Support for the CSU Project on Lower-division Requirements in Majors (POL)

AS-2637-04/EX/AA - January 22-23, 2004

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (CSU) thank those CSU faculty members who have participated in the CSU Project on Lower-division Requirements in Majors (POL); and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU endorse the Project on Lower-division Requirements in Majors.

RATIONALE: Some five years ago, the Academic Senate CSU began a partnership with the Academic Affairs Division of the Chancellor's Office of the CSU that was originally called the lower-division core alignment project and that has more recently been designated as the CSU Project on Lower-division Requirements in Majors (POL).

POL is designed to:

  • assist students in their completion of the required lower-division components of their major prior to transferring from a community college to a CSU campus or from one CSU campus to another;

  • enhance ongoing efforts to develop a seamless transition between community colleges and the CSU through articulation agreements and CAN numbers, and

  • address legislative concerns regarding the efficiency of the transfer process as it affects student learning and success.
POL brings together representatives of each academic discipline in the CSU to discuss the lower-division components (both prerequisites and required courses) of their major, to clarify those lower-division components, and to seek consensus across the CSU on which lower-division components are appropriate. One goal is to create a body of information for community college students that will permit them to select appropriate lower-division courses that will be accepted as meeting lower-division requirements in their major at any CSU campus. Another goal is to ensure that transfer students are fully prepared to begin upper-division work in their major as soon as they arrive in the CSU.

During their first few terms after entering college, a significant number of community college students may not have decided to which CSU campus they will apply for transfer, or they may find later that they need to apply to several CSU campuses because of impaction. By seeking the widest possible consensus on the required lower-division components of majors, POL seeks to:
  • expedite transfer,

  • facilitate retention and graduation rates through better preparation of students for success in the CSU,

  • help those community college students who plan to transfer to avoid taking courses that do not articulate with the requirements of their baccalaureate degree program, and

  • help community college students to avoid accumulating unnecessary units that exceed the limits for transfer credit.
Success for POL is likely to address another current problem for both the community colleges and the CSU: the need to move students through the two systems more expeditiously, with fewer units above the number required for graduation, as a way of freeing up space in both systems for students who may otherwise be turned away due to problems of capacity-both physical capacity and the financial capacity to staff classes with instructors.

APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY - January 22-23, 2004

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