Stage Two of General Education 21 begins

The General Education Taskforce is in the second phase of preparing a new general education structure, known as GE 21.

The second phase, is the data collection phase, solicits information about students, faculty, deans and department opinions about issues with the current system, and attempts to discover.

"We are at the data gathering point," said Co-Chair Dave Valentino. "We want to hear from students especially."

Responses have been low so far, according to Valentino. He said it could be because the changes that would be made to the general education system would have no impact on current students, because the new structure would not be implemented until 2012.

Oswego State is required to meet the minimum requirements set forth by the state for the SUNY campuses. However, Oswego State generally has much higher expectations because graduates generally have an average of 42 general education credits, while SUNY only requires 30 credits.

Student representative on the taskforce, John Hughes, said he had sent out a survey to collect opinions on the number of credits required for the general education.

"A lot of people wanted it to be shorter," Hughes said. "They felt if they didn’t have so much gen. ed, they could take another major or minor. I feel that 42 could be shorter."

The credit hours are only one of several things that will be discussed.

"Everything is on the table, everything is getting discussed," Co-Chair Fehmi Damkaci said. "Everything will be discussed after the surveys."

The main goal for phase two is to collect information. The taskforce will be sending out surveys in about two weeks, and they emphasized the importance of getting reactions.

"Students should take this opportunity to make an impact on future general education," Damkaci said.

Valentino said this restructuring process is very important because it will be impacting the campus for the next decade. This means that, there are deadlines, doing everything properly and thoroughly is important.

"We don’t have a hard and fast deadline," said Valentino.

In 2010 when SUNY changed their requirements, which allowed for more flexibility on the part of the campuses. Previously, students were required to complete courses that fulfilled eight different categories, now students can choose five categories, from those eight to study.

But Valentino said the taskforce wants to keep the uniqueness of Oswego State.

"We have a distinct academic climate…so we want something distinct to our campus," Valentino said.

The anticipated implementation stage is set for Fall 2012, but first it has to go through Faculty Assembly and all of the administration.

"Its an important process," Valentino said. "Because it could impact campus for the next decade."