AB 928, Cal-GETC, and Local Implementation

Merced College, ASCCC Curriculum Committee Member
Area C Representative
ASCCC Treasurer and Curriculum Committee Chair
North Representative

Assembly Bill 928 (Berman, 2021), the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act of 2021, was an expansive bill intended to simplify the transfer process for community college students.[1] It mandated the creation of the California General Education Transfer Curriculum (Cal-GETC), the singular general education transfer pathway that satisfies lower division requirements of both the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU). Local implementation of this pathway has various implications for college curriculum committees.

AB 928 Overview

AB 928 leveraged the already existing Intersegmental Committee of the Academic Senates (ICAS) as well as establishing the new Associate Degree for Transfer Intersegmental Implementation Committee, referred to as the AB928 Committee, to implement the requirements of the law. ICAS was charged with developing a singular lower division general education pathway that would meet the lower division academic requirements necessary for transfer admission to both the CSU and the UC. The new pathway was constrained not to include more units than the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) as it existed in July 2021.

ICAS reached agreement after significant discussion, advocacy, vetting, and compromise among and within the academic senates of the three higher education systems. The singular lower division general education pathway was named Cal-GETC by the student representatives on the ICAS AB928 Subcommittee and supported by the student organizations in the California Community Colleges, CSU, and UC.  

Table 1 provides an overview of the Cal-GETC pathway. As required by AB 928, Cal-GETC will be the only lower division general education pathway for determining transfer eligibility commencing with the fall term of the 2025-2026 academic year. Major differences from the current general education patterns IGETC and CSU GE Breadth are as follows:

  • Oral Communication, which is not currently in IGETC, is included with adjustments required to community college oral communications courses;
  • The Arts and Humanities area is limited to two courses;
  • The Behavioral and Social Sciences area is limited to two courses;
  • Lifelong Learning and Self-Development, which is currently not in IGETC but is in CSU GE Breadth, is not included; and
  • Ethnic Studies is included.
Table 1: Cal-GETC (each course is a minimum 3 semester/4 quarter units)
Area Subject Courses
1 English Communication  
1 English Composition 1 course
1 Critical Thinking and Composition 1 course
1 Oral Communication 1 course
2 Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning 1 course
3 Arts and Humanities  
3 Arts 1 course
3 Humanities 1 course
4 Social and Behavioral Sciences  
4 Two disciplines 2 courses
5 Physical and Biological Sciences  
5 Physical Science 1 course
5 Biological Science 1 course
5 Laboratory (for physical or biological science course) (1 unit)
6 Ethnic Studies 1 course

AB 928 established the AB 928 Committee to serve as the primary entity with oversight over the associate degree for transfer (ADT). The AB 928 Committee is charged with ensuring the reduction in the number of excess units accumulated by students before transfer, eliminating repetition of courses at four-year postsecondary colleges and universities taken by community college students that transfer, and increasing the number of community college students who transfer. Additionally, the committee will enhance coordination and communication between four-year postsecondary colleges and universities and the California Community Colleges system.

Additional AB 928 requirements include the following:

  • Placing students on an ADT pathway if students declare a goal of transfer and their stated major pathway exists and is offered by the college, with limited exceptions for students to opt out of the ADT placement;
  • Proposing a new unit threshold for science, technology, engineering, and math degree pathways not to exceed six additional units;
  • Identifying annual goals for increasing transfer rates and closing racial equity gaps in transfer outcomes; and
  • Reengaging ADT earners who do not transfer or apply for transfer into a four-year postsecondary educational institution.

More information is available in AB 928 and in the AB 928 Committee (2023) Final Report and Recommendations.

Cal-GETC Standards 1.1

Details of the Cal-GETC pathway are available in the ICAS Cal-GETC Standards 1.1 (ICAS, 2023) with the processes for development in 2022 and 2023 documented on the ICAS website. These updated standards contain no substantive changes compared to the Cal-GETC Standards 1.0 document, but some minor modifications  were made to Standards 3 through 5, which are Arts and Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Physical and Biological Sciences, respectively. In particular, language in each standard was updated to provide more guidance on the types of courses that are appropriate for inclusion. In some areas, language excluding courses based on their course titles was removed.

As was the case in the Cal-GETC 1.0 standards, courses currently approved for IGETC areas will be automatically given Cal-GETC applicability without having to be re-reviewed. Faculty may consider reviewing the updated Cal-GETC 1.1 standards to see whether a course can be appropriately modified to be submitted for UC Transfer Course Agreement review, which would grant UC transferability and subsequent Cal-GETC review.

Current students will have catalog rights to both the existing CSU-GE Breadth and IGETC patterns. Informing students of which courses have CSU-GE and IGETC approval will be necessary for some time because requiring students with catalog rights to the IGETC or CSU-GE Breadth patterns to switch to the Cal-GETC pattern may result in forcing them to take additional courses. For example, a student currently following IGETC does not have to take an oral communication course in Cal-GETC area 1C. Another example might be that a student currently following CSU-GE who has completed a personal finance course that meets math/quantitative reasoning in CSU GE area B4 does not have to take a Cal-GETC approved math/quantitative reasoning course. A variety of scenarios will undoubtedly arise during the transition to Cal-GETC.

Local Implementation

Meeting the fall 2025 deadline for implementation of Cal-GETC requires local curriculum review and updates for a December 2024 submission for Cal-GETC approval. Ideally, Cal-GETC approval decisions will be received by May 2025, just a few months before the fall semester, though after corresponding catalogs are already completed and after students start enrolling for the fall.

Implementation guidance is provided in a memo issued jointly by all three systems (Stanskas, et.al., 2024). Courses approved for IGETC as of August 1, 2024 will migrate to the corresponding Cal-GETC area, with the exception of area 1C Oral Communication courses. Area 1C courses will receive priority for review in the 2024 submission cycle. Information on full certification, catalog rights and continuous enrollment, and other guidance is included.

Memo ESS 23-44 (Stanskas & Aschenbach, 2023) provides guidance on ADT compliance with AB 928 and Cal-GETC curriculum submission. By June 1, 2025, colleges must complete the AB 928 Cal-GETC certification form that lists each ADT updated with Cal-GETC for which no additional updates were made. If any additional updates are required for an ADT, those ADTs must go through the normal submission process.

With the fall 2025 deadline for implementation of Cal-GETC approaching, colleges should consider the following:

  • Updating course outlines of record (CORs) for area 1C Oral Communication and submitting for Cal-GETC approval.
    • Faculty need to update CORs for area 1C to meet the new standards, including adding language that oral presentations will be in spoken English and observed and graded by the instructor. Course revisions should be completed by the end of spring 2024 to allow for resubmission for UC Transfer Course Agreements over summer 2024 and for submission for Cal-GETC area 1C in December 2024. CSU and UC have agreed to make area 1C a priority in the review process in 2025.
  • Reviewing all ADTs for compliance with Cal-GETC.
    • Curriculum committees should start to evaluate every locally offered ADT for compliance with Cal-GETC and ensure that the total unit count, including major preparation, Cal-GETC, and electives do not exceed 60 semester (90 quarter) units.
  • Re-submitting ADTs to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office as needed.
    • While colleges review ADTs for compliance, good practice would include reviewing ADTs to add or remove courses from the degree. For example, a psychology AA-T might have been developed with a single statistics course, but now an additional course might combine the statistics course with added support. Some ADTs can be updated to include additional options for students. Doing so will require specific articulation agreements, based on the ADT submission form, and resubmitting the ADT on COCI.
  • Updating the college catalog for the 2025-2026 academic year.
  • Creating new GE certification forms.
  • Re-configuring the local student information system, e.g. Colleague or Banner.
    • Student information systems store a great deal of information, including transcripts, course GE area information, degree audit, and more. These systems need to be updated to reflect Cal-GETC starting with the 2025-2026 catalog.
  • Re-programming curriculum applications such as education planning, program mappers, and degree audit.

Roughly half a million dollars was allocated to each college to assist with implementation of AB 928 requirements, with stipulations on how that money may be spent in guidance memo ESS 23-48 (Stanskas, 2023, Dec.).

Deep Breaths

Much work remains to implement the requirements of AB 928, with curriculum committees playing a central role in many of these changes. Curriculum committees and curriculum chairs should take deep breaths and include diverse voices, which is particularly useful when navigating difficult and sometimes contentious conversations. Colleges must keep the focus on the over 1.9 million students that deserve more transparent and uniform transfer processes so they can continue on their academic and professional journeys and achieve their goals.


AB928 Associate Degree for Transfer Intersegmental Implementation Committee. (2023, December). 2023 Final Report and Recommendations.

Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates. (2023, December 11). Cal-GETC Standards. Version 1.1.

Stanskas, J. (2023, December 14). ESS 23-48 Notification of the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act of 2021 Allocations. California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

Stanskas, J., & Aschenbach, C. (2023, November 28). ESS-23-44 ADT Compliance with Assembly Bill 928 and CalGETC Curriculum Submission Guidance. California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office

Stanskas, J, Foster, B, & Gullatt, Y. (2024, February 14). Cal-GETC Administrative Implementation Guidance. California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office

1. Full text of AB 928 (Berman, 2021).