Course Grading in the Golden Four


AS-3269-16/AA/APEP (Rev)

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) recommend that course-to-course transfer of credit for lower division basic subjects in the General Education (GE) “Golden Four” (oral communication, written communication, mathematics/quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking) follow the rules for GE credit from the institution where the student completed the course; and be it further


RESOLVED: That the ASCSU reiterate its support for Grade Minima for CSU General Education Courses in the “Golden Four” of a C (2.0) in each course, as stated in ASCSU resolution AS-3020-11/APEP/AA (Rev) along with that resolution's strong recommendation that campus senates adopt policies that require matriculated students to earn a grade of C (2.0) in each of the Golden Four courses for GE credit; and be it further


RESOLVED: That the ASCSU encourage the adoption of a system-wide rule that a grade lower than C- will not yield CSU “Golden Four” GE credit, regardless of the institution of origin; and be it further


RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the CSU Chancellor, CSU Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, CSU Chancellor’s Office Registrar, CSU Campus Registrars, CSU Campus Presidents, CSU Campus Senate Chairs, CSU Provosts/Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs, CSU Directors of Admission and Articulation Officers, California State Student Association (CSSA) Leadership, California Community Colleges (CCC) Senate, CCC Directors of Admission and Articulation Officers, and the University of California (UC) Senate.


RATIONALE: In 2011 ASCSU passed AS-3020-11/APEP/AA (Rev) “Grade Minima for CSU General Education Courses in the “Golden Four”.  At that point in time, most, but not all, campuses already required a minimum of a C (2.0) for the award of GE credit in the “Golden Four.”  In 2015, Executive Order (EO) 1100 Section 2.2.2 “General Education Breadth Requirements” also required a minimum of a C (2.0) for all native and transfer students.   In a bit of a surprise, in April 2016, the division of Academic and Student Affairs issued Coded Memorandum ASA-2016-08 “Basic Subject Courses and the Grade of C-“.   The memo stated that, “students performing at the low end of the scale at any CSU or external campuses that do not award C- might likely receive C grades.  The consequences is that the literal intention of section 2.2.2 of Executive Order 1100 cannot be evenly enforced”.   This memo was issued without consultation with faculty and led to AS-3254-16/AA.   Additionally, at least two CSU campuses, which had been moving towards endorsement of a C (2.0) criteria, stopped those endorsement processes and now most CSU campuses are working on catalog revisions to implement the requirements of ASA-2016-08 (i.e., a C-).    In response to AS-3020-11/APEP/AA (Rev) a working group comprised of faculty and Chancellor's Office personnel was formed to explore viable solutions other than those proposed in ASA-2016-08.

After two working group meetings, and a review of options for addressing the issue of acceptance of a C- (1.7) in light of clear recommendations that a C (2.0) was a minimal acceptable course grade for GE credit, allowing course by course transfer, may best honor faculty and campus grading norms, avoid perceived or actual inequity and follow an already accepted practice.


We note that some issues, such as “Golden Four” GE credit for CourseMatch courses where the sending and receiving campuses may have different grade-criteria for GE credit for lower division core GE, will need to have additional specialized rules adopted for them in order to accommodate system and legal expectations.


Course-to-course articulation does not necessitate the otherwise-limited practice of “pass-along” credit as assessed by the institution providing anything but the final GE assessment for graduation (or area/full certification). 


Part of the rationale for this resolution is that the context of a C versus a C- may change depending on the use of C versus C- grades on the local campus as the minima for GE credit.


We note that the “C” minima corresponds to the minimum Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) standard of a C (2.0).


The third resolved uses the term “Institution of origin” to refer to any institutions which may be inside or outside the CSU.



Approved – November 3-4, 2016


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