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Academic Service Learning
California's Call to Service


04/11/1999: Gray Davis announces service component of undergraduate education

Submitted by: stew Jenkins
Friday, April 9, 1999
Davis Proposes to Require Public Service by Students By DAVE LESHER, Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO--Gov. Gray Davis said Thursday that he will offer a plan this year to make public service a graduation requirement for all of California's higher education students.

"I think it's very important," Davis said in a press conference. "One of the ethics of the World War II generation was a sense of obligation to the future and an appreciation for what they inherited--and that is getting away from us."

Davis said he will propose the requirement for all three of the state's higher education systems--the University of California, the California State University and the community colleges.
The governor said high school students in Maryland have a public service requirement. And he said it is already mandatory at some California high schools and universities.
Officials for the University of California and Cal State said both institutions already encourage students to perform such public service as tutoring, mentoring and volunteer work with community agencies.

They said they were unaware of any discussions to date that would make public service a graduation requirement. At the University of California, such curriculum decisions are made by faculty associations.

Davis said he is still uncertain when his plan might begin or what types of public service would be required.
"We're working on it," he said.

"You can talk about mastering this subject and getting that marketable skill," Davis said, "but if you don't understand how fortunate you are to be American in 1999, then you haven't read history and you don't realize what has transpired to allow you to have that good fortune."

Davis made his comments at a splashy press conference that he convened to boast about his achievements as governor so far.
Davis also said he plans to seek public and private funds for new books and computer hookups in California schools.
Copyright 1999 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved

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