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Student Learning Objectives for General Education 5

The Skills Categories

1. Mathematics — Courses in this category introduce students to mathematical thinking and logic and foster students’ ability “to interpret and draw inferences from mathematical models such as formulas, graphs, tables, and schematics,” “to represent mathematical information symbolically, visually, numerically and verbally, “to employ quantitative methods such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, or statistics to solve problems,” “to estimate and check mathematical results for reasonableness,” and “to recognize the limits of mathematical and statistical methods” (SUNY Required Learning Outcomes). Courses will emphasize the applicability of mathematics to “real life” and will be designed to instill in all students a sense of mathematics as a creative and useful endeavor. Courses focus on developing in the student an understanding and appreciation of mathematics and the great ideas of humanity and reinforce the students’ ability to apply quantitative skills, and to filter, analyze and critique information and experiences (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives).

2. Oral Expression — Specially designated oral expression courses assist students to “develop [college-level] proficiency in oral discourse; … evaluate an oral presentation according to established criteria” (SUNY Required Learning Outcomes); and communicate effectively in spoken English or other language of instruction (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives).

3. Information and Technology Literacy — Courses in this category will ensure that students have mastered the skills and concepts basic to information and technology literacy. Students will demonstrate the ability to “perform the basic operations of personal computer use; understand and use basic research techniques; and locate, evaluate and synthesize information from a variety of sources” (SUNY Required Learning Outcomes). Courses in this category will focus on the ability to use technology effectively and the ability to filter, analyze, and critique information and experience (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives).

4. Written Expression — Courses in this category develop in students the ability to “produce coherent texts within common college level written forms; … revise and improve such texts; … develop an argument [based on evidence], and organize supporting details” (SUNY Required Learning Outcomes); and communicate effectively in written English (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives). Courses provide extensive practice in writing and revision in order to help students develop the ability to write clear, effective English prose.

The Knowledge and Understanding Categories

5. Natural Sciences and Technology — Courses in this category develop in students “understanding of the methods scientists use to explore natural phenomena” and “application of scientific data, concepts, and models in one of the natural sciences” (SUNY Required Learning Outcomes). Courses will explore the fundamental assumptions and principles of the scientific method, illustrated by laboratory and/or fieldwork. Courses will make clear the difference between science and technology and enable students to critically assess technological worth. Courses will strengthen students’ skills in qualitative and quantitative reasoning and in critical thinking and analysis, by careful study of both historic and contemporary scientific problems. In addition, courses will reinforce students’ understanding and appreciation of the sciences and their ability to use technology effectively (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives).

6. Social Sciences — Courses in this category provide students with “understanding of the methods social scientists use to explore social phenomena” and “knowledge of the major concepts of one or more disciplines in the social sciences” (SUNY Required Learning Outcomes). Courses focus on developing in students an understanding and appreciation of the complexity of our world, the great ideas and cultures of the world, the nature of society, and the moral responsibility of the individual (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives). Courses reinforce the students’ ability to read with comprehension, to communicate effectively in written and spoken English, to use technology effectively, (while also assessing the impact of technological innovation), and to filter, analyze and critique information and experiences (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives).

7. Civilizations of the World

a. U.S. Civilization — Courses in this category expand students’ “understanding of common institutions in American society and how they have affected different groups” and their “understanding of America’s evolving relationship with the rest of the world.” Students must also demonstrate “knowledge of a basic narrative of American history” (SUNY Required Learning Outcomes). Courses will include aboriginal concerns, immigration, inequality, growth, colonialism, the environment, and issues of power and conflict, especially in a North American context. Courses focus on developing in students an understanding and appreciation of the complexity of our world, the nature of society, the moral responsibility of the individual, and the continuity of history and the changes influenced by historical processes (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives). Courses reinforce the students’ ability to read with comprehension, to communicate effectively in written and spoken English, and to filter, analyze and critique information and experiences (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives).

b. Western Civilization — Courses in this category impart “knowledge of the development of the distinctive features of the history, institutions, economy, society, culture, etc. of Western civilization” and “relate the development of Western civilization to that of other regions of the world” (SUNY Required Learning Outcomes). Courses will include attention to such matters as emigration and immigration, art, music, philosophy, literature, religion and conflict. Courses focus on developing in students an understanding and appreciation of the complexity of our world, the great ideas and cultures of the world, the nature of society, the moral responsibility of the individual, and the continuity of history and the changes influenced by historical processes (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives). Courses reinforce the students’ ability to read with comprehension, to communicate effectively in written and spoken English, and to filter, analyze and critique information and experiences (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives).

c. World Systems — Courses in this category impart “knowledge of either a broad outline of world history, or the distinctive features of the history, institutions, economy, society, culture, etc. of one non-Western civilization” (SUNY Required Learning Outcomes). Courses focus on developing in students an understanding and appreciation of the complexity of our world, the great ideas and cultures of the world, the nature of society, the moral responsibility of the individual, and the continuity of history and the changes influenced by historical processes (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives). Courses reinforce the students’ ability to read with comprehension, to communicate effectively in written and spoken English, and to filter, analyze and critique information and experiences (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives).

8. Humanities — Courses in this category provide students with “knowledge of the conventions and methods of at least one of the humanities” (SUNY Required Learning Outcomes). Courses focus on developing in students an understanding and appreciation of the complexity of our world, aesthetics, the great ideas and cultures of the world, and the moral responsibilities of the individual (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives). Courses reinforce students’ ability to read with comprehension, to communicate effectively in written and spoken English, and to filter, analyze, and critique information and experiences (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives).

9. The Arts — Courses in this category provide students with “understanding of at least one principal art form and the creative processes inherent therein” (SUNY Required Learning Outcomes). Courses focus on developing in students an understanding and appreciation of the complexity of our world, the arts and aesthetics, the great ideas and cultures of the world, and the moral responsibilities of the individual (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives). Courses reinforce students’ ability to communicate effectively and to filter, analyze and critique information and experience (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives).

10. Foreign Language — Courses in this category will be at the FL 112 level initially, with the level to be raised as the level required for high school graduation in New York State rises. These courses will build upon the basic skills required by SUNY (basic proficiency in the understanding and use of a foreign language and knowledge of the distinctive features of cultures associated with the language, at the FL 111 level). Courses focus on developing in students an understanding and appreciation of the complexity of our world and understanding and appreciation of the cultures of the world (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives). Courses reinforce the students’ ability to communicate in a second language (Plattsburgh General Education Objectives).

The Integration Category

11. Global Issues — Courses in this area encourage students to think transnationally or transculturally about social, political, economic, aesthetic, moral, and technological issues. These courses will contribute to students’ understanding about issues such as human rights, migration, trade, poverty, access to health care, and technology, and the ramifications of policies regarding political power, militarization, and the environment. A course offered in this area will engage in comparative studies of a global theme across different nations, cultural groups, or cultural regions. Courses in this area will be upper division and will build on and integrate the knowledge and skills acquired in the first two sections of the program.

Competency

The following competency is infused throughout SUNY Plattsburgh’s General Education program (SUNY Required Learning Outcomes):

Critical Thinking (Reasoning)—Students will 1) identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments as they occur in their own or other’s work; and 2) develop well-reasoned arguments.

Contact Information

For more information about the general education program at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Stephen Light, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Office: Kehoe 708
Phone: (518) 564-2195
Email: lightsc@plattsburgh.edu