Cal State University Chancellor Timothy White postponed a vote on adding a course requirement for CSU admission. Instead, he asked for the system’s Board of Trustees to “approve a year-long study” of the proposed requirement. The approval went through on Wednesday, according to an LA Times article.
The fourth-year high school math or science requirement would fall under a new block called Quantitative Reasoning (QR) and if approved, it would go into effect fall of 2027.
White first proposed the requirement in 2016 to “raise standards and graduation rates, close achievement equity gaps and better prepare California’s future workforce,” according to another Times article.
The extra course has fallen under scrutiny due to concerns it would be another barrier for low-income, black and Latinx students to overcome and wouldn’t actually increase graduation rates among college students.
Iliana Isaia, a studio art major, feels the added course would only create another obstacle for students to overcome. “I believe the course would be a downfall for students, especially those who are people of color, including myself, due to not having enough time, resources, and [teachers] to take a course that lengthens our time to graduate.”
Organizations such as the California Faculty Association, California Teachers Association, black and Latino legislative caucuses, and the Los Angeles Unified School District board feel the course “would hurt black and Latino students and those from low-income families” due to shortage of qualified teachers and lack of access to the necessary classes, according to another Times article and other sources.
“The California State University is one of the most ethnically and racially diverse university systems in the U.S., ” with 60 percent of students being people of color, according to the CSU website.
College Tuition Compare, a website that does side-by-side comparisons of college costs and statistics, found that of the 28,036 students at Cal State LA, almost 65 percent of students are Latinx and about 3.6 percent are Black.
“A steering committee — to include the head of the board of trustees’ educational policy committee, the state superintendent of education, a Cal State student and a public school superintendent, among others — will meet twice a year to monitor the ‘impact and effectiveness of the requirement,’” the Times reported.
Correction: The study requested by White has yet to be approved by the trustees. They will vote on it later this month.
UPDATED: Jan. 31 @ 5:12 p.m.