Sacramento State Evaluates Requirements, Putting Language, History On Chopping Block

Ann McClure's picture

Sacramento State students may no longer have to take World Civilization or a second semester of writing to graduate. They could pass on the year of foreign language that has been required, as well as take three fewer units of an American history requirement if a committee's current recommendations are approved by the Faculty Senate in the fall.

The plan – albeit tentative – has caused considerable controversy on the Sacramento campus.

History teachers have railed against what they see as a strong-armed attempt to change their curriculum. Students of American Sign Language have vocally opposed dropping the foreign language requirement, saying it will mean fewer students in the Deaf Studies program. Some faculty question whether reducing writing requirements or the requirement to take race and ethnicity courses will hurt students academically.

Joseph Palermo, an associate professor of American history, said former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum's attack on California's universities for not teaching American history "might not be that far-fetched anymore."

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