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United States Cultural Pluralism Requirement



In 1992, the Academic Senate determined that, beginning with the 1994-97 catalog, Cal Poly undergraduates must fulfill a US cultural pluralism (USCP) requirement consisting of a single course satisfying defined criteria. This requirement may be fulfilled by a course in the major, support, General Education, or free elective categories. Please see the Cal Poly Catalog’s USCP page for a list of USCP courses.

USCP Criteria

USCP courses must focus on all of the following:

  • One or more diverse groups, as defined in the Cal Poly Statement on Diversity, whose contributions to contemporary American society have been impeded by cultural conflict or restricted opportunities
  • Contemporary social issues resulting from conflict or restricted opportunities, including, but not limited to, problems associated with discrimination based on age, ethnicity, gender, nationality, abilities, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or race
  • Critical thinking skills used by students to approach these contemporary social issues, examine their own attitudes, and consider the diverse perspectives of others
  • The contributions of people from diverse groups to contemporary American society

In addition to satisfying these criteria, USCP courses must also address the Diversity Learning Objectives.

USCP Oversight

The oversight of USCP courses, including the review of new course proposals and modifications, is among the responsibilities of the General Education Governance Board (GEGB). The USCP Review Committee serves in an advisory capacity to the GEGB, which decides on new USCP course proposals and modifications.

The USCP Review Committee consists of the Chair of the Academic Senate Curriculum Committee, the Chair of Ethnic Studies, the GEGB Chair, and the Chair of Women's & Gender Studies as voting members, as well as the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Inclusion and the Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology’s Inclusive Excellence Specialist, or their designees, as ex officio, non-voting members. The USCP Review Committee also includes an at-large voting member chosen from the faculty with USCP teaching experience.

Source: AS-836-17 Resolution on Aligning USCP Criteria to Diversity Learning Objectives with Oversight by GE Governance Board (PDF)

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