Faculty Senate Considers General Education Changes - SUNY Cortland

Faculty Senate Considers General Education Changes

04/01/2014 

The Faculty Senate will consider three proposed changes to the College’s General Education (GE) requirements that would give students more freedom to choose electives.

After receiving campus feedback in late 2012 and 2013, the senate’s General Education Committee has endorsed the idea that students’ ability to complete their curriculum by taking preferred elective courses is a vital feature of a liberal arts education.

“The changes that were requested by faculty were to reduce the natural sciences by one course and to allow freedom of choice within the social science categories,” said Brooke Burk, recreation, parks and leisure studies, the GE committee chair.

“Faculty and staff expressed a need to make these changes,” she said. “They felt that students had few choices within course offerings and among (GE) categories. Often their choices to take courses outside of G.E. were not possible, so their ability to take minors, to pursue electives of interest or to study abroad is limited.”

Senators will discuss under Old Business the proposed GE changes, the first major ones made since 2006, at the next Faculty Senate meeting at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, in the Park Center Hall of Fame Room.

That afternoon the Senate will conduct an open meeting on the GE Committee proposal following the President's Report. The 27-page draft proposal is posted on the Faculty Senate website. All members of the campus community are invited to attend.

Also at the meeting, senators will consider a new, fast track proposal to change the College Handbook to require a faculty referendum on GE Committee proposals.

If senators decide to proceed with the changes, they may follow past campus precedent and conduct a referendum involving the entire campus community. If a majority of campus voters approves it, the GE Committee recommends a Fall 2015 implementation.

The current state of the College’s GE requirements is the work of the 2006 General Education Taskforce, which integrated SUNY GE and Cortland GE learning outcomes.

The GE Committee began soliciting opinions about potential GE changes in fall 2012 to address increasingly restricted curriculum choices for students, according to Burk.

An initial campus email survey in Spring 2013 resulted in 65, mostly faculty, respondents. A second survey captured 160 student responses to the same open-ended questions.

The feedback led to the current draft proposal. In Burk’s opinion, additional viewpoints about this change would be desirable.

The specific changes that the GE Committee unanimously approved are:

  • Reduce the natural science requirement to one laboratory course by eliminating  GE 13 — a second natural science course;
  • Allow the 3- or 4-credit hour laboratory natural science courses to fulfill the natural science requirement; and,
  • Allow students to complete, for a total of six credit hours, any two of the following three categories: GE 3 — Social Science, GE 4 — United States History and Society, and GE 5 — Western Civilizations.

While retaining the GE program’s original purpose, the proposed revisions would required a 3- or 4-credit natural science course with a lab, as well as 3 credits in quantitative skills, social science, United States history and society, Western civilization, contrasting cultures, humanities, the arts, foreign language, basic communication, prejudice and discrimination, and science, technology, values and society.

The changes also would fulfill the SUNY-wide general education requirements that aim to foster transferability of courses among colleges and universities within the system. The GE Committee, however, will need to continually monitor compliance with requirements of the SUNY Provost’s Memorandum to Presidents on Seamless Transfer. 


More News

‘Where Are We?’ Events Set for February, March

‘Where Are We?’ Events Set for February, March

The series explores how local communities foster greater society’s achievements.


College Brings Dark Comedy to the Stage

College Brings Dark Comedy to the Stage

It runs from Thursday, Feb. 18, to Sunday, Feb. 21, in the Dowd Fine Arts Center Lab Theatre.


College to Host Conference for Writing Teachers

College to Host Conference for Writing Teachers

Writing Matters III, which takes place Saturday, March 19, follows the theme “What Comes After the Writing Process?”


Child Care Center Teacher Earns National Recognition

Child Care Center Teacher Earns National Recognition

Heather Tuttle ’06 M ’10 is one of only 50 teachers from across the nation to earn the honor.


National Author Survived Eating Disorder

National Author Survived Eating Disorder

Cheryl Kerrigan will share tips to achieving a practical recovery.


Electrical Upgrade to Close Campus Buildings

Electrical Upgrade to Close Campus Buildings

In total, 11 buildings will be affected by the power shutdowns spanning from mid March to mid June.


19th Century Mnemonic Methods Revisited

19th Century Mnemonic Methods Revisited

Memory was essential for polite conversation in 19th century society.


Zipcar Continues to Run on Campus

Zipcar Continues to Run on Campus

The popular car-sharing alternative continues its service on campus during the spring semester.


Green Days Grow Longer

Green Days Grow Longer

"Green Days" events will be held all year long, not just in April


Pristash to Direct Corey Union and Campus Activities

Pristash to Direct Corey Union and Campus Activities

Kevin Pristash ’85, M.A. ’91 recently was named executive director of Corey Union and campus activities.


Explore

Visit

Contact