UAlbany Category: Challenges for the 21st Century

Challenges for the 21st Century is a new UAlbany requirement, specific to UAlbany. This category is required for all students matriculating in Fall 2013 and thereafter and will be in addition to the existing General Education Program in effect beginning in Fall 2012. Since it is a “local” requirement, even students who have completed all their general education courses at another SUNY college/university, or have completed their A.A. or A.S. at another SUNY campus, must complete 3 credits in this local UAlbany category.

The courses in the category of Challenges for the 21st Century address a variety of issues focusing on challenges and opportunities in such areas as cultural diversity and pluralism, science and technology, social interaction, ethics, global citizenship, and others, and may include interdisciplinary approaches. Courses in this category will be expected to address the historical roots and contemporary manifestations of challenges that lie ahead as students move into the world beyond the University at Albany. Many courses that previously counted as Global and Cross-Cultural Studies or U.S. Diversity and Pluralism under the former General Education program may be appropriate for this category.

The General Education Committee has developed course proposal materials for Departments wishing to submit courses for inclusion in this category. These materials are posted on this site under Resources for Faculty/Course Proposal Process.

Learning Objectives for General Education Social Sciences Courses

Courses meeting Challenges for the 21st Century enable students to demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge and understanding of the historical roots, contemporary manifestations, and potential future courses of important challenges students may encounter as they move into the world beyond the university;
  2. Familiarity with these challenges in areas such as cultural diversity and pluralism, science and technology, social interaction, ethics, global citizenship, and/or others; 
  3. An integrated understanding of how challenges often affect individuals and societies simultaneously in many of these areas;
  4. An appreciation for interdisciplinary approaches to understanding contemporary and future challenges.