Definition, Philosophy, Student Learning Outcomes 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, 3/11/14, 3/16/21; 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, 3/19/14, 3/19/21; Editorial Amendment: 8/01, 1/21/15, 2/22/18 [EA])
Governing Documents: Title V of the Higher Education Code and CSU General Education Breadth Requirements
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 LA 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 (GE) at Cal State LA prepares students for advanced study in their chosen academic disciplines and provides a broad foundation for a lifetime of intellectual discovery and personal and professional development. The mission of General Education at Cal State LA is
- To prepare students with the intellectual skills and habits necessary for success;
- To provide students with a breadth of knowledge through focused study in a range of disciplines and disciplinary-specific ways of knowing;
- To encourage students to bridge disciplines and disciplinary-specific ways of knowing;
- To develop students who are informed citizens and reflective and ethical thinkers actively committed to improving their local and global communities; and
- To encourage students to become self-motivated and self-directed lifelong learners and leaders in their communities.
General Education Learning Outcomes
The General Education program at Cal State LA is defined by a set of learning outcomes that are aligned with the Cal State LA Institutional Learning outcomes and the Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) outcomes promoted by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and adopted by the California State University System.
Knowledge: Mastery of Content and Processes of Inquiry
Students who successfully complete GE will be able to:
- Demonstrate understanding of the physical and natural world.
- Demonstrate understanding of contemporary events within political and historical contexts.
- Demonstrate understanding of the diversity of cultures and communities in the United States and abroad.
- Demonstrate understanding of constructions, institutions, and structures of power and privilege in societies as well as strategies used to challenge existing inequalities.
- Demonstrate understanding of a range of disciplinary ways of knowing.
- Demonstrate understanding of creative expression in the context of the relevant art form and intellectual history.
- Demonstrate understanding of race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic class.
Proficiency: Intellectual Skills
Students who successfully complete GE will be able to:
- Demonstrate civic literacy that would enable them to participate effectively in a democratic society.
- Use inquiry processes, including quantitative and qualitative reasoning and critical and creative thinking, to engage with contemporary and enduring questions.
- Find, use, evaluate and process information in order to engage in complex decision-making and problem solving.
- Read, speak and write effectively.
- Demonstrate an ability to work collaboratively.
Engagement: Local and Global Communities
Students who successfully complete GE will be able to:
- Demonstrate the capacity to engage meaningfully with diverse communities.
- Demonstrate understanding of how individuals affect society and the environment.
- Demonstrate the capacity to make well informed, ethical, and socially responsible decisions.
- Demonstrate understanding of the interconnectedness of local and global communities.
- Demonstrate literacy in the perspectives and needs of individuals and groups.
Transformation: Integrative Learning
Students who successfully complete GE will be able to:
- Integrate academic learning with life through project-based experiences.
- Integrate their knowledge, skills and experience to address complex, enduring, and emerging issues.
II. General Education Program Framework
- The Cal State LA GE program shall have a distinctive theme that features engagement with the surrounding multicultural communities and the greater Los Angeles area. Civic Learning and/or Community Engagement shall be a 6-unit requirement for all entering freshmen at Cal State LA, 3 units at the lower division level in the Introduction to Higher Education course and 3 units in an upper division GE course. Transfer students are required to complete 3 units of Civic Learning in an upper division GE course.
- In order to keep the total number of units as near as possible to the minimum 48 units required by E.O. 1100 Revised and Title V, the proposed GE program shall require no more than 48 units, with 39 at the lower division level and 9 at the upper division level. Subsequent to a change of major, students shall not be required to take different or additional GE courses solely to address CSU GE requirements already satisfied by coursework taken in the original major.
- In their first semester, entering freshmen students shall complete a 3-unit Introduction to Higher Education course that informs them about Cal State LA, that explores a selected topic of intellectual inquiry from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, that includes Civic Engagement, and that meets the outcomes for Block E, including life-long learning regarding human differences and cross cultural competency.
- All classes in the GE program shall require students to find, evaluate, use, and process information to facilitate learning and critical inquiry and to engage in complex decision making and problem solving.
- All students shall complete one course that meets the outcomes for Critical Thinking (A3) and the outcomes for a second composition course. Block A2 is prerequisite to this course.
- American Institutions shall be incorporated into GE, such that the U.S. History course meets outcomes for Area C, Humanities, and the U.S. Constitution course meets the outcomes for Area D, Social Science, in the CSU General Education Breadth Requirements.
- All students shall complete two laboratory activities associated with a course taken to satisfy either Block B1, B2 or B3. Transfer students who have satisfied the area requirements for Block B with at least one lab will not be required to take an additional lab in Block B to satisfy GE requirements at Cal State LA.
- Students shall complete three GE courses at the upper division level, one each in Blocks B, C, and D, with a Civic or Community Engagement component (designated as CL in the catalog) in at least one of these courses. The nine semester units of upper division GE shall be taken within the CSU. If all three upper division GE courses have been satisfied at another CSU campus, the Civic or Community Engagement component shall be waived.
- Diversity shall be incorporated to the extent possible and appropriate into GE courses, and all students shall complete at least two GE courses that address diversity explicitly and substantially (designated as D in the catalog). The intersectionality of gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class shall be substantially incorporated to the extent possible into GE courses. If all lower and upper division GE area and unit requirements have been satisfied prior to admission to Cal State LA, the Diversity component (including Race and Ethnicity) shall be waived.
- In addition to courses in A2 and A3, all students shall complete at least two writing intensive courses (designated as WI in the catalog) with at least one in the major that satisfies the graduation writing requirement. If all lower and upper division GE area and unit requirements have been satisfied prior to admission to Cal State LA, the second WI requirement shall be waived. However, all students shall complete the WI course in the major to satisfy the graduation writing requirement.
All UD GE courses shall continue to require a substantial writing assignment.
- Major courses and campus-wide required courses that are approved for GE credit shall also fulfill (double count for) the GE requirement.
- Faculty shall have the opportunity to develop GE pathways that reflect a specific disciplinary, interdisciplinary or multi-disciplinary emphasis. The GE pathways shall include lower and upper division GE courses and could lead to minors if so approved. Each GE pathway shall include an UD course that meets the learning outcome of transformation and integrates the use of one or more high impact practices (as defined in High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter, by George D. Kuh [AAC&U, 2008]) http://www.aacu.org/leap/hip/cfm. These GE pathways and minors, while encouraged, shall be optional for the completion of GE at Cal State L.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.
- General Education breadth requirements will provide ample opportunity for students to be active learners during their educational experience.
- 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.
GE Program (48 units)
EO 1100 Revised
Lower Division (39
IHE—civic and community-based
learning at Cal State LA
Critical Thinking and Composition
Quantitative Reasoning &
American Institutions – US History
American Institutions – US
Constitution and State/Local Govt.
Natural Science – including two courses, from at least two categories: Physical Science (B1); Biological Science (B2); or interdisciplinary Physical-Biological Science (B3)
Arts & Humanities (1 arts and 1 humanities)
K, P, E
K, P, E
Ethnic Studies 3 TBD F
Upper Division (9 units)
Three of the 9 units (one course) must include a civic and community- based learning component.
Natural Science and Quantitative
K, P, E,
Arts & Humanities
K, P, E,
K, P, E,
* A grade of C- or better is needed to satisfy the requirement for these courses.
K = Knowledge: content and processes of inquiry; P = Proficiency: Intellectual Skills; E = Engagement: Local and Global Communities; T = Transformation: Integrative and Lifelong Learning
III. Student Learning Outcomes for General Education Breadth Requirements
Block A. Communication and Critical Thinking (9 units)
Block A addresses communication in the English language, both oral and written, and critical thinking, to include consideration of common fallacies in reasoning.
This block must be completed within the first 30 semester units counted toward the baccalaureate degree. In addition, Block A2 must be completed prior to enrolling in Block A3. Transfer students who have not completed this requirement must take at least one of these courses each semester until the requirement is met. Courses in this block must be completed with a grade of C- or better to satisfy requirements.
Student Learning Outcomes for Oral Communication (Block A1)
Students successfully completing an oral communication course will be able to:
Describe the theoretical foundations of oral communication.
Recognize the importance and purpose of oral communication in social life.
Analyze the audience and situation and adapt to the specific context in which a speech is to be delivered.
Conduct research and evaluate the quality of source materials and their appropriateness for use in a specific occasion, purpose, and context.
Prepare outlines that include appropriate organization, well-supported claims, reasoned arguments, and sensitivity to the rhetorical situation.
Perform a variety of well-prepared speeches using effective delivery techniques.
Listen to and evaluate the public communication of others and provide constructive criticism.
Student Learning Outcomes for Written Communication (Block A2)
Students successfully completing a written communication will be able to:
Apply fundamental rhetorical strategies used to produce university-level writing, especially
modify content and form according to the rhetorical situation, purpose, and audience.
appropriately use authorities, examples, facts, and other forms of persuasive evidence to support an argument or position.
vary stylistic options to achieve different effects.
Think critically to analyze a rhetorical situation or text and make thoughtful decisions based on that analysis, through writing, reading, and research.
Develop an effective writing process that includes flexible strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proof-reading.
Incorporate textual evidence through quotation, summary, and paraphrase into their essays and appropriately cite their sources.
Develop knowledge of genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to tone and style.
Control such surface features as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
Use electronic environments for drafting, reviewing, revising, editing, and sharing texts
Student Learning Outcomes for Critical Thinking and Composition (Block A3)
Students successfully completing a critical thinking and composition course will be able to:
- Demonstrate the ability to distinguish between knowledge and belief, facts and values, and identify faulty reasoning through an understanding of the formal and informal fallacies of language and thought, through writing, reading, and research.
- Analyze and evaluate a range of evidence used to support various types of claims.
- Recognize, respond to and use common techniques of persuasion.
- Understand the fundamentals of logic and critical thinking and the relationship of logic to language.
- Use inductive and deductive reasoning to reach well- supported conclusions.
- Identify the assumptions, biases, and prejudices upon which particular conclusions rely and understand how they may erode sound arguments.
- Refine fundamental rhetorical strategies used to produce university-level writing, especially
- modify content and form according to the rhetorical situation, purpose, and audience.
- incorporate textual evidence through quotation, summary, and paraphrase into their essays and appropriately cite their sources.
- evaluate the relevance, validity, and authority of information, and ethically use and cite that information in their own writing.
- Develop cogent arguments for views on theoretical and practical matters.
- Exhibit knowledge of genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to voice, tone and style.
- Control such surface features as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
American Institutions (6 units)
Students are required by California Statutory Law (Title V, Section 40404) to complete six units (two courses) in the following areas of United States History, Constitution and American Ideals:
- Any course or examination that addresses the historical development of United States institutions and ideals must include all of the subject matter elements:
- Significant events covering a minimum time span of approximately one hundred years and occurring in the entire area now included in the United States of America, including the 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 period under study.
- The role of major ethnic and social groups in such events and the contexts in which the events have occurred.
- The events presented within a framework that illustrates the continuity of the United States experience and its derivation from other cultures, including consideration of three or more of the following: politics, economics, social movements, and geography.
- Any course or examination that addresses the Constitution of the United States, the operation of representative democratic government under that Constitution, and the process of California State and local government must address all of the subject matter elements:
- The political philosophies of the framers of the Constitution and the nature and operation of United States political institutions and processes under that Constitution as amended and interpreted.
- The rights and obligations of citizens in the political system established under the Constitution.
- The Constitution of the State of California within the framework of evolution of federal-state relations and the nature and processes of state and local government under that Constitution.
- Contemporary relationships of state and local government with the federal government, the resolution of conflicts and the establishment of cooperative processes under the Constitutions of both the state and nation, and the political processes involved.
American Institutions Outcomes
Students successfully completing the American Institutions requirement will be able to:
- Demonstrate civic literacy that would enable them to participate effectively in a democratic society, including an understanding of the requirements of democratic citizenship.
- Use inquiry processes, including qualitative reasoning and critical thinking to engage with contemporary and enduring questions regarding United States institutions and government.
- Demonstrate understanding of ethical principles and values that have shaped United States institutions and ideals throughout the history of the United States and its government.
- Demonstrate understanding of United States institutions and ideals within the context of a changing and diverse society, including the impact of government on the introduction and evolution of various cultures and institutions in the United States and the effect of new cultures and institutions on the structures and policies of federal and state government.
In addition, students successfully completing the requirement in U.S. History will be able to:
- Demonstrate understanding of the historical diversity of cultures and communities in the United States.
- Demonstrate understanding of cultural expression in the historical context of the United States.
In addition, students successfully completing the requirement in U.S. Constitution/California state & local government will be able to:
- Demonstrate understanding of Americans’ and Californians’ political behavior within the frameworks established by the United States and California Constitutions.
- Understand the effects of historical, technological and economic changes on government and the effects of governmental policy on technological and economic change.
Area Requirements (21 units)
Students will take courses in each of the following areas. Each department/division/school in a block may have a limited number of courses.
Block B Natural Sciences and Mathematics (9 units)
Students will take two Natural Science courses and one Mathematics course.
There are three categories of Natural Science GE courses: Physical Science [B1 (3 units)], Biological Science [B2 (3 units)], and Interdisciplinary Physical-Biological Science [B3 (3 units)]; all three include laboratory at Cal State LA. Students will take two science courses from any two categories.
The third required course covers Mathematics or Quantitative Reasoning. Courses in Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning must be completed with a grade of C- or better to satisfy this requirement.
Block C Arts & Humanities (6 units)
One course each from the following areas: Block C1 Arts (Arts, Cinema, Dance, Music, and Theatre) and Block C2 Humanities (Literature, Philosophy, Languages other than English).
Block D Social Sciences (3 units)
One course each any discipline that addresses social science issues.
Block B. Natural Sciences and Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning Outcomes
Blocks B1, B2, B3: Natural Sciences
The goal of lower division General Education in the Natural Sciences is to gain basic knowledge and learn key principles in the life and physical sciences as essential for an informed citizenry. In addition, students should recognize the experimental and empirical methodologies characteristic of science and understand the modern methods and tools used in scientific inquiry. Every B1, B2, and B3 course offered will have a laboratory component associated with it. Students are required to take two courses in two different blocks B1, B2, Or B3.
Students successfully completing B1 Physical Science or B2 Biological Science will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of scientific inquiry (i.e., the “scientific method”), the nature of science, the potential limits of scientific endeavors, and the value systems and ethics associated with scientific inquiry.
- Demonstrate knowledge of basic scientific principles as they apply to broader concepts (e.g., global climate change, the spread of infectious diseases, etc.), including historical developments of the disciplines and major contributions from various cultures of the world.
- Evaluate the credibility of sources of scientific information.
- Draw appropriate conclusions based on the analysis of qualitative and quantitative empirical data.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the value of science in developing a rigorous understanding of the natural world and of the impact of science on societal, environmental, political, economic, and/or technological contexts.
- Students successfully completing a science laboratory will be able to demonstrate hands-on skills applying specialized methods and tools of scientific inquiry (such as collecting, analyzing, and interpreting the data, presenting the findings, and using the information to answer questions).
Students successfully completing B3 Interdisciplinary Physical-Biological Science, will be able to, in addition to the outcomes described for B1 and B2:
- Explain that the natural sciences are integrated.
- Describe elements of the natural sciences that are common to both the physical and the biological sciences.
- Demonstrate through examples that many of today’s problems require an interdisciplinary approach for resolution.
Block B4: Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning
The goal of lower division General Education in quantitative reasoning is to gain basic knowledge and develop key skills in mathematics and quantitative reasoning. The knowledge and skills developed in these courses are essential in a world where many arguments, claims, and decisions should rely on scientific studies and statistical evidence. Courses used to meet the requirement for this block must be completed with a grade of C- or better and within the first 30 semester units counted toward the baccalaureate degree.
Students successfully completing a Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning class will be able to:
- Use mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning to solve problems, both in a pure mathematical context and in real- world contexts.
- Interpret information presented in a mathematical form (e.g., equations, graphs, diagrams,tables, words) and convert relevant information into a mathematical form.
- Draw appropriate conclusions based on the quantitative analysis of data, recognizing any underlying assumptions or limits of this analysis.
- Use deductive reasoning in a pure mathematical context to draw conclusions and provide an irrefutable logical justification for them.
- Formulate and communicate a position on a real-world question and use appropriate quantitative information in support of that position, and evaluate the soundness of such an argument.
Block C: Arts & 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.
Students successfully completing a Block C Arts and Humanities class will be able to:
- Demonstrate understanding of the diversity and complexity of the human search for meaning, value, and purpose.
- Demonstrate an ability to respond subjectively as well as objectively to aesthetic experiences and develop an understanding of the integrity of both emotional and intellectual responses.
- Demonstrate understanding of the interrelationship between the self and the creative arts and/or the humanities in a variety of cultures.
In addition, students successfully completing courses in Block C1 (Arts: Cinema, Dance, Music, Theatre) will be able to do one or more of the following:
- Analyze, appreciate, and interpret significant works of art and be informed observers of, or active participants in, the Creative Arts.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the intellectual, imaginative, and cultural elements involved in the creative arts through participation in, and study of, Drama, Music, Studio Art and/or Creative Writing.
In addition, students successfully completing courses in Block C2 (Humanities: Literature, Philosophy, languages other than English) will be able to do one or more of the following:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the personal and social values of cultures and how ideas influence the character of human beliefs and the norms that guide human behavior, as explored in the study of cultures, philosophies, and literary texts.
- Investigate and analyze fundamental human beliefs and their justifications, especially as reflected in Philosophy and Religious Studies.
- Apply language skills within a cultural and social context and understand aspects of the culture of the language being studied.
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. 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. Courses in this block should explicitly address the interconnectedness of peoples, communities, societies, and/or cultures.
Students successfully completing Block D courses will be able to:
- Demonstrate understanding of problems and issues using the principles, methodologies, value systems and ethics employed in social scientific inquiry.
- Use inquiry processes, such as quantitative reasoning, qualitative reasoning, critical thinking, or creative thinking, to engage with contemporary and enduring questions or to engage in complex decision making and problem solving.
- Demonstrate understanding of contemporary or historical events within political, social, cultural, or economic contexts with an emphasis on how these contexts are interwoven.
- Demonstrate understanding of the diversity of cultures and communities in the United States or abroad.
- Demonstrate understanding of the interconnectedness of individuals, communities, society, and/or the environment.
Block E. Lifelong Understanding and Self-Development (3 units)
Courses in Lifelong Learning and Self-Development block provide the opportunity to equip learners for lifelong understanding and development of themselves as integrated physiological, social, and psychological beings. The Introduction to Higher Education requirement is incorporated into Block E.
Students successfully completing a Lifelong Learning course will be able to:
- Demonstrate proficiency in skills that sustain lifelong learning, particularly the abilities to think both critically and responsibly and to access, evaluate, and integrate information.
- Understand the importance of the decisions they make throughout their lives; the impact and influence of various individual, social, cultural, and environmental factors on those decisions; and the impact of their decisions on their personal well-being and their physical, social and cultural environments.
In addition, students successfully completing the Introduction to Higher Education requirement will be able to:
- Develop an awareness of and utilize the resources available at Cal State LA to support learning, academic planning, and a sense of belonging.
- Contextualize what they are learning in class and its relevance in the context of the community through a Civic Learning and/or Community Engagement experience. Civic Learning and Community Engagement have, as an integral component, the use of reflective activities intended to integrate course content and skills and knowledge with civic participation and/or community involvement and to develop or strengthen students’ commitment to social responsibility and civic engagement.
In practice, Civic Learning includes learning experiences outside the classroom – but not necessarily off campus – that places disciplinary knowledge in a civic context and that links course content with civic participation or community service experiences.
In comparison, Community Engagement refers to academic service learning activities in local, regional/state, national and global communities beyond the Cal State LA campus.
Block F. Ethnic Studies (3 units)
This lower-division, 3 semester unit requirement fulfills Education Code section 89032. The requirement to take a 3 semester unit course in area F shall not be waived or substituted.
To be approved for this requirement, courses shall have the following course prefixes: African American, Asian American, Chicana(o) and Latina(o) American or Native American Studies. Similar course prefixes (e.g., Pan-African Studies, American Indian Studies, Chicana(o) Studies, Ethnic Studies) shall also meet this requirement. Courses without Ethnic Studies prefixes may meet this requirement if cross-listed with a course with an Ethnic Studies prefix. Courses that are approved to meet this requirement shall meet at least 3 of the 5 following core competencies.
- Analyze and articulate concepts such as race and racism, racialization, ethnicity, equity, ethno-centrism, eurocentrism, white supremacy, self-determination, liberation, decolonization, sovereignty, imperialism, settler colonialism, and anti-racism as analyzed in any one or more of the following: Native American Studies, African American Studies, Asian American Studies, and Chicana(o) and Latina(o) American Studies.
- Apply theory and knowledge produced by Native American, African American, Asian American, and/or Chicana(o) and Latina(o) American communities to describe the critical events, histories, cultures, intellectual traditions, contributions, lived-experiences and social struggles of those groups with a particular emphasis on agency and group-affirmation.
- Critically analyze the intersection of race and racism as they relate to class, gender, sexuality, religion, spirituality, national origin, immigration status, ability, tribal citizenship, sovereignty, language, and/or age in Native American, African American, Asian American, and/or Chicana(o) and Latina(o) American communities.
- Critically review how struggle, resistance, racial and social justice, solidarity, and liberation, as experienced and enacted by Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans and/or Chicana(o) and Latina(o) Americans are relevant to current and structural issues such as communal, national, international, and transnational politics as, for example, in immigration, reparations, settler-colonialism, multiculturalism, language policies.
- Describe and actively engage with anti-racist and anti-colonial issues and the practices and movements in Native American, African American, Asian American and/or Chicana(o) and Latina(o) communities and a just and equitable society.
Upper-division ethnic studies courses may satisfy the lower-division area F requirement so long as adequate numbers of lower-division course options are available to students. Ethnic Studies courses required in majors, minors or that satisfy campus-wide requirements and are approved for GE area F credit shall also fulfill (double count for) this requirement.
Policy governing Block F shall be revisited during 2021-2022 AY.
IV. Upper Division Requirement (9 units)
Students will be required to complete one course in each of the three following breadth areas, (Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences and Mathematics).
Criteria for Upper-Division GE Courses:
- Courses are all 3000-level courses.
- All upper-division GE courses must include as prerequisites the completion of Blocks A and B4, an additional course from Block B, and at least one course each from Blocks C and D.
- Students will be required to complete at least one upper division GE course that includes a Civic Learning/Community Engagement Component (CL). The nine semester units of upper division GE shall be taken within the CSU. If all three upper division GE courses have been satisfied at another CSU campus, the Civic or Community Engagement component shall be waived.
- An upper division GE course may not be prerequisite to another.
- Courses must require substantial writing consistent with general education policy.
Major courses and campus-wide required courses that are approved for GE credit shall also fulfill (double count for) the GE requirement.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students successfully completing upper division GE courses will be able to:
- Demonstrate basic skills of General Education, namely, oral and written communication, critical thinking, and where appropriate, mathematical skills, beyond the lower division level.
- Demonstrate attainment at the upper division level of the outcomes identified under the breadth area requirements in Blocks B, C, and D.
- Demonstrate their mastery of the outcomes listed under the Civic Learning/Community Engagement requirement in GE for courses so designated.
V. Diversity Requirement (6 units)
Students will be required to complete two courses (six units) certified as diversity courses. At least one of these courses must focus on issues of race and ethnicity and their intersectionality with other social categories that structure inequality in society. These courses can be completed either at the lower division or upper division level from among courses satisfying GE requirements. It is the intent of the diversity requirement to promote understanding of diversity and encourage tolerance and acceptance of others. General diversity courses will be designated with (D) in the catalog. Those courses focusing on race and ethnicity will be designated with (RE) in the catalog.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students successfully completing a diversity course will be able to:
- Demonstrate understanding of theoretical and practical factors of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic class, disability, sexuality, religion or age.
- Demonstrate understanding of the intersectionality of these factors, with particular attention paid to race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic class.
- Demonstrate understanding of the diversity of intercultural and intracultural relationships.
- Demonstrate civic literacy and an awareness of social justice that would enable effective participation in a diverse society.
VI. Civic Learning/Community Engagement Requirement (3 units)
Students are required to complete at least one course (three units) containing a Civic Learning or Community Engagement component at the upper division level. Civic Learning/Community Engagement courses will be designated as (CL) in the catalog.
Students who successfully complete the Civic Learning/Community Engagement courses will be able to:
- Demonstrate understanding of the connection between academic learning/disciplinary knowledge and civic participation.
- Demonstrate understanding of their impact on their respective physical, social and cultural environments and how such environments impact them.
- Demonstrate knowledge of ways to make change in local and global communities.
- Demonstrate the ability to collaborate in order to develop and implement an approach to a civic issue.
VII. Writing Intensive (WI) Courses
In addition to composition courses taken for Blocks A2 and A3, students will complete at least two writing intensive courses with at least one in the major. Writing intensive courses will be designated as (WI) in the catalog.
Students successfully completing a writing intensive course will:
- Be able to use both formal (such as essays, reports, and research writing) and informal (such as brainstorming, free-writing, and reading responses) writing strategies to develop their understanding of course content and to think critically about that content.
- Be able to use drafting, revising, editing and other writing processes to demonstrate their mastery of course content through formal writing products appropriate to the discipline, such as thesis-driven essays, formal reports, or professionally formatted manuscripts.
- Be able to demonstrate understanding of discipline specific features of writing including rhetorical strategies and genre and format conventions prominent in assigned reading and writing or found in professional publications in the discipline.
- Have completed written assignments that total at least 5,000 words, of which at least 2,500 words are polished and revised based on responses from readers, such as instructors, peers via workshops, or writing center tutors.
VIII. Approved General Education Course Replacements
Departments/divisions/schools shall have the opportunity to request that existing or new courses be allowed to double count in GE and the major provided the courses meet the outcomes for GE. Requests to double count courses must be approved by the Educational Policy Committee.
IX. Periodic Review
The entire program must be reviewed every five years by the appropriate curriculum committee for reapproval. Every 3 years proposals for the addition of new courses will be invited. In the interim years, special topics courses, if approved by the curricular processes for GE courses, may be used to satisfy the appropriate requirement. Courses and pathways, including approved General Education replacement courses, must meet the General Education guidelines. Courses and pathways, including approved General Education replacement courses, not reapproved within the review cycle will be deleted from the General Education program. All courses and pathways must continue to meet the General Education guidelines as they are currently taught.
(Senate: 4/15/86, 1/27/87, 10/24/95, 4/21/15; President: 6/5/86, 4/27/87, 12/1/95, 5/29/15; Editorial Amendment: 1/21/15)
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 48 semester units to be selected in accordance with the specified distributions among the designated categories. At least 9 units of upper division course work must be included, taken subsequent to the attainment of upper division standing (completion of 60 semester 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 and B4): written communication, oral communication, critical thinking/composition and quantitative reasoning.
(Senate: 6/15/96, 5/25/99, 5/20/14, 12/1/15; President: 9/5/96, 10/8/99, 6/26/14, 3/2/16; Editorial Amendment: 9/00)
Every entering freshman shall be required to complete a 1000-level course, no later than their second term in residence. This requirement is met through Block E courses as described in the policy "Definition, Philosophy, Student Learning Outcomes and Criteria for General Education Breadth Requirements" effective fall 2016, in which the learning outcomes for Lifelong Learning and Self -Development (Block E), Introduction to Higher Education, and Lower Division Civic Learning and/or Community Engagement are described.
Although not required for a baccalaureate, minors are available in many fields that will help strengthen students’ preparation in areas related to their major field or to career choices. A minor consists of a formal aggregate of courses totaling 12 or more semester units. At least 9 semester units must be upper division and taken in residence at Cal State L.A. A minimum of 12 units must be distinct from the core requirements in the student's major but may overlap with the electives in the major. A minimum grade point average of 2.0 is required in the minor program. Students must get approval from an advisor in the minor department in order to declare a minor. It is essential that this advisor verify that the courses used to satisfy the minor are aligned with the criteria stated above. The minor field will be noted on the student’s transcript and on the student's diploma 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.
(Senate: 4/4/00, 1/22/08; President: 5/1/00, 3/3/08; Editorial Amendment: 1/21/15)
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. 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.
(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:
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.
The service learning option or requirement must link course content with a community service component that addresses a need identified by the participating community.
Since knowledge from the course informs the service experiences with which the students are involved, the service opportunities must be appropriate for the course.
Service learning courses must provide a method to assess the learning derived from the service, and academic credit must be based on learning outcomes—not the service itself.
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.
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.
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; Editorial Amendment: 1/21/15)
Undergraduate students must complete a minimum of 30 semester units, including at least 24 upper division units, 12 units in the major, and 9 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 24 residence units may be earned through Open University. Credit earned in extension courses or by examination may not apply toward the residence requirement.