AP Photo/Reed Saxon
In order to graduate, California State University students will be required to take a social justice or ethnic studies course.
The requirement will go into effect in 2023.
The change comes amid a global anti-racism movement spurred by recent killings of Black Americans.
California State University will start requiring its students to take an ethnic studies or social justice course in order to graduate, the school announced this week.
The new requirement, which will go into effect in the 2023-2024 school year, comes amid an international anti-racism movement.
"It will empower our students to meet this moment in our nation's history, giving them the knowledge, broad perspectives and skills needed to solve society's most pressing problems," CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White said in a written statement. "And it will further strengthen the value of a CSU degree."
The mandate is the most significant change to the university's general studies curriculum in 40 years, according to the statement from White.
The one-course requirement can be met through a broad spectrum of courses, including classes that focus on race, ethnicity, class, religion, and immigration status. Courses that address Africana literature, Native Californian perspectives, police reform, are among those that would count, the statement said.
The move wasn't loved by everyone.
Some, like the California Faculty Association, opposed the new mandate because it was developed without the input of faculty from the school system's ethnic studies council. While the new mandate is referred to as "an ethnic studies requirement," students can meet it by taking classes that don't address that topic, the association said in a Facebook post
"How the board can look at anyone with a straight face and say that an Ethnic Studies requirement can be fulfilled without ever having to take a course in Ethnic Studies is beyond believable," the post said.
Last month the California state legislature passes a bill that limits the course requirement at Cal State to ethnic studies classes and required that the university teach them at all of its campuses.
If approved by the assembly and the governor, the law would take place of the university's independent plan, CNN reported.