Gen. Ed. program review underway

Oswego State’s general education program is under review, as officials throughout the SUNY system rethink how to apprach general education classes.

"At this point in time, we have not decided as a campus exactly what will be changed in our current program. The current program remains in effect," said Susan Coultrap-McQuin, provost and vice president of academic affairs. Next year, however, the college will finally decide what to change.

"The choice of a framework for the new general education will be the project for next year," she said.

The process for reworking the general education program includes four steps, Coultrap-McQuin said. The first is the review, which is being conducted now, and is to be completed by next fall, said Coultrap-McQuin. The second step includes choosing a framework for the program, and the third step is the developing new courses needed for the plan, she said. The fourth and final step will be the transition to the new plan.

The general education task force is in charge of implementing the new general education plan at Oswego State. The task force includes "faculty representatives from all schools and from general education and staff representatives from offices and services that deal with new and transfer students and undergraduate programs," Coultrap-McQuin said.

Christopher LaLonde, director of general education, added that the task force is working both alone and together on the project.

The purpose of this task force is to "assess our current General Education Program for its strengths and weaknesses in the views of faculty, staff, students, and administrators," Coultrap-McQuin added.

They will also study other colleges and how their general education programs are changing and developing all over the country, to get an idea of how to help Oswego students keep up and develop necessary skills within our own general education program. The task force will then submit a report to the provost and faculty assembly highlighting alternative approaches to general education being adopted by these other colleges.

"Based on their evaluation of our current general education program and their review of national developments, they will present their views of what issues we need to address in the development of a new general education," Coultrap-McQuin said.

LaLonde quoted the general education visioning task force charge, that states that the purpose of the Task Force is "to ensure that undergraduate students are developing the knowledge and skills in the liberal arts that will help them be successful in the twenty-first century."

He added, "From my perspective, we’re really keeping in mind what’s in the best interest of the students."

Coultrap-McQuin said that there are several reasons the program is being reworked.

"The current program has been in effect for many years and it is time for a review," she said.

"The SUNY system is beginning to have discussions about changes in general education expectations. Nationally, many new approaches to general education are under discussion. The time is right for our own campus discussion."