On September 12, the Board of Governors endorsed a State Academic Senate proposal to raise the level of English and math course work needed to obtain an Associates degree from any California community college.
The approved revision of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations will raise current level of English coursework required for an Associates degree from pre-freshman composition, which is the equivalent to Yuba College’s English 51, to freshman composition, the equivalent to Yuba College’s English 1A.
It will also raise the current level of math coursework required for an Associates degree from two levels below freshman-level mathematics, the equivalent to Yuba College’s math 50, to one level below freshman-level mathematics, the equivalent to Yuba College’s math 52.
The Board of Governors initially set the date to implement the change in Fall 2008 but decided to extend the deadline of the new revision until Fall 2009. The new requirements have been on the California Chancellors office’s “to-do” list for some time.
The change was first proposed in 2003 in a State Academic Senate conference and continued to be a hot topic in 2004.
Yuba College’s Curriculum Committee foresaw the changes coming from the state and enacted them before being required by state law. The new English requirements were implemented in Fall 2005, while a higher math requirement was not in place until Fall 2006.
While the Curriculum Committee passed the higher standard for English without significant opposition, some dispute about raising the math requirement prevented it from being enacted until this semester. The Yuba College Business department believed that the decision would have a negative effect on the enrollment of their GNBUS-56 class, which is paralleled with math 50.
The curriculum committee has given the Business department the opportunity to come up with an alternative course that satisfies the new requirements, but no official submission has been made yet.
Alan Lowe, Vice Chancellor of Educational Planning and Services, explained that the overwhelming majority of students who apply for graduation, over 80 percent, already meet or exceed the new requirements, making a smooth transition into raising the English and math requirements.