Printable Version in PDF Format (Get Adobe Acrobat)


  • Policy Number: SP.16.012
  • Version: Revision 1
  • Drafted By:
  • Approved By: Erika D. Beck
  • Approval Date: June 5, 2017
  • Effective Date: Fall 2019
  • Supersedes: SP.01.008


The purpose of this policy is revision of the General Education Program’s structure. This policy supersedes SP 01-08. Provisions of this policy will be enforced beginning AY 19-20, leaving two years for programs to perform curricular review and modifications.


In AY 15-16 the GE program performed a self-study identifying serious structural and support deficiencies for General Education at CI. These deficiencies were affirmed by the External Review that took place in AY 16-17 and the administrative feedback for the self-study and external review. This policy, together with the Policy on GE Course Characteristics, is designed to resolve the structural deficiencies of General Education and to make clear to programs offering GE course what their responsibilities to the GE program are. This policy ensures that students will have regular access to General Education course offerings, including the opportunity to repeat a course during their tenure if needed.

This policy aligns with SP 15-04 on Golden Four General Education Courses and with Executive Order 1100 regarding junior standing for upper division GE.

Together with the Policy on GE Course Characteristics, this policy better integrates and balances Channel Islands Mission Pillars into General Education. In this structure, each lower division GE course may have a secondary Mission attribute and every upper division GE course must have a Mission attribute in addition to its CSU distribution areas (B-D).

Language and multicultural Graduation Requirements may count within GE parameters. These requirements are outlined in separate Senate polices which may require minor wording changes. For example, we would need to update the wording in SP 01-46 to state that the Multicultural graduation requirement would be satisfied by completion of an MP GE course. The American Ideals Statutory requirement may count within GE parameters. The Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) is described in SP 11-07 and external reviews strongly suggest revising this policy. Opening up Upper Division GE courses to have any mission attribute effects the GWAR policy directly, and SP 11-07 will need to be revised before this policy is enforced in AY 19-20.

Points 6, 8, 12, and 14 are recommendations from External Reviewers. Points 9 and 13
align with CSU Policy in EO-1100. The remaining points are campus-level decisions.



General Education Committee, Curriculum Committee, and Academic Affairs


All Undergraduate Students




General Education Program Course Requirements
Section 1: General Education courses must satisfy the following set of requirements:

  1. Every general education course must have exactly one CSU A-E (sub)area, with
    the exception of B3. Area B1 or B2 courses can have the additional B3 area
    designation if those courses include a laboratory component.
  2. Every Upper-division General Education course must have one Mission Category
    designation in addition to one CSU Area B-D (sub)area.
  3. Lower-division General Education courses may have at most one Mission Category designation in addition to one CSU Area A-E (sub)area.
  4. Lower-division GE courses must have at least one outcome from GE Goals 1-4
    from Senate Policy 07-00, which include the mission and cross-curricular skills
  5. General Education courses must have 2-3 GE Learning Outcomes from Senate
    Policy 07-00 as course learning outcomes (for a 3-4 unit course), and these GE
    Outcomes must be central to the course.
  6. General Education courses must have one or more significant course assignments
    aligned with the course GE Learning Outcomes, and the student work produced
    by these assignments will be used to perform regular assessment of the GE
    learning in the course. Courses that are not regularly assessed will be removed from GE designation.
  7. General Education courses must be aligned with their offering program’s mission and expertise. That is, courses satisfying the B, C, and D distribution areas should be offered by a corresponding discipline.
  8. General Education courses draw students from a variety of majors.
  9. Upper-division GE courses must have a CSU Area from B-D only.
  10. Upper-division GE courses must be 3 unit courses. (an exception must be approved by the GE Committee)
  11. Upper-division courses may not exceed more than 25 percent of the total number of General Education courses, by catalog listing not by section, with cross-listed courses counted once. This 25 percent requirement will not be enforced until Fall 2019. At that point the percentage of UD GE courses in the GE offerings will be measured annually in September of each year. In years in which this percentage is above 25%, no new UD GE courses will be considered for adoption.

Section 2: It is recommended that General Education courses satisfy the following set of requirements.

  1. General Education courses must be offered every year.
  2. Upper-division GE courses must have junior standing as an enrollment requirement.
  3. General Education courses must compose at most 20 percent of a chaired academic unit’s course offerings (not section offerings). That is, a maximum of 20% of courses housed in the same chaired academic unit, including those with different prefixes, can be GE courses.
  4. Upper-division GE courses cannot be core requirements in a major.


E0-1100 CSU General Education Breadth Requirements 2015 (supersedes EO 1065)
SP 01-08 Suggestions for General Education Policy
SP 07-00 Revisions to General Education Learning Outcomes (was SP 06-06)
SP 15-04 Policy on Golden Four General Education Courses
General Education Self-Study 2016
General Education Program Review internal reviews
General Education Program Review External Review 2017
Proposed policy on General Education Course Characteristics 2017

Back to Top ↑