Support for the Continued Inclusion of Upper Division General Education Within WASC Accreditation Guidelines

AS-3109-13/AA

ATTACHMENT TO AS-3109-13/AA

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) strongly oppose
the proposed elimination of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Guideline described in CFR 2.2a from the Revisions to the Draft 2013 Handbook of Accreditation (Attached); and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU strongly urge WASC to include the CFR 2.2a Guideline modified as
follows “The institution has a program of General Education that is integrated throughout the curriculum, including at the upper division level, together with significant study in depth in a given area of knowledge (typically described as a major)”; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to WASC President Ralph Wolff, WASC Accreditation Redesign Project Manager Jessica Worchel, WASC Policy and Planning Committee Chair Jackie Donath; AAC&U President Carol Geary Schneider; the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) president; the CSU Board of Trustees, Chancellor, campus Presidents, campus Provosts, campus Senate Chairs, and the California State Student Association.

RATIONALE: In the Revised Draft 2013 Handbook of Accreditation distributed by the
Western Association of Schools and Colleges on December 4, 2012,
( http://wascsenior.org/content/draft-2013-handbook-accreditation) the entire Guideline to WASC Criterion for Review 2.2a was proposed for elimination. The Guideline for CFR 2.2a, which sets the normative expectation for institutions regarding curriculum, is as follows: “The institution has a program of General Education that is integrated throughout the curriculum, including at the upper division level, consisting of a minimum of 45 semester units (or the equivalent), together with significant study in depth in a given area of knowledge (typically described as a major).”

This important guideline is consistent with CSU Executive Order (EO) 1065 General
Education Breadth Requirements, dated 2011. As noted in CSU EO 1065, “CSU
General Education Breadth requirements have been designed to complement the
major program and electives completed by each baccalaureate candidate, to assure that graduates have made noteworthy progress toward becoming truly educated persons.”

In addition, Dr. Carol Geary Schneider (President, Association of American Colleges
and Universities; http://www.aacu.org/about/schneider/cgs.cfm) conveys appropriate AAC&U (http://www.aacu.org/about/index.cfm) national perspectives on the importance of upper division general education (personal correspondence, September 12, 2012). In response to the then pending proposal to remove the upper level requirements in the CSU framework for general education, Dr. Schneider strongly urged that CSU not take this action and that CSU campuses work to strengthen their upper level requirements in general education, not eliminate them. Her reasons included the following: 1) CSU charted a course that many others now are pursuing; 2) CSU has adopted Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP), and LEAP strongly recommends a cornerstone-to-capstone design for general education; 3) General education programs
should include both introductory and advanced components; 4) There is a LEAP
emphasis on Integrative and Applied Learning and that this fourth strand of the LEAP
framework explicitly calls for students to integrate their broad learning with their
specialized studies; and 5) In an era of global interdependence, CSU students need more general education, not less, to be well prepared for the global economy and for
knowledgeable citizenship.

The CSU has long prided itself on providing access to excellence. In the 21st century,
educational excellence calls for strengthening general education program and
integrating it with the work of major fields.

 

Approved – January 17-18, 2013



 
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