Ethnic Studies Graduation Requirement

Resolution Number
Assigned to
Curriculum Committee

Whereas, Ethnic studies is an interdisciplinary and comparative study of race and ethnicity with special focus on four historically defined racialized core groups—Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latina/o Americans—offered through various disciplines including Ethnic Studies, Chicana and Chicano Studies, Latina and Latino Studies, African-American Studies, Black Studies, Asian-American Studies, Native-American Studies, Africana Studies, Mexican-American Studies, Indigenous Studies, Filipino Studies, La Raza Studies, and Central American Studies;

Whereas, Ethnic studies has a rich and important history in California community colleges dating back fifty years with the establishment of the first associate degrees in Black and Chicano Studies in the nation and has since then provided students with

rigorous and dynamic instruction focusing on the history and contributions of black, Latinx, Asian-American, and Native-Americans to California and the nation through important ethnic-studies-based theoretical lenses;

Whereas, studies have found that

  • All students benefit academically when they are reflected in the curriculum as well as socially from taking ethnic studies courses, and
  • students learn to deconstruct internalized ideas of unworthiness or deconstruct internalized racism and oppression and become empowered, and
  • such courses can play an important role in helping students identify and address issues impacting our society such as systemic racism, generational trauma, sexism, and homophobia; and

Whereas, The state of California has witnessed a growing call for ethnic studies requirements in virtually all levels of public education which has recently led to the signing of AB1460 by Governor Newsom, adding a minimum of one 3-unit course in ethnic studies to the Cal State University system’s graduation requirements as well as an expected growth in demand for courses in ethnic studies disciplines at California Community Colleges;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with the Chancellor’s Office through existing processes and recommend that the California Code of Regulations Title 5 §55063 be amended to include an ethnic studies graduation requirement for California community college associate degrees by adding the following text:

The governing board of a community college district shall confer the associate degree upon a student who has demonstrated competence in reading, in written expression, in ethnic studies, and in mathematics…[1]

Effective for all students admitted to a community college for the Fall 2021 term or any term thereafter, competence in ethnic studies shall be demonstrated by obtaining a satisfactory grade in a course from an ethnic studies discipline at the first- or second-year level. Satisfactory completion of an ethnic studies course at the first- or second-year level shall satisfy both this competency requirement and the coursework requirement set forth in subdivision (b) of this section. [2]

The competency requirements for ethnic studies may also be met by obtaining a satisfactory grade in courses in ethnic studies taught in or on behalf of other departments and disciplines that adhere to the minimum qualifications for ethnic studies disciplines as delineated in the California Community Colleges

Chancellor’s Office’s Minimum Qualifications for Faculty and Administrators in California Community Colleges. [3]


1. Add in the first paragraph of Title 5 §55063 “in ethnic studies” after “written expression” in the first sentence.

2. Add this paragraph to Title 5 §55063 after the third paragrap

3. Add this paragraph to Title 5 §55063 after the original fourth paragraph