California's Call to Service Overview
In April 1999, Governor Gray Davis called for a community service requirement for all
students enrolled in California's public institutions of higher education. This was
formalized in a letter to each of the leaders of the public systems of higher education on
July 15, 1999, calling on them to work toward the development of a community service
requirement for graduation.
View: "California's Call to
Service, Fall 2001," a publication of the California State University.
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The governor stated that the primary purposes of his initiatives were to enable
students to give back to their communities, to experience the satisfaction of contributing
to those in need, and to strengthen an ethic of service among graduates of California
universities. Governor Davis requested that faculty members from the California State
University, the University of California, and the California Community Colleges work
through the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates to address the issue.
Read articles that appeared on the matter here.
THE CSU RESPONSE TO THE GOVERNOR'S CALL
The CSU was the first segment of California's system of higher education to respond to
the governor's call to service. The Academic Senate CSU, campus faculty senates, students,
community partners, community service and service-learning coordinators, and the CSU
Advisory Group on Community Service participated in months of intensive dialogues around
ways to strengthen and build upon the service initiatives that have developed over the
View documentation on some of those conversations
Through these dialogues - as stakeholders across the CSU articulated their perspectives
- an overarching view became clear: the CSU endorsed Governor Davis's interest in
strengthening an ethic of service as an important part of undergraduate education.
Community service, service learning, and community-based activity are longstanding
traditions in the mission and purpose of the CSU, and the CSU has an ongoing interest in
expanding opportunities for all students to participate in service. A 1999 CSU survey
indicated that more than 135,000 CSU students perform community service annually.
Additionally, 39% of CSU students have either taken or are interested in taking
Following these deliberations, at its March 2000 meeting, the CSU Board of
Trustees passed a landmark resolution on community service and service learning in the
You may view the RESOLUTION here.
As a result of the CSU's commitment, Governor Davis authorized $2.2
million in the state budget each year for four years to support the development of courses
with new service-learning components and to create or expand service-learning offices on
all of the CSU campuses. The CSU developed the
"Service-Learning Curriculum and Infrastructure
Development Initiative" to accomplish its goals with the state support. For
more information about the Initiative and the campus allocation process, click on the link