Preferable Means of Resolving Issues Addressed in SB 1211 (Monteith), Public postsecondary education: articulation agreements

AS-2453-99/AA - May 6-7, 1999

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University believe that there are better ways to facilitate students’ transfers between segments than those proposed in SB1211 (Monteith), Public postsecondary education: articulation agreements; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU, through its chair, extend on-going intersegmental efforts to address articulation agreements between segments within major degree programs and that the chair request that the Senate Education Committee hold SB 1211 pending the outcome of intersegmental deliberations; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU affirm that any proposed articulation policies should respect individual campus responsibility for determining degree program requirements.

RATIONALE: SB 1211 (Monteith), Public postsecondary education: articulation agreements, would require each "department, school, and major" in the UC and CSU to develop, in conjunction with community colleges, discipline-specific articulation agreements and transfer program agreements for major degree programs that have lower-division prerequisites and, presumably, requirements. Each community college is expected to negotiate such agreements with a minimum of five CSU campuses. Furthermore, the "agreements made between any of the California State University campuses and a community college shall be uniform and consistent with any similar agreement between that campus and any other community college." This last provision might conceivably be interpreted as requiring that CSU colleges and community colleges must offer exactly the same courses for the lower-division components of all major degree programs in the CSU and, if so, would represent a massive legislative involvement in the process of setting graduation requirements in the CSU.

During the 1998-1999 academic year, faculty members within the CSU have begun to discuss the need to meet and discuss the transferability of lower-division components of their majors within the CSU. In March 1999, the Board of Trustees adopted an implementation plan for Cornerstones that provides for such disciplinary meetings across the CSU. Thus, activities intended to accomplish some of the purpose of SB 1211 are already underway within the CSU. In addition, the California Articulation Numbering (CAN) system provides a long-standing and well-developed means of articulating a large number of courses, many of them meeting lower-division requirements in or prerequisites for major degree programs in the CSU.

In 1998, SB 1472 (Alpert) raised a similar issue regarding articulation across segments, and deliberations by academic senate leaders of the various segments successfully resolved those concerns. A similar process could address the current concerns without legislative action.


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