General Education Patterns

General Education Patterns & General Education Certification

The conditions that define LBCC’s GE philosophy include the Mission Statement as found in this catalog, Title 5 and the Chancellor’s Office specific requirements as interpreted by the Office of Academic Services, Executive Order 1100 from the California State University (CSU) System, and the Intersegmental GE Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) requirements (and yearly updated notes) that define the University of California (UC) and CSU common core curriculum for GE. These six sources have limited and shaped GE at LBCC using a strategy known as the A, B, and C GE Plan.

The A, B, and C Plans define and distribute GE courses to meet associate degree requirements while Plans B and C prepare students for transfer to the UC or CSU systems and meet lower-division general education requirements.

The strategy behind the A, B, and C Plans is to introduce students to the various disciplines identified in the definition of GE as cited above, such as the arts, literature, the physical and natural sciences, history, the social sciences, health, and wellness, while also complying with those regulations that allow us to certify our students lower-division UC or CSU general education requirements before they transfer.

The GE certification process lies at the heart of Plan B and C of the A, B, and C Plans.

GE certification is defined as a process by which LBCC verifies that a student has completed all the lower-division GE courses that are required by the CSU or UC system. The CSU certification process identifies 39 units prescribed by Executive Order 1100, which are distributed by discipline into broad areas defined as English Composition, Analytical Thinking, Communication Skills, Mathematics, Natural Science, Physical Science, Humanities, Arts, Social Science, and Lifelong Understanding and Self-Development, and Ethnic Studies. Following a similar category pattern, the IGETC allows LBCC to certify 34 units for the UC, but requires nine (9) extra units: three (3) of Oral Communications and six (6) of US History and Government to meet the CSU graduation requirements. When GE certification occurs, LBCC is in compliance with Executive Order 1100 and the list of instructions found in the IGETC Notes. In both cases, once GE certification has occurred, LBCC transfer students know that their lower-division GE requirements have been met, and that the receiving CSU or UC schools will not review/require these units.

The associate degree is comprised of two major components: a GE pattern and a major field of preparation.

A transfer program is comprised of three major components: admission requirements, a GE pattern, and a major field of preparation.

Students have three GE patterns (Plan A, B, and C) from which to choose but are strongly encouraged to consult with a counselor for assistance in selecting the GE pattern that is most appropriate for their educational goals.

Under Plan A, students can complete the GE requirements for an associate degree and may combine that degree with one of LBCC’s certificate programs or in some cases prepare for transfer. If a student wants to complete an associate degree and transfer to a B.A. or B.S. program, then the student should follow GE patterns Plan B or Plan C.

Plan B will prepare students for transfer to the California State University System.

Plan C will prepare students for transfer to either the University of California or the California State University Systems.

Although an associate degree for transfer recognizes the completion of lower-division course requirements, it does not guarantee admission eligibility to a four-year college or university. Students are encouraged to see a counselor early in their academic career to establish an educational plan that will meet the student’s educational goals.

While a single course might satisfy more than one GE requirement, no course may be counted in more than one GE area. However, courses may be used to satisfy both a GE requirement and a major requirement.

Students should be aware that starting one GE plan does not preclude students from changing to another at a later date. Changing plans is possible with proper counseling.

Plan A: Completion of LBCC GE Requirements

Plan A sets the GE requirements for the associate of arts (A.A.) and associate of science (A.S.) degrees. The minimum GE requirement for the A.A. degree is 25 units, while the minimum GE requirement for the A.S. Degree is 19 units. The unit requirements for these two degrees vary because the associate of science degree accompanies programs that may require higher units in core major requirements. Accordingly, the associate of science is the degree most commonly earned in higher unit academic and career technical education programs.

Students who complete an associate degree and who later choose to transfer must make up the difference in units between Plan A and Plan B or C when they transfer to four-year institutions. However, Plan A is designed so that a student may select courses to meet the associate degree requirements while at the same time completing as many units as possible that are also located on Plan B and Plan C. Hence, all three plans are designed to complement each other and minimize the total unit load for students.

Plan B: Completion and Certification of California State University GE Breadth

Plan B is designed for students who plan to transfer to a CSU. Some private colleges also accept Plan B General Education, see a counselor for requirements if planning to transfer to private or out-of-state institutions.

  1. To obtain a baccalaureate degree from any of the California State University campuses, students are required to complete a minimum of 48 semester units of GE courses in the following areas: Area A (9units), Area B (12 units), Area C (12 units), Area D (9 units), Area E (3units), and Area F (3 units).
  2. Up to 39 lower-division general education units may be completed at and certified by California community colleges. The college recommends the pattern of 39 lower-division units as listed in GE Plan B. After the student has transferred, the CSU campus will then specify a minimum of nine more upper-division general education units to be taken primarily in areas B, C, and D. Courses that fulfill these CSU requirements do not necessarily meet the upper-division general education requirements for the University of California System.

Plan C: Completion and Certification of University of California and California State University Intersegmental GE Transfer Curriculum

Plan C, the Intersegmental GE Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is designed for transfer to the UC/CSU systems and the associate degree. Courses acceptable at the University of California are identified as such at the end of each catalog description in the “Courses of Instruction” section of this catalog. A student may transfer up to 70 CSU or UC transferable semester units from LBCC. The Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates for the combined public university and community college systems in the state of California approves the IGETC, which was first implemented Summer 1991.

  1. The IGETC is a series of courses that community college students can use to satisfy lower-division GE requirements at any CSU or UC campus.
  2. The IGETC provides an option to satisfy the California State University lower-division GE requirements in lieu of the University of California lower-division transfer core curriculum.

  3. Completion of the IGETC is not a requirement for transfer to a CSU or UC, nor is it the only way to fulfill the lower-division GE requirements of the CSU or UC prior to transfer (Note:  Please talk to your LBCC counselor regarding specific UC schools and transfer majors which may require completion of IGETC). In some cases, students may find advantages in taking other courses at the community college to fulfill CSU’s GE requirements or those of a particular UC campus.

  4. To achieve a non-transfer associate degree with this program, a student must complete a field of concentration, the associate degree GE and proficiency requirements.

  5. Students must maintain continuous attendance.