honors societies - A coordination of membership with other honors organizations will be facilitated.
- Special registration - General Education Honors program students are allowed early registration status when taking General Education Honors program courses.
- Extended course load - Students in the program are not required to petition for excess unit load.
- Waiving prerequisites - With departmental/divisional/school approval, students with appropriate background could be allowed to enroll in upper division courses without having met the usual lower division prerequisites.
- The General Education Honors Program Student Association - All members of the program hold membership in the Student Association. Non academic and social interests are provided for by the Association. It also serves as a source of enrichment to the University campus by sponsoring and arranging activities beneficial and open to the entire campus. The group is represented on the Honors Council and aids the Director and the Council in the development and implementation of the program.
The Program's Curricular Format
The emphasis of the program is to provide educational opportunities appropriate to the needs of high potential students to encourage them to develop more of their abilities. The following provisions are designed to accomplish this purpose:
- Classes which meet General Education requirements will be available each quarter. These classes are designated as General Education Honors program courses and restricted in enrollment to General Education Honors program students. Such courses will seek to explore areas of knowledge which are more advanced and sophisticated than found in regular General Education offerings, and in which a higher level of achievement will be expected. Other courses may be added or substituted as they are developed by professors interested in making the appropriate modifications. Modification of courses must be approved through the regular curricular process and by the Honors Council.
- An elective seminar designed to combine concepts from two or more previously taken General Education Honors program courses will be offered to provide General Education Honors program students with an opportunity to integrate the content from several courses and pursue selected concepts in depth.
- The program staff in cooperation with the General Education Honors student's major department/division/school will provide academic advisement to aid in the selection of other appropriate General Education course work as it relates to the student's ability and goals.
Criteria for Admission to the Program
The Honors Council, acting as the admission committee, will weigh the evidence presented by each student and select those students it believes most likely to benefit from the program provided. Students applying for admission to the General Education Honors program are requested to prepare a portfolio demonstrating that they are qualified and especially motivated to pursue academic excellence at the University. The portfolio should present evidence such as the motivation and goals of the applicant relative to University work and the goals of the General Education Honors program; an appropriately high combination of high school grade point average and standardized college entrance examination score; appropriate letters of recommendation; evidence of significant achievement, academic, intellectual or creative; and an acceptable score on the English Placement Test.
An active program of recruitment will be developed that includes contact with high school and community college teachers, counselors, administrators and MGM coordinators, honors Societies, parent groups and community leaders; recommendations from University faculty members; letters to incoming students; and a catalog statement describing the program.
The part-time Director and Associate Director of the program are to be appointed for three-year terms by the President upon recommendation of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and the Dean of Students. The Director is responsible to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. The Director will be advised by an Honors Council.
The Director: The part-time Director will represent and coordinate the program. He or she will carry out the goals and objectives of the program, maintain direct communication with Honors students, faculty, administration and staff of the University, and establish contacts with appropriate persons and societies at other institutions of learning. The Director will be a member of the faculty appointed in an academic area.
The Associate Director: The part-time Associate Director will assist the Director and serve as Acting Director when the Director is on leave.
The Honors Council: To assist the Director, an Honors Council will be established, consisting of eleven members:
- Four academic faculty to be chosen by the Nominations Committee for three-year staggered terms, each from a different college.
- One member from the Student Affairs Division elected for a three-year term from and by those who hold faculty rank and title in the Student Affairs Division.
- One faculty member elected annually from and by the Educational Policy Committee.
- Three students from the Honors program elected annually by all students enrolled in the program.
- Director of the General Education Honors program, Executive Secretary, nonvoting.
- Associate Director of the General Education Honors program, nonvoting.
- The Council will elect its own officers from among the voting members.
The Function of the Honors Council will be to:
- Advise and assist the Director in the development and support of the program. Policy recommendations will be referred to the Educational Policy Committee or the Student Policy Committee.
- Serve as an Admission Committee for students applying to the program.
- Serve as a committee to review courses and modification of courses for appropriateness in the program and to recommend the course schedules and participating faculty to the director.
General Education Honors Certificates. A student who has successfully completed all the work necessary, 24 units of Honors courses, and who has met the requirements of the program would be awarded a "General Education Honors Program Certificate." Recognition of this participation will be made both on the student's transcript and at the regular Honors Convocation. This is independent of the award of a baccalaureate degree "with honor" or with "high honors," or graduation with departmental/divisional/school honors. A General Education Honors Program Certificate is awarded to all students who, upon attaining junior standing, have met the following criteria:
- A GPA of 3.0 in all Honors courses in a minimum of 24 units.
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 in all course work taken at this University.
- At least 60 units taken at this University.
The major operating costs and the salaries of the part-time Director, and Associate Director, the secretary and the student assistants are to be covered by University instructional allocations.
The courses will be self-supporting, being offered from individual departments/divisions/schools with all FTE being received by the department/division/school. Whenever possible, grant funds will be sought to supplement the budget and increase the activities of the program.
Procedures for implementation of the University General Education Honors Program shall be developed by the Director and the Honors Council and approved by the parent Educational Policy Committee. The Executive Committee of the Academic Senate shall be notified of all procedures developed and any subsequent changes that might be approved in the same manner.
(Senate: 6/15/96, 5/25/99; President: 9/5/96, 10/8/99; Editorial Amendment: 9/00)
- Undergraduate students who do not have a bachelor's degree shall be required to complete a 100-level course, no later than their second quarter in residence. This course introduces them to the following aspects of the University: history, structure, policies and procedures, faculty expectations, resources and skills necessary for success, and content specific to the disciplines in the college in which the student is majoring. The course shall be offered by the colleges for their majors, in accordance with an approved outline. Special sections, organized at the University level, will be offered for matriculated students who do not have a declared major.
(Senate: 2/20/91; President: 3/29/91)
California State University, Los Angeles offers the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Vocational Education Degrees. All four degrees have the same basic structure: General Education, major concentration and free electives:
The Bachelor of Arts is designed to provide a balanced liberal arts education and general knowledge in a recognized discipline, interdisciplinary field, or areas of professional study.
The Bachelor of Science is designed to provide a balanced liberal arts education and a scientific, technical or professional entry level of competence.
The Bachelor of Music provides a balanced liberal arts education with additional preparation in musical performance with emphasis on high performance standards.
The Bachelor of Vocational Education, created through State legislation, is specifically designed for vocational/occupational teachers who are required to have both work and teaching experience.
- *See "Characteristics of Master's Degrees".
(Senate: 2/17/81, 3/11/83[EA], 11/22/94, 7/11/06, 6/5/12; President: 4/20/81, 3/3/95, 8/3/06, 11/28/12)
Upon admission, undergraduate students are encouraged to declare a major. Those who have not selected a specific major shall be designated undeclared majors. Prior to registration for their first quarter at Cal State, L.A., undeclared majors shall consult an adviser in the University Academic Advisement Center to plan a preliminary program of study.
All first time freshmen, and transfer students who are admitted with less than 30 units shall declare a major by the time they complete 45 quarter units in residence or four quarters in residence, whichever comes first. All transfer students admitted with 30 units or more shall declare a major by the end of their first quarter in residence. Upon declaring a major, students shall meet with an academic advisor to develop a degree plan to be filed on-line.
All information given to students regarding this policy shall indicate that students are free to change their major with the reminder that a change in major will require that adjustments be made to their degree plan and may delay graduation.
Change of Major and Dual Major
A change of major or the addition of a second major shall normally be allowed as long as the student can complete the new major or second major in no more than 120% of the units required for the studentís current baccalaureate degree counting only degree eligible units. Students should be made aware that a change of major or the addition of a second major will require adjustments be made to their degree plan and may delay graduation.
Multiple Majors and/or Degrees
Students may earn more than one baccalaureate degree, (e.g., two B.A. degrees, or both a B.A. and a B.S. degree). Students may also earn a baccalaureate degree and a graduate degree, (e.g., B.S. and M.S. degrees) through select integrated degree programs. In such programs, degrees are awarded when the requirements for both the bachelorís and Masterís degrees are met. Both degrees are awarded at the same time.
Although not required for a baccalaureate, minors are available in many fields that will help strengthen studentsí preparation in areas related to their major field or to career choices. A minor may not be taken in the same subject as the major. A minor consists of a formal aggregate of courses totaling 18 or more units. At least 12 units must be upper division and taken in residence at Cal State L.A. A minimum C (2.0) average is required in all courses taken to complete the minor program. The minor filed will be noted on the studentís transcript if the individual program has been approved by the offering department/division/school and is completed at the same time as or prior to the work for the degree itself. Interested students should consult an adviser in the department/division/school offering the minor of their choice.
Maximum Number of Majors and Minors
It is expected that students will complete study toward their baccalaureate degree in no more than 120% of the units required by their primary degree program, including a second major and/or any minors. Undergraduates may declare up to (a) two majors without a minor (b) one major and two minors.
With the approval of the proposed department(s), students wishing to exceed the unit limits Ė i.e., changing majors or the maximum number of majors or minors Ė may petition the Dean of Undergraduate Studies for approval.
- (Senate: 4/4/00, 1/22/08; President: 5/1/00, 3/3/08)
- Prior to graduation from California State University, Los Angeles, students must develop the ability to: (1) define a research topic and identify the need for information, (2) access information effectively and efficiently, (3) evaluate information critically for relevance, for quality of sources, and for objectivity, (4) organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize and communicate that information for a specific purpose, and (5) ethically and legally access and use information.
- The process of developing information literacy shall occur progressively. Therefore, instruction in necessary skills shall occur in lower division and introductory courses, including the Introduction to Higher Education course for first time freshmen and the Transition to Cal State L.A. course for first time transfer students. These skills shall be further developed and refined in discipline specific courses. The extent to which programs are effective in progressively preparing students in developing information literacy shall be assessed at the time of program review.
Service Learning Definition
(Senate: 1/22/02; President: 2/26/02)
Consistent with the special mission at Cal State L.A. to provide an educational experience that recognizes and takes full advantage of diversity, while emphasizing the knowledge, experience, and ethical concerns common to all people, service learning at California State University, Los Angeles:
- is a teaching and learning strategy that provides students with organized and meaningful learning experience outside the classroom designed to enhance their understanding of information, knowledge and theoretical principles shared in the classroom;
- is also defined as a pedagogical model that links course content with a community service component that is designed to address the needs identified by the community whether local or global; and
- has, as an integral component, the use of reflective activities intended to integrate course content and skills and knowledge with community involvement and to develop or strengthen students commitment to social responsibility and civic engagement.
Criteria for Service-Learning Course Designation
All courses approved for a service learning designation must address the following criteria:
1. The service experience must relate course content to clearly articulated course objectives and student learning outcomes, which helps to foster or strengthen the students awareness of social responsibility and sense of civic duty.
2. The service learning option or requirement must link course content with a community service component that addresses a need identified by the participating community.
3. Since knowledge from the course informs the service experiences with which the students are involved, the service opportunities must be appropriate for the course.
4. Service learning courses must provide a method to assess the learning derived from the service, and academic credit must be based on learning outcomesnot the service itself.
5. Structured and organized opportunities for critical reflection of the learning gained through the service experience and how the service relates to the course content must be evident.
6. Number of hours devoted to the service learning component must be specific and sufficient to provide meaningful service while also meeting course objectives and student learning outcomes.
7. Opportunities must be available for community partners to provide input into the evaluation process of students community service and activities within their agencies.
--Adapted from the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center, University of Utah
(Senate: 10/10/89; President: 11/10/89; Editorial Amendment: 8/01)
A department/division/school may specify that no subject, unit or grade credit be granted for specific upper division courses offered by that department/division/school, which were completed more than ten years prior to the date of the bachelor's degree. Approval of time limits for specific courses shall be requested through normal curricular channels in the form of a course modification for existing courses or as part of an initial course proposal and shall be subject to mandatory consultation with departments/divisions/schools using the courses on their majors. Courses with time limits shall be designated in the Catalog description of the courses and on the program advisement sheet submitted by the student's major department/division school to the Graduation Office. When a Cal State L.A. course is so designated, the restriction shall also apply to equivalent courses from transfer institutions. Students may petition and in extraordinary circumstances the major department/division/school may grant permission to validate by examination such an expired course with the concurrence of the department/division/school offering the course or its equivalent.
- (Senate: 5/25/99; President: 6/25/99)
- Undergraduate students must complete a minimum of 45 quarter units, including at least 36 upper division units, 18 units in the major, and 12 units in General Education courses is residence at Cal State L.A. for the baccalaureate. Credit earned in special sessions, including Open University, may be applied toward this residence requirement. However only 36 residence units may be earned through Open University. Credit earned in extension courses or by examination may not apply toward the residence requirement.