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Five students walking on campus

A Unified General Education Pathway

"...the transfer process is still unnecessarily complex, confusing and difficult for the majority of students to navigate." — Assembly Bill 928, The Student Transfer Achievement Reform (STAR) Act 2021

More than 50% of CSU students are transfer students, arriving primarily from the California Community Colleges system. In an effort to simplify their pathway to a four-year degree, the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (AB 928) creates a singular, lower-division General Education (GE) pattern for both California State University and University of California transfer admissions. This pattern, called Cal-GETC, was approved by all three higher education intersegmental partners via the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates in spring 2023. When Cal-GETC is implemented in fall 2025, it will become the only transfer GE pattern offered by California community colleges.

The STAR Act is meant to support student success and equity, helping to ease access, simplify advisement across segments, eliminate barriers and carve a clear path to a four-year degree across California's educational segments.

Recognizing a growing trend of first-time, first-year students arriving to the CSU with college credit, including 60% of CSU first-year applicants who have earned college credit, the Chancellor's Office has recommended a unified pathway. Historically, the CSU has had one unified GE pattern for all students—CSU GE Breadth. Changes to Title 5 California Code of Regulations ensure the CSU continues to provide one unified GE pattern whether students enroll as first-time, first-year students or transfer students.

​Next Steps

On March 27, 2024, the CSU Board of Trustees approved proposed changes to Title 5 CSU General Education that modify CSU GE Breadth to mirror the Cal-GETC pattern and units.

The Chancellor’s Office will support campuses and faculty through the implementation processes, including through resources to support faculty release, written guidance and stipends for faculty effort during off-contract periods. Each campus will determine the application of units that are not included in Cal-GETC.

Changes to CSU General Education​

The update to CSU GE removes five units from the GE pattern. It does this by:​

  • Including a one-unit laboratory for Biological or Physical Sciences
  • Not including one of three Arts or Humanities courses (in Area C)
  • Not including Area E, Lifelong Learning and Self-Development

The five units removed from GE will be returned to campuses to determine how to utilize.​

Current CSU GE Breadth Units
Cal-GETC
Units
A1 – Oral Communication 3
Oral Communication3
A2 – Written Communication3English Composition3

A3 – Critical Thinking3Critical Thinking and Composition3
B1 – Physical Sciences3
Physical Sciences 3
B2 – Life Sciences3
Biological Sciences3
B3 – Laboratory (included in B1/B2 units)Laboratory (for Bio/Physical Sciences course)1
B4 – Mathematics/QR3Mathematical Concepts/QR3
C1 – Arts3Arts3
C2 – Humanities3
Humanities3
C3 – Additional course from C1 or C23

D1 – Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
D2 – Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
E – Lifelong Learning and Self-Development3
F – Ethnic Studies3Ethnic Studies
3
UNIT TOTALS 39   34

About the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act

Authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman and approved in 2021, Assembly Bill 928 consolidates two existing general education pathways for California Community College students into a single pathway to either the CSU or UC system. It also requires that community colleges place incoming students on an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) pathway, if one exists for their major, on or before August 1, 2024.

Key Terms and Definitions

What is Cal-GETC?
Cal-GETC is a new GE pattern that will be implemented in fall 2025. As a result of its implementation, California Community Colleges will no longer offer the current CSU GE Breadth and Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) patterns.

What is IGETC?
The Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum, or IGETC, is designed for the community college student who wants to be eligible to transfer to either the CSU or the UC systems. 

What is CSU GE Breadth?
CSU GE Breadth is the current General Education pattern for all CSU students whether they are first-time first-year students or transfer students. Following the approval of the CSU Board of Trustees on March 27, 2024, starting in fall 2025 CSU GE will mirror Cal-GETC in areas and units.​

What is an ADT?
The Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) allows California Community College students who meet the CSU's minimum eligibility requirements guaranteed priority admission to the CSU, though not necessarily to a particular campus or major. Students earn a two-year associate degree (no more than 60 units) that is fully transferrable towards a CSU bachelor's degree.