Governor Signs Weber Bill Requiring Ethnic Studies Courses at Cal State

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

SACRAMENTO – California Governor Gavin Newsome has signed AB 1460, legislation that would require students at California State University (CSU) campuses to fulfill three units from courses in African American, Asian American, Latino/a or Native American studies.

The bill’s author, Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. (D-San Diego), said AB 1460  is the culmination of a fifty year struggle to ensure that students who are members of these ethnic groups have their history, cultures and experiences incorporated fully into the CSU’s core requirements.

“What we are seeing in Washington and on American streets right now demonstrates the necessity of understanding the experiences and perspectives of these historically marginalized and oppressed groups who have nonetheless contributed to the building of our country,” Weber said. “This is great day for students and for the state. I am grateful to the Governor for joining me in moving California forward.”

Students graduating from CSU during in the 2024-25 academic year will the first to graduate with the Ethnic Studies requirement.

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. In March 1969, the CSU system established the country’s first and then only school of Ethnic Studies after the longest student-led strike in the nation

Research  has found Ethnic Studies has a demonstrated benefit for all students—White students as well as students of color. Regardless of major, students who took Ethnic Studies courses graduated at a much higher rate than their peers in their major who did not take Ethnic Studies.