Overview of California State University Campus GE Survey Feedback Regarding EO 1100 Revision

Background

Issuance of Executive Order 1100 Revised 2017 CSU General Education Breadth follows a year of internal and external interest in CSU general education (GE), as detailed in the consultation timeline that appears at the end of this document. Input highlighted a need for simplification and improved clarity in CSU GE requirements, greater effort to ensure equitable opportunities for student success, and GE policy changes to facilitate efficient degree completion.

Beginning in early 2016, the Chancellor’s Office heard from the Legislature, the Administration, and our trustees, contributing to our ongoing reexamination of our internal policies and practices. To provide context to understanding current GE practices, Chancellor White requested an update on GE requirements at each CSU campus. A survey was issued via a coded memo, requesting each campus report by September 14, 2016. Campus responses showed a wide variation in GE requirements across the system.

In fall 2016, the Academic Senate CSU (ASCSU) Quantitative Reasoning Task Force (QRTF) Report was issued, which called attention to (among other issues) the effects on student equity caused by the CSU Entry-Level Mathematics placement examination, CSU GE Breadth mathematics/quantitative reasoning requirement and remedial math GE prerequisite courses. Additionally, the report identified that “community colleges apply CSU Executive Order 1100 [requirements] more literally than do CSU campuses,” resulting in “differences in expectations and practices [that] undermine the principle of equitable access to the CSU” (p. 6).

In November 2016, the ASCSU approved a resolution establishing an ASCSU task force to “examine, offer suggestions, and report upon general education programs system-wide.” The rationale for the work of the General Education Task Force (GETF) was to respond to scrutiny by external stakeholders, identify best practices for GE across the system, and to inform all interested parties about GE in the CSU. The GETF has met three times and will continue to meet throughout the 2017-18 academic year before issuing a final report. The recommendations contained in the report could result in further changes to EO 1100.

In March 2017, a presentation to the CSU Board of Trustees addressed a plan to provide all CSU students, including those who arrive academically underprepared, the opportunity and support needed to complete 30 college‐level units before beginning students’ second academic year. This would require shifting away from remediation as official CSU policy. In order to allow campuses to offer GE mathematics/quantitative reasoning courses without remediation requirements, EO 1100 General Education Breadth Requirements needed to remove remediation, which appeared in the form of the universal intermediate algebra prerequisite for all GE mathematics/quantitative reasoning courses.

In March 2017, the Chancellor’s Office asked each CSU campus to complete and return by June 2017, a survey soliciting feedback on EO1100 (2015): CSU GE Breadth Requirements with particular attention to (1) clarifying the requirements, (2) ensuring equitable treatment of students and (3) streamlining graduation requirements.

This request for campus feedback was unique from the ongoing work of the GETF in that the Chancellor’s Office focused specifically on the three issues listed above, while the task force had broader goals (as noted above).

Campus community survey participation

In their survey responses, campuses indicated whether administration, faculty, students, or any combination, were involved in providing feedback. One campus declined to offer feedback. Of the remaining 22 campuses, 9 indicated that their feedback incorporated responses from all 3 constituencies. Of the 13 campuses that did not give “all-campus” feedback, 6 forms were from faculty and administrators; 4 were from faculty only; 2 were from administrators only; and one was from faculty and students. Faculty voices were included in the responses from 20 of 23 CSU campuses.

pie chart, contents below Types of responses: Faculty and administration 6; faculty and students 1; faculty only 4; administration only 2; no campus response 1; integrated all campus response 9.

Systemwide campus survey responses

Nearly all of the responses indicated support for a revision of EO1100 with attention to clarity, equity, and streamlining. Nearly all campuses made at least a few specific suggestions for policy revisions, and over half the campuses provided many detailed suggestions. Most of these policy suggestions focused on the removal of the required prerequisite of intermediate algebra for courses in GE Breadth Subarea B4, a recommendation from the ASCSU QRTF. Two other recommendations supported by multiple campuses included setting 48 semester hours as both the minimum and maximum number of units for GE and requiring the double counting of GE courses, where possible, with required major courses. Responses from two campuses appeared unsupportive of a systemwide policy regarding GE requirements.

Some suggestions addressed the clarity of the document, whereas others addressed the details of the policy requirements set forth in the document. Many replies suggested that simpler, more straightforward language would be appreciated (e.g., avoid “promulgated,” “use Plain English”), and some suggested the use of more bullet points. Many replies also flagged portions of the document where a reader may remain confused about the policy.

Survey feedback and resultant EO 1100 policy changes are summarized below, article by article.

Article 1. Applicability

While some respondents felt that Article 1–Applicability seemed sufficiently clear, many requested clarification. In particular, many wondered about the definition of “enrolled continuously.”

Response/Change made in policy

  • "Enrolled continuously" has been defined for clarity.

Article 2. Fulfilling CSU General Education Requirements

A number of replies expressed confusion about the “three pathways” specified in Article 2.1—Pathways. Many replies requested that C- be specified as the minimum grade, and several questioned the need for a nine-unit residency requirement. Some requested modification of the upper-division GE requirement. The majority of responses supported a systemwide policy permitting “double counting.” In the past, several campuses have asked the question of when upper-division GE courses should be taken by students.

Response/Changes made in policy

  • A minimum C- grade is required for GE courses in written communication in the English language, oral communication in the English language, critical thinking, and mathematics/quantitative reasoning. This was established in coded memo ASA-2016-08PDF File “Basic Subject Courses and the Grade of C-,” and appears in Title 5 s. 40803.
  • Since EO 1033 was issued in 2008, the term “pathways” for GE completion has been included in GE policy. Over the past decade, this term has come to signal a specific way of completing GE requirements on some CSU campuses; this has led to confusion in this section. We have relabeled this section “CSU GE Breadth Patterns” in order to reduce misunderstandings.
  • Lower-division certification includes nine lower-division semester units each in Areas A, B, C and D and three lower-division semester units in Area E, which totals 39 of the 48 units required. Following completion of the first 39 units at a California Community College (CCC) campus, the remaining nine semester units (of the total 48 GE units required) reside in Areas B, C and D—the only Areas that require a total of 12 units each—3 units each beyond lower-division certification. These nine units coincide with the nine semester-units of upper-division GE required at the CSU.

 

                   Semestet units required for transfer (ADT & full certification Semester units required for CSU GE Breadth Semester units remaining after transfer
Area A 9 9 0
Area B 9 12 3
Area C 9 12 3
Area D 9 12 3
Area E 3 3 0
Totals 39 48 9
  • Campuses may no longer prohibit the double counting of GE requirements and other requirements. Major courses and campus-wide required courses that are approved for GE credit shall also fulfill (double count for) the GE requirement.
  • The residency requirement was revised to include the statement that the 9 semester (12 quarter) units of upper-division GE course work must be taken in the CSU.
  • Recognizing that students in some majors need scheduling flexibility, campuses may decide to allow students with fewer than 60 semester units to enroll in upper-division GE courses provided they have successfully completed their coursework in written communication in the English language, oral communication in the English language, critical thinking and mathematics/quantitative reasoning.

Article 3. Premises of CSU General Education Breadth

While it is difficult to see a clear pattern among the responses to this section of EO 1100, nearly everyone took issue with it. Many requested a stronger, clearer defense of GE. Many questioned the effectiveness of the lengthy bullet list on LEAP. Most reacted negatively to the section on remediation, perceiving that it disadvantaged underrepresented students and transfer students, and noting apparent contradictions with what was then intended policies on academic preparation.

Response/Changes made in policy

  • The inclusion of the LEAP outcomes was modified to provide a link directly to the AACU webpage on LEAP. This allows for the removal of most of the lengthy list, which may have been causing confusion.
  • The section on “Entry-Level Learning Skills,” including remediation, was removed as alternatives to remediation are addressed EO 1110 Assessment of Academic Preparation and Placement in First-Year General Education Written Communication and Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning Courses, which was issued on August 2, 2017.

Article 4. Subject Area Distribution

While some found this section sufficiently clear, others did not, noting the need to update the Subarea B4 mathematics/quantitative reasoning requirements in relation to the ASCSU QRTF Report recommendations. Some suggested moving the mathematics/quantitative reasoning requirement into Area A because mathematics/quantitative reasoning is a foundational skill. There were a few comments on whether Area E should exist as a separate GE Area, moved into into one of the other GE Areas, or eliminated. Some campuses asked that policy specify in which GE Areas CSU upper-division breadth courses should reside.

Response/Changes made in policy

  • Many of the changes suggested in this section were beyond the scope of this revision and have been referred to the ASCSU GETF for consideration.
  • Language in the opening paragraph of Area A was clarified.
  • The GE Subarea B4 mathematics/quantitative reasoning definition was revised based upon recommendations from a variety of sources.
  • Upper-division GE courses are now specified as including 3 semester (4 quarter) units each (for a total 9 semester units or 12 quarter units) in Areas B, C and D (see Article 2 above).
  • Suitable content for Area E was expanded to include information literacy and student success strategies. Personal finance was removed, as it now serves among the examples of possible mathematics/quantitative reasoning courses.

Article 5. Transfer and Articulation

Many responses requested clarification of terms (e.g., “regionally accredited,” “eligible institution”) and requested a clearer description of the systemwide procedure for GE certification. Campuses also asked for clarification of GE policies related to Associate Degrees for Transfer (ADT).

Response/Changes made in policy

  • This section was clarified to explain the role of the CCC in the annual CSU GE Breadth/Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) review process.
  • Clarification was provided in regards to reciprocity among CSU campuses for GE coursework.
  • A section was added to provide guidance on students who earn an ADT.
  • This section was revised to acknowledge the unique role of the CCC in the CSU GE Breadth annual certification process.

Article 6. Implementation and Governance

Reponses included a number of questions regarding the composition of the chancellor’s General Education Advisory Committee (GEAC), the timeframe of review, and GE advising for students. There were also a number of requests for additional funding for campus GE committees.

Response/Changes made in policy

  • The membership of GEAC was clearly defined, including both membership and voting rights.
  • Sections in Article 6 were reorganized to provide greater clarity.
  • Campuses are required to provide sufficient sections of GE Subarea A2 written communication and B4 mathematics/quantitative reasoning courses to support completion of this coursework by all freshmen during their first year of enrollment.
  • Campuses shall remove GE status from courses that have not been taught in five years.
  • To assist campuses with alignment with WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) requirements, a section was revised providing greater detail on the creation of a GE program assessment plan.

Recommendations for the ASCSU General Education Task Force Conisderation

As stated in the beginning of this summary, the ASCSU GETF continues to examine broader issues in GE in the CSU. A number of comments and questions emerged from the survey data that are more appropriate for the GETF consideration, including:

  • Move Subarea B4 Math/QR to Area A (foundational requirements).
    • As Subarea B4 mathematics/quantitative reasoning classes have the same C- grade requirement, and are required to be completed before transfer, mathematics/quantitative reasoning might fit better in a reorganized Area A (foundational requirements).
  • Consider an update to the language/description of Subarea A3 Critical Thinking.
    • Several comments were received that indicated language used in EO 1100 to describe Subarea A3 was too restrictive.
  • Consider whether a separate Area E Lifelong Learning and Self-Development is necessary and where it should go in the GE program.
    • Suggestions were made as to whether coursework now in Area E should be a part of a newly defined Area A (foundational requirements)
  • Remove the U.S. History/American Institutions (AI) Requirement.
    • Comments focused on either eliminating the requirement (in parallel with the University of California practice of AI coursework being an admissions requirement) or requiring that this coursework be double counted in Area D Social Science.
  • Consider the inclusion of lecturers on campus GE Committees.
    • While the CSU cannot require part-time faculty to serve on committees, it was acknowledged that they do teach a majority of GE course sections across the system.
  • Consider the notion of “skill development” throughout the EO.
    • Currently this statement is included in Area E but could also be applicable to coursework in Areas B and C.

Summary of EO 1100 changes

Section Revision
2.1 Changed the term "CSU GE pathways" to "CSU GE patterns"
2.2.1 Sets the required semester units for GE Breadth at 48 (or equivalent quarter units) as both a minimum and maximum but allows 49 semester (or equivalent quarter) units to reflect practice of requiring a 4 semester (or equivalent quarter) unit lecture/lab course or a 1 semester (or equivalent quarter) unit lab course on some campuses.
2.2.3 Clarified when students should enroll in upper-division GE courses.
2.2.3 & 4 Makes explicit that the 9 semester (12 quarter) units required at the upper-division must be taken in Areas B, C, and D. Some campuses currently require upper-division GE in other Areas, which causes students to take more units than should be the case.
2.2.4 Requires that 9 semester (12 quarter) units of GE shall be taken in the CSU.
3.3 Removed long list of LEAP information, replaced with link.
(formerly 3.4 in previous EO 1100 version) Removed the section on entry-level skills and remediation, as they are now covered in EO 1110.
2.2.2 Minimum grades reflect C- requirements for oral communication in the English language, written communication in the English language, critical thinking and mathematics/quantitative reasoning.
2.2.6.1 Major courses and campus-wide required courses that are approved for GE credit shall also fulfill (double count for) the GE requirement.
2.2.6.2 Campuses are encouraged to allow the double counting of the 6 units of American Institutions with GE Area D (social science.)
2.2.1.c & 5.6.2.a Once a GE requirement is satisfied, students shall not be required to satisfy it again, even if the student were to change majors or campuses.
3.2 Added statement instructing campuses to not distinguish among face-to-face, online, and hybrid modalities.
4 Removed the intermediate algebra prerequisite from quantitative reasoning Subarea B4.
4 Added additional topics for potential course work in Area E (information literacy; student success strategies) and removed personal finance from this area.
5.3.4 A section was added to provide guidance on students who earn an Associate Degree for Transfer.
5.6 Information was provided in regards to reciprocity among CSU campuses for GE coursework.
6.2.1.c.1 Campuses are required to provide sufficient sections of GE Subarea A2 written communication in the English language and Subarea B4 mathematics/quantitative reasoning courses to support completion of this coursework by all freshmen during their first year of enrollment.
6.2.1.c.2 Added the requirement that if a GE course is not offered within a five-year period, it shall no longer be approved for GE status.

EO 1100 and Mathematics/Quantitaive Reasoning Policy 2016-17 Consultation Timeline

3/29/16
Introduced by Assembly Member Holden, Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 158 Relative to Public Postsecondary Education encourages all three higher education segments to expedite efforts to streamline the transfer process and ensure that all general education courses can transfer seamlessly from campus-to-campus and among all three systems.

8/12/16
AVC Mallon writes t the Office of Advocacy and State Relations, providing an overview of system GE transfer and articulation policies, addressing the concerns of Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 158 Relative to Public Postsecondary Education. ASCSU Chair Miller is copied.

8/16/16
EVC Blanchard issues survey of campus GE requirements.

8/28/17
ASCSU Planning Retreat: ASA Division discusses with senate the external pressures to examine GE policy. Results of the campus GE surveys are promised (and later delivered) to ASCSU chair.

9/13/16
In response to GEAC members discussing draft Title 5 language for quantitative reasoning, AVC Chris Mallon advises GEAC members that EO 1100 will be revised to include modified language for the GE Breadth Area B4 mathematics/quantitative reasoning requirement, and specifies that Title 5 will not be amended to include a new Area B4 definition.

9/14/16
Campus GE requirements survey responses due.

9/14-15/16
AS-3264-16/EX, Approved Unanimously, ASCSU Accepts QRTF Report and recommendations.

AS-3265-16/APEP, Approved, Implementation of Quantitative Reasoning Task Force (QRTF) Recommendations That Reflect Items Previously Approved by the Academic Senate CSU

9/23/16-3/17/16
CO AVCs and ASCSU consult with multiple groups* regarding QRTF recommendations.

11/1/16
AVC Chris Mallon and State University Associate Dean Alison Wrynn met with GEAC, requesting GEAC help in clarifying GE requirements and providing campus templates or examples of best practice; specifying that upper-division GE fits within Areas B, C and D; and identifying benefits of GE Breadth requirements through use of program review and assessment evidence. Some GEAC members opposed GEAC conducting this work, asserting that it should be addressed by the GE Task Force. GEAC did not accept the invitation to be involved in this work. As noted in GEAC minutes:

“The ASCSU GE Task Force is there to address some of these issues. The distinction being a senate-owned committee (ASCSU) vs. the targeted expertise and ease of access to stakeholders with a GEAC-centered effort.” (GEAC Minutes)PDF File

11/17/16
EVC Blanchard requests systemwide feedback on QRTF recommendations by 2/6/17; ASCSU is included.

1/24/17
GEAC discussed change to Area B4 definition. During the year, Steven Filling, Kate Stevenson and GEAC Vice Chair Mark Van Selst led the discussion and drafting efforts. AVC Mallon invites GEAC to begin proposed language for a revised EO 1100, in response to the QRTF recommendations. She reminds GEAC that Area B4 is not defined in Title 5. Chair Miller was present.

3/7/17
EVC Blanchard letter is sent to Chair Miller, advising of Chancellor’s Office policy decisions resulting from QRTF recommendations. This includes changes to GE Breadth Area B4 mathematics/quantitative reasoning requirements and the use of multiple measures of demonstrating college readiness; use of co-requisite and other learner-supportive models; and requiring the completion of GE mathematics/quantitative reasoning in the first year of enrollment.

3/10/17
EVC Blanchard memo issued to presidents requesting feedback on how EO 1100 can be revised to: (1) improve clarity, (2) ensure equity, and (3) streamline graduation requirements—in response to criticism regarding these areas, from Governor Brown, Assembly Member Chris Holden, the Department of Finance, and trustees.

3/14/17
GEAC further discussed changing the Area B4 definition.

3/15/17
Feedback was originally requested by 5/12/17. AVC Leo Van Cleve met with Senate Executive Committee. EO 1100 consultation memo and timing were discussed. Negotiations resulted in extending the deadline to 6/16/17 and an agreement that the ASCSU would convene a five-member work group to review the draft EO 1100, following receipt of campus feedback in June. Work group members were to be paid $500.

EVC Blanchard met with the Executive Committee, and his letter of March 15, 2017 confirmed the arrangements.

5/16/17
Final 2016-17 GEAC meeting. “Conceptual Draft” for GE Breadth Area B4 mathematics/quantitative reasoning language for EO 1100. Chair Miller was present.

5/17/17
ASCSU Academic Affairs Committee discussed Senator Filling and Dr. Kate Stevenson’s “Conceptual Draft” notes for EO 1100 definition of Area B4. AA Committee offered feedback on the language but did not offer feedback on the request for input on revising EO 1100.

5/18-19/17
Final 2016-17 ASCSU Plenary
AS-3291-17/APEP (Rev) Incorporating the Quantitative Reasoning Task Force (QRTF) Recommendations in Revising Executive Order (EO) 1100, postponed indefinitely

6/16/17
Systemwide EO 1100 feedback due. No formal feedback was received from ACSCU committees or plenary. Feedback was received by all but one campus, which chose not to respond. Faculty were involved in responses from 20 of the 22 campuses responding. Nine campuses indicated that their feedback incorporated responses from all three constituencies (faculty, students and administration). Of the 13 campuses that did not give “all-campus” feedback, six response forms were submitted by faculty and administrators; four from faculty only; two from administrators only; and one was from faculty and students.

7/17/17
Draft EO 1100 Revised—feedback from and discussion with ASCSU Executive Committee.

7/26/17
Draft EO 1100 Revised—feedback from and discussion with ASCSU EO 1100 review work group.

8/4/17
Draft EO 1100 Revised--feedback due from presidents.

8/7/17
Draft EO 1100 Revised—feedback due from provosts.

*CO and ASCSU QRTF Consultation Schedule Beyond ASCSU 9/23/16 through 3/17/17

CO Staff Member: Caro Cardenas

Constituent Group Planned Consultation Venue and Date
Test Officers Test Officer Meeting (November 2016)
Directors of Outreach & Recruitment DOR Retreat (12/5)
ELM Faculty Committee ELM Meeting (12/10) San Diego
EAP Coordinators EAP Meeting (1/23/17) Bakersfield
Math Council TBD
Admissions Advisory Council  LA Crowne Plaza (12/8) Eric/Caro

CO Staff Member: Eric Forbes

Constituent Group Planned Consultation Venue and Date
DARS April Grommo
UC BOARS  
Admissions Advisory Council LA Crowne Plaza (12/8) Eric/Caro
ICC  
VPs of Student Affairs Ray Murrillo will be responsible

CO Staff Member: Marquita Grenot-Scheyer

Constituent Group Planned Consultation Venue and Date
CORE Districts Superintendents Presentation to their regular meeting 2/10/17 (tentative)
CA Department of Education  Need to set up this spring
Deans of Education (3/16-17/17)
Recipients of CA Math Readiness Challenge Grants (4 campuses) Planning a spring meeting
CAPP Consulted at their fall meeting
CORE Districts Superintendents Presentation to their regular meeting 2/10/17 (tentative)

CO Staff Member Chris Mallon

Constituent Group Planned Consultation Venue and Date
Provosts Academic Council Meeting (11/29/16)
Presidents Council of Presidents Meeting (12/6/16)
Academic AVPs Web-Assisted Conference (12/12/16)
ICAS (intersegmental senates) ICAS (9/23/16)

ASCSU Consultation with ICAS

From ASCSU:

ICAS received the report at its September 23 meeting. It was clarified that receiving the report is not considered acceptance but instead is intended as an informal receipt of report to allow for the segments to discuss the report. By consensus, each segment received the Quantitative Reasoning Task Force report and agreed to share with their respective segments for input and feedback at the December ICAS meeting.

*CO and ASCSU QRTF Consultation Schedule Beyond ASCSU 9/23/16 through 3/17/17

CO Staff Member: Caro Cardenas

Constituent Group Planned Consultation Venue and Date
Test Officers Test Officer Meeting (November 2016)
Directors of Outreach & Recruitment DOR Retreat (12/5)
ELM Faculty Committee ELM Meeting (12/10) San Diego
EAP Coordinators EAP Meeting (1/23/17) Bakersfield
Math Council TBD
Admissions Advisory Council  LA Crowne Plaza (12/8) Eric/Caro

 

CO Staff Member: Eric Forbes

Constituent Group Planned Consultation Venue and Date
DARS April Grommo
UC BOARS  
Admissions Advisory Council LA Crowne Plaza (12/8) Eric/Caro
ICC  
VPs of Student Affairs Ray Murrillo will be responsible

CO Staff Member: Marquita Grenot-Scheyer

Constituent Group Planned Consultation Venue and Date
CORE Districts Superintendents Presentation to their regular meeting 2/10/17 (tentative)
CA Department of Education  Need to set up this spring
Deans of Education (3/16-17/17)
Recipients of CA Math Readiness Challenge Grants (4 campuses) Planning a spring meeting
CAPP Consulted at their fall meeting
CORE Districts Superintendents Presentation to their regular meeting 2/10/17 (tentative)

CO Staff Member Chris Mallon

Constituent Group Planned Consultation Venue and Date
Provosts Academic Council Meeting (11/29/16)
Presidents Council of Presidents Meeting (12/6/16)
Academic AVPs Web-Assisted Conference (12/12/16)
ICAS (intersegmental senates) ICAS (9/23/16)

ASCSU Consultation with ICAS
From ASCSU:
ICAS received the Quantitative Reasoning Task Force Report at its September 23 meeting. It was clarified that receiving the report is not considered acceptance but instead is intended as an informal receipt of report to allow the segments to discuss the report. By consensus, each segment received the report and agreed to share with their respective segments for input and feedback at the December ICAS meeting.