By Kelsey Reichmann
Correction: The article has been updated to make clear that the GE Task Force and Report were commissioned by the academic senate of the CSU
The CSUDH Academic Senate Wednesday rejected the recommendations of a task force commissioned by the academic senate of the CSU to review and reform general education requirements.
The General Education Task Force was created by the ASCSU in March of 2017 and tasked with evaluating general education requirements across CSU campuses.
According to the ASCSU GE Task Force Report, “Arising from mounting concerns about the erosion of confidence in the value of higher education, higher costs of education borne increasingly by students, attenuated times to degree completion, and low persistence rates, many institutions, and systems of higher education have taken on comprehensive reform of their GE programs.”
The CSU task force contains several members of the CSU faculty, two CSU students, a staff member from the CSU Office of the Chancellor, and one faculty representative from each of the CSU sister institutions, the University of California and the California Community Colleges. The Board of Trustees also had two members participate unofficially.
General education courses are an attempt by universities to ensure that every student is exposed to a well-rounded curriculum that they may not receive if their focus was purely set on their major. For instance, literature for aspiring engineers or history for math majors. Traditionally, faculty have felt that it is in its purview to develop GE requirements at many universities, including the CSU.
In the resolution, the ASCSUDH claims, among many issues with the report, “the proposed GE program ascribes a drastically reduced role to disciplinary methods and knowledge in the arts, humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, life sciences, and other areas essential for a well-rounded education.
The ASCSUDH also claims that there is no evidence to show that these recommendations would improve student success across the 23 campuses.
Laura Talamante, chair of the Senate, described the feedback on the GETF as “the voice of the campus.”
Along with the many recommendations that have drawn criticism is cutting the current six credit U.S. history and government requirement in half as well as forcing some departments, especially in the humanities, to cut classes and therefore adjunct faculty.
Christopher S. Monty, chair of the history department, said the GETF was “a monster that went rogue.”
CSU Stanislaus and Chico State have also rejected the recommendations.
The report is not an official list of changes that will occur, but rather a recommendation from the GETF to the academic senate of the Cal State University.