by Ben Zeisloft
California’s community college students are now required to fulfill an “ethnic studies” requirement in order to graduate.
On July 13, California’s Community Colleges Board of Governors announced that students seeking an associate degree must complete a three-unit semester or four-unit quarter class in ethnic studies. A task force will work to determine “the timing for implementation of the ethnic studies requirement as well as the definition of courses that will satisfy the requirement.”
“As the largest and most diverse system of higher education in the country, we have an opportunity to break down barriers to equity,” Board of Governors President Pamela Haynes said in the press release. “By building a faculty and staff that look like the students and communities we serve and by putting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and anti-racism at the heart of our work, we can help create a system that truly works for all our students.”
California Community Colleges — the largest system of higher education in the country — instructs over 2.1 million students at 116 schools.
Across the United States, ethnic studies and anti-racism trainings have incorporated the doctrines of critical race theory — a left-wing academic framework positing that White people in America are an oppressor group, while racial minorities are an oppressed group.
California’s new K-12 “Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum,” for example, stresses the importance of intersectionality — which “recognizes that people have different overlapping identities, for example, a transgender Latina or a Jewish African American” — in defining ethnic studies.
A section called “Useful Theory, Pedagogy, and Research” says that instructors should “familiarize themselves with current scholarly research around ethnic studies instruction, such as critically and culturally/community relevant and responsive pedagogies, critical race theory, and intersectionality, which are key theoretical frameworks and pedagogies that can be used in ethnic studies research and instruction.”
California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Public Information Officer Rafael Chavez confirmed Campus Reform that there is no way for students to opt-out of the requirement.
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Ben Zeisloft is a Campus Reform Student Editor and Pennsylvania Senior Campus Correspondent, reporting on liberal bias and abuse for Campus Reform. He is studying Finance and Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Benjamin also writes for The UPenn Statesman and the Wharton International Business Review.