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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 the United States 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 fulfill all of the following criteria; and, according to AS-836-17, they must also address the Diversity Learning Objectives (DLOs). USCP courses must:

CR1: Focus on one or more diverse groups (identified in the Cal Poly Statement on Diversity) whose contributions to American society have been impeded by cultural, legal, economic, and political conflict or whose social, cultural, legal, economic, and political opportunities have been restricted in the United States;

CR2: Cover the historical and/or contemporary social issues resulting from conflict or restricted opportunities that include but are not limited to problems associated with discrimination based on age, ethnicity, gender, nationality, abilities, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or race in the United States;

CR3: Address the diverse intellectual, philosophical, and cultural perspectives of historically marginalized people in the United States;

CR4: Emphasize the voices and contributions of historically marginalized groups in the United States such that the course content must prominently include sources written and/or produced by historically marginalized people;

CR5: Foster critical thinking skills by using intersectional frameworks of analyses that are necessary for adequately understanding and analyzing various social issues related to diversity and equity in the United States;

CR6: Require students to examine critically their own beliefs, attitudes, and potential biases related to historically marginalized people in the United States.

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.



In the Catalog: This policy can also be found in the catalog here, which also contains course listings and other procedural considerations.

Last updated February 2020

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