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A general education program for the 21st century citizen

General Education

General education courses provide opportunities to gain skills and insights that will be useful in one’s entire life. At SUNY Plattsburgh, general education is an integral part of the total degree program — of equal importance to courses in the major field of study.

Cardinal Core Curriculum

The Cardinal Core Curriculum is completed by students who begin their college experience at SUNY Plattsburgh or who transfer in with fewer than 24 credits. This program provides the rigorous and robust general education experience that is an essential component of any baccalaureate degree. The Cardinal Core encourages exploration of a wide range of topics and ways of thinking in preparation for life as a 21st-century citizen.

The Foundation

The Foundation is a set of courses and competencies designed to introduce new students to academic life at SUNY Plattsburgh. These classes prepare students with essential skills as they examine their roles and identities as members of a pluralistic society.

  • Cardinal Foundation Seminar
  • Writing
  • Information literacy
  • Mathematics

Cardinal Foundation Seminar

Cardinal Core Categories

There are six core categories in the Cardinal Core Curriculum, reflecting a diversity of knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences. Crucial skills of communication, critical thinking, discovery and inquiry, and quantitative reasoning are integrated and reinforced throughout these courses. Each class includes time to examine community members’ relationships and responsibilities in the context of the course material, taking on perspectives of global awareness, individual development, or social justice.

  • Human Communities: Courses in this area promote a critical self-awareness of individuals’ roles and responsibilities within communities by examining how people interact with each other and in groups.
  • Individual Expression: Courses in this area encourage students to reflect on their roles within a diverse society through exploration of the multiple ways we reason, engage with, document, and creatively represent or express the range of human experience.
  • Natural World: Courses in this area explore the scientific concepts, models and methods necessary to study natural phenomena that affect the global community.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: Courses in this area develop and utilize quantitative skills to address practical problems in order to better understand the world.
  • U.S. Identities: Courses in this area explore communities, histories, and institutions within the United States to engage students in critical examination of their roles in American society.
  • World Cultures: Courses in this area explore communities, histories, and institutions outside the United States to engage students in critical examination of their roles in a global society

See College Catalog “General Education” for an up-to-date listing of courses included in the Cardinal Core Categories.

Guidelines for the Cardinal Core Curriculum

SUNY GE Framework & Transfer Courses

Students who transfer to SUNY Plattsburgh with 24 or more credits while enrolled in college are required to meet SUNY GE Framework requirements. Courses completed for SUNY general education at other SUNY institutions (2-year or 4-year) will be accepted into the same Framework area or competency, regardless of which Plattsburgh program the student is placed in. Returning students who originally matriculated at SUNY Plattsburgh before Fall 2021 will be placed in the SUNY GE program to meet any remaining general education requirements.

SUNY General Education program

Cardinal Core Curriculum Resources for Faculty

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