Senate Bill No.   0405-04

UNIVERSITY SENATE

UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY

STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK

Introduced by:     Undergraduate Academic Council

Date:                    October 18, 2004

Elimination of the Pre-“Fall 2000” General Education Program

IT IS HEREBY PROPOSED THAT THE FOLLOWING BE ADOPTED:

1.                  That students under the “Continuing” (pre-Fall 2000) General Education Requirements* be waived from those requirements except for the requirement to complete an upper division Writing Intensive course with the grade of C or better or S.

2.                  That this change become effective for students graduating in May 2005.

3.                  That this bill be forwarded to the President for approval.

Rationale:

In response to complaints of confusion from students and advisers concerning how to identify courses meeting one or more of the Fall 2000 General Education Program requirements in Writing Intensive, Oral Discourse, and Information Literacy, new suffixes are being assigned to designate courses that fulfill these requirements. To do this, it is necessary to retire the suffixes that were assigned courses meeting the former (pre-Fall 2000) requirements.

Since the Writing Requirement and the criteria for that requirement are common to both the Fall 2000 General Education and its predecessor, and since the Z suffix will be retained to signify completion of that requirement, the UAC is not recommending this requirement be waived. All of the other categories of the pre-Fall 2000 program have either been eliminated or substantially changed.

It has been the practice at the University to phase out an older General Education Program when a new one is adopted. The pre-Fall 2000 program was approved in 1993, and two years later all students under the preceding program were waived from any remaining category requirements. This time, the UAC has waited until the last entering class of freshmen who were under the pre-Fall 2000 requirements graduated (May 2004).

There are only 189 undergraduates currently enrolled at the University who were admitted as freshmen prior to Fall 2000, and it is anticipated many of them will graduate this December. Of those students, 107 have already fulfilled all of their General Education requirements as well as Writing Intensive before this semester. Another 56 have also fulfilled their General Education but have not completed an upper division Writing Intensive course. In other words, only 26 of these freshman admit students have yet to finish their pre-Fall 2000 General Education requirements (10 of whom also have yet to finish their Writing Intensive requirement.)

Of the 433 transfers who matriculated at a college or university before Fall 2000, 313 have completed all General Education and Writing prior to this semester and another 84 lack only the upper level Writing requirement. Not counting work in progress, only 36 of these transfer admit students have yet to finish their pre-Fall 2000 General Education requirements (15 of whom also have yet to finish their Writing Intensive requirement.)

The only other students who will be affected by the proposal will be the occasional readmit who matriculated in the Fall 1993-Summer 2000 period (students who matriculated prior to that are already waived from General Education) and the occasional new transfer (but only if that student first matriculated at another campus prior to Fall 2000).

The UAC therefore believes it is appropriate to allow these few students to graduate without completely finishing the requirements of a General Education Program that the University Senate supplanted nearly five years ago. The Dean of Undergraduate Studies and the University Registrar have agreed that their staffs will assist any students with questions or concerns about the waiver.