Senate Bill No.: 0304-05

UNIVERSITY SENATE

UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY
STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK

Introduced by: Undergraduate Academic Council

Date: September 25, 2003

 

REVISIONS WITHIN THE GENERAL EDUCATION PROGRAM

IT IS HEREBY PROPOSED THAT THE FOLLOWING BE ADOPTED:

1.

The University Senate approve the revisions proposed by the General Education Committee and endorsed by the Undergraduate Academic Council.


2. The bill be referred to the President for approval.

RATIONALE

The General Education Committee has proposed several revisions to the "New" General Education Program policy that was approved by the University Senate in fall 1999. In addition to supporting the proposed changes, UAC recommends that from now on the "New General Education Program" be referred to as "The General Education Program" and that the "Continuing General Education Program" be referred to as the "1992-2000 General Education Program."

The majority of the revisions occur in the introductory and the "Characteristics of General Education Courses" sections. These changes are of an editorial nature, modifying or eliminating wording found to be confusing to students, to academic programs interested in proposing new General Education offerings, and to faculty involved in the assessment of General Education. The revisions also eliminate some vestiges of the previous program, which, unlike the new program, was not conceived as a "four-year" experience and which tended to discourage "major" coursework.

The next changes concern the criteria of the "Global and Cross-Cultural Perspectives" and the "U.S. Diversity and Pluralism" categories. The current criteria have been found to be cumbersome and difficult to interpret, discouraging some faculty wishing to propose courses in these areas. The General Education Committee also felt these criteria did not fully match the standards being used to review and assess these courses. The definitions of both categories have therefore been substantially revised.

The final set of changes occurs in the second to last paragraph of the "Administration of the Program" section and, again, are editorial (specifically, recognizing the contributions of the professional schools to General Education offerings.)

The Undergraduate Academic Council has carefully reviewed the proposed changes and endorses them, believing they will allay some student, adviser and instructor confusions concerning the program. Given the continuing concern of closed General Education courses, the UAC supports revisions that may serve to increase the variety of course offerings and the number of course spaces available within the program.

Since the only substantive change affecting any of the categories involves two of Albany's local requirements (Global/Cross-Cultural and Diversity/Pluralism), the Council notes that none of the proposed revisions impact the University's compliance with SUNYGER (the Trustees' SUNY-wide requirements.)

Since the entire policy is printed verbatim in the Undergraduate Bulletin, attached is a "tracked" copy of the policy highlighting the proposed revisions, followed by a "clean" copy as the program would appear in future bulletins.