by Shikira Fisher, SUNY Plattsburgh
Contributed by Colleen Pope Lemza, SUNY University Faculty Senate Communications Committee
SUNY has made changes to its general education framework. The updated program now includes course requirements for diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice in order to prepare students for the real world.
The changes aim to provide students with a 21st-century education, said Philosophy Chair and Chair of the General Education Committee at SUNY Plattsburgh Donald Maier.
“These courses are helpful because they prepare students for the world we live in today. Every student needs to learn the basics that are key to functioning in society no matter what their major is,” said Wendy Gordon, SUNY Plattsburgh’s Cardinal Core Curriculum coordinator, about the updated framework.
The requirements were created to make sure all undergraduates have a foundation, regardless of degree or area of study. According to the SUNY general education Vision Statement, the system wants to give students the highest quality education, deep and engaged learning and overall success. The program is also meant to be transferable between all SUNY institutions.
“The general education program is great because it gets students to step outside of their comfort zone and see the world from a different perspective,” said Maier.
SUNY Plattsburgh has renamed its general education program to the Cardinal Core Curriculum.
“Our SUNY Plattsburgh Cardinal Core Curriculum gives an added benefit to students. Cardinal Core requires every class to develop students' skills in one of four areas: Communication, Critical Thinking, Quantitative Reasoning, or Discovery and Inquiry. They also have to take on a perspective for examining our diverse society: at the individual, social or global level,” said Gordon.
Kristi Henderson, chief of staff and assistant provost for strategic communications at Stony Brook University says Stony Brook is also working with the academic units to align the curriculum with the new requirements.
Henderson describes why the changes to the curriculum are essential.
"It's important that any institution of higher learning regularly assesses the curriculum it offers to ensure it's meeting the needs of students. Often these updates reflect changes in technological advancements and to broaden students' awareness across a variety of perspectives, politically, culturally and globally. We are always striving to ensure students have an educational experience that is both modern and rigorous."
For more information about the changes to the framework, visit
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