Changes to the lower-division General Education (GE) pattern loom as the Chancellor’s Office and CSU Board of Trustees consider whether the CSU will adopt the California General Education Transfer Curriculum (Cal-GETC) as its single GE pattern for all CSU students.

In its effort to eliminate an unnecessarily complex transfer process for students hoping to transfer from community colleges to the CSU or the University of California (UC) systems, Assembly Bill 928 created Cal-GETC as a means of establishing a singular GE pathway that meets the academic requirements for transfer admissions. Prior to the creation of Cal-GETC, the systems relied on the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC), which set different requirements for transfer into the two systems.

Cal-GETC was the product of negotiations between the California Community Colleges (CCC), the CSU, and the UC systems, and will take effect in Fall 2025.

A group of people with signs
A CFA member holds a sign reminding CSU management of the strong connection between faculty wellbeing and student wellbeing.

While the CSU Statewide Academic Senate adopted a resolution that endorsed incorporating the Cal-GETC transfer pathway, they cautioned against a possible move by the Chancellor’s Office and CSU Board of Trustees to replace the current CSU GE Breadth requirements with Cal-GETC as its single GE pattern.

Adopting Cal-GETC as the new GE pattern for all students would reduce GE in the CSU by five units. It would reduce the three required courses in Area C (Arts and Humanities) and Area D (Social and Behavioral Sciences) to only two classes, and it would completely eliminate Area E (Lifelong Learning and Self-Development). Reducing and eliminating areas that offer opportunities for our students to build critical skills to be successful will severely inhibit their ability for life-long learning.

The current CSU GE Breadth was designed for the needs of our students. As the Statewide Academic Senate noted in their resolution, CSU faculty are categorically opposed to changing the curriculum when there is no evidence that these changes meet our students’ educational needs.

These changes would also come at a time when CSU trustees just passed a 34 percent tuition increase by the 2028-29 school year.

“The legislative intent was not to close down the myriad other pathways into the CSU for transfer students, nor to fundamentally change GE for students who arrive directly from high school,” said Cal Poly Pomona Professor Gwen Urey.

“If Cal-GETC becomes the new CSU GE for all, it will shut the door on any transfer student who earns less than a C in any of the patterns courses, thus exacerbating enrollment challenges. If Cal-GETC becomes the new CSU GE for all, the elements of GE breadth that have been proven to promote student success will be jettisoned. The idea of making Cal-GETC the universal GE may seem to simplify, but its logic doesn’t hold. The perverse consequences of such a change will harm future students and intensify enrollment challenges for our campuses,” said Urey.

As faculty, we have a direct line to our students and understand what can deeply impact their learning experience. While we cannot bargain over whether CSU management ultimately implements Cal-GETC as the single GE pattern, we can offer consultation through our campus Academic Senates and strongly encourage them to put a stop to the cuts that would negatively impact both the faculty who teach in the affected areas and students who would otherwise take those courses.

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