SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGTV) — California State University's Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to make ethnic studies a graduation requirement.
The vote will modify the university's general education requirements to include a course addressing ethnic studies and social justice, according to the college system. The one-course requirement will be implemented in the 2023-24 school year to allow time for faculty to develop plans and coursework.
"Our goal is for CSU students, from every major and in every workplace, to be leaders in creating a more just and equitable society," said CSU Chancellor Timothy White. "This action, by the CSU and for the CSU, lifts Ethnic Studies to a place of prominence in our curriculum, connects it with the voices and perspectives of other historically oppressed groups, and advances the field by applying the lens of social justice. It will empower our students to meet this moment in our nation’s history, giving them the knowledge, broad perspectives and skills needed to solve society’s most pressing problems. And it will further strengthen the value of a CSU degree."
The change is the first significant modification to the system's GE requirements in 40 years, amid a nationwide focus at police reform and racial justice.
CSU says the requirement can be fulfilled through course offerings that "address historical, current and emerging ethnic studies and social justice issues."
"CSU courses on Africana literature, Native Californian perspectives, police reform, disparities in public health and the economics of racism, to name just a few, would meet the new requirement," the university adds, in addition to its traditional ethnic studies curriculum.