Opposition to AB 2168 (Liu): A Single Common General Education Curriculum for California Community College (CCC) Students Who Transfer to University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU)

AS-2744-06/AA/FA - March 9-10, 2006


RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (CSU) oppose AB 2168, as currently written; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University assert that:

  • The CSU already has mechanisms in place that address the issues raised by this bill.
  • Implementation of AB 2168 would be costly in terms of additional coordination and administrative, faculty and staff costs, and would result in minimal benefits to the state or to students.
  • Unintended consequences of AB 2168 are likely to be reduced flexibility for students prior to transfer, potential reductions in the opportunities for critical thinking courses, and serious erosion of the lifelong learning skills inherent in the current CSU GE curriculum (e.g., oral communication, critical thinking).
  • AB 2168 would undermine the emerging Lower Division Transfer Pattern (LDTP) program, which was generated in response to legislative intent to facilitate student transfer between the CCC and CSU.
  • AB 2168 intrudes on the statutory (HEERA) role and responsibility of the faculty to determine curriculum in the CSU.
; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the present resolution be communicated to the Chancellor, the Board of Trustees, and the appropriate legislative committees.

RATIONALE: The CCC and CSU have for many years have had an agreement on GE courses, called GE Breadth, for CCC students who wish to transfer to the CSU.

CCC students wishing to transfer to the UC can take the IGETC pattern of courses (Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum - a product of over five years of communication and negotiation between the CCC, CSU and the UC), which is accepted at most, but not all, UC institutions as well as at all CSU institutions.

Although the ASCSU believes that CSU GE Breadth best meets the educational needs of our students, any student who meets the IGETC requirements has the GE Breadth requirements waived should s/he decide to transfer to a CSU campus instead of a UC campus (the reciprocity does not work the other way).

This accommodation meets the needs of students who transfer to the CFU who were unsure about whether they would attend the CSU or the UC. Hence, GE has not been a deterrent for CCC students wishing to transfer to the CSU, although there has been a problem for some trying to transfer to the UC. The proposed legislation could have the effect of mandating IGETC as the sole method of satisfying general education requirements and would eliminate essential communications coverage from this program.

Implementation of AB 2168 would require the work of many faculty members from all three segments. Arrangements for meetings, class substitutes, travel, lodging, etc. would bring the costs of this implementation into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, or more. It would take a minimum of two years and, in expert faculty opinion, would be unlikely to yield a superior product for CSU-bound students than the existing GE Breadth and IGETC agreements already in existence. The benefits would not seem to justify the costs.

A recent survey conducted of the 23 CSU campuses revealed high levels of satisfaction with the current CSU GE program.

In response to Legislative directive, the CSU has been implementing the LDTP. This program is designed to smooth the transfer of CCC students to the CSU by giving each interested student an acceptable list of courses acceptable for a particular major at a CSU. Implementing AB 2168 would undermine this program, and cause much of the work undertaken for LDTP to be redone.

Finally, AB 2168 is contrary to the differential missions ascribed to the CCC, CSU and UC by the California Master Plan. Even within the CSU, each University has its own identity, emphases and needs. Similarly, the CCCs vary throughout the State. To say that one curriculum fits all greatly attacks this autonomy. Moreover, in trying to design one curriculum for all, it would invariably end up requiring a set of courses that would be unlikely to provide a stronger benefit to the affected students and their institutions in the long run.

Legislative intrusion such as is the focus of AB 2168 undermines the good work and good judgment of educational experts while additionally serving to generate additional uncertainty and chaos for both students and faculty. It is common for such legislative "solutions" to generate additional long-term problems for the affected institutions that far exceed the perceived or real problem that the solution was designed to address.

Approved Without Dissent - May 4-5, 2006

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