Committee to examine General Education curriculum

After a decade’s worth of stagnation in development of Oswego State’s general education program, Faculty Assembly has taken action to analyze and possibly reformat it. A committee has been dispatched to decide how, if at all, Oswego State’s Gen. Ed. program should be altered.

"The purpose of the task force is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the current general education program, to study new approaches to general education being used by colleges around the country, and to report to the campus about its findings," Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Susan Coultrap-McQuin said. "This is the first step in our plan to recreate a general education program for our students."

A growing number of complaints among students have been accumulating over the past several years, expressing concern and disdain about various flaws in the program, ranging from the program being too complicated to being too large. Many on the new committee feel that the time has come to assess whether or not the current program is fulfilling Oswego State students’ academic purposes as well as it should, or could, be.

The purpose of the general education program is also misunderstood among students and often leads to confusion as to how courses within the general education pertain to their majors. While measures must be taken to clarify these concerns, for now, this first step taken by the general education task force will be more of a baby step. No exact timetable has been placed on the committee to report their findings.

"The task force is only the first step in our process to recreate the?general education program on the campus," Coultrap-McQuin said. "During this step we will evaluate where we are and some of the new options we might consider. Next year, we will aim to determine the broad outline and goals of our new approach. Finally, we will create the courses to begin to deliver the new program. I think the task force will get us off to a good start in this multi-year process."

Among those getting involved with the task force is the Student Association and Penfield Library.

"Student Association, and myself, hope to bring student opinion to the task force. We, as students, are the ones taking these classes. We should have a say in the matter," Student Association Senator Rachel Dunn said.

Jim Nichols, assistant coordinator of instruction and distance learning librarian at Penfield, is also pleased to be a part of the task force.

"We realized we had an opportunity in the library to make sure that we, at the very least had the opportunity to serve on faculty committees and task forces and councils and make sure that we were well represented in those areas that we felt like we had the most to offer and frankly had the most interest in too."

Coultrap-McQuin expressed her joviality concerning other departments joining the task force.

"Members of the task force will be seeking input from across campus about ?views of the current general education program," she said. "It will be very helpful ?to have representatives from all constituencies on campus who can help ?to seek and analyze campus members’ opinions."

"Broad representation helps to bring multiple perspectives to the discussions, so that all?views can be considered," she said.