General Education Program Office
6th Floor, Allen Administration Building
Vice Provost and Program Administrator: P. Michael Fox
Secretary: Deborah Lamphron
Coordinator of Developmental Mathematics: Margaret Little
Director of College Composition: Robert Baker
Coordinator of Computer Skills Examination: Edwina Billings
The General Education Program focuses on areas of study that the College faculty and the SUNY Board of Trustees have decided are of such fundamental importance that they should be required of all liberally educated students. This part of the student’s college education stresses development of the basic intellectual skills of writing, speaking, critical thinking, and mathematical analysis that are generally expected of college-educated persons, and provides a good skills foundation for advanced work in a major program. In addition, the General Education requirements convey some of the accumulated insights about human nature and our cultural, artistic, and scientific achievements; the nature of human societies; the natural order; and the systematic ways in which we seek knowledge and understanding in many fields. Finally, the General Education Program provides opportunities for students to make connections among the various courses and disciplines they encounter in college and to apply their skills and knowledge to analyzing real problems in contemporary society.
The College offers three options through which students may complete the General Education requirements:
The Traditional General Education Program is the subject of this section. Before choosing a General Education option, students should also examine the Delta College Program and the College Honors Program. The descriptions and details of those programs can be found in Chapter V of this catalog.
The College at Brockport, like all the colleges and universities of the SUNY system, is required to be in compliance with the SUNY Trustees mandates for student learning outcomes in General Education.
Brockport’s Traditional General Education Program is the route most students take through General Education. Student learning outcomes in compliance with the SUNY-GEAR learning outcomes for General Education have been written for all components of the program. Courses are approved for the various components if they provide instruction guided by those learning outcomes. The complete program consists of the following elements:
A small-group orientation to the College, designed for and required of matriculated first-year students, including transfers with fewer than 24 credits in their first semester at Brockport. The one-credit seminar introduces students to the academic expectations and opportunities of college life, and helps them plan their individual academic programs in relationship to the College’s requirements and students’ personal interests and career goals. It also provides students with a personal academic advisor with whom they will be associated until they have declared a major in a particular field or department. Students in certain programs take a three-credit version, GEP 120. There are also special similar semester-long orientation courses for Delta College Program, Honors Program students, and students participating in ROTC that meet this General Education requirement.
Nothing in a college education is more important than developing an ability to think critically and to express ideas effectively. Brockport’s college composition courses are specifically designed to improve these skills. Because students’ backgrounds vary widely, each student is placed by the director of College Composition in an appropriate course based on high school records, transfer records, standardized test scores, and initial diagnostic testing. Students with superior records or outstanding achievement on in-class diagnostic tests may be waived from the College Composition requirement. Students with serious writing skill deficiencies will be placed in ENG 101 English for Foreign Students or ENG 102 Fundamentals of College Composition, and will be required to earn a grade of “C” or higher before entering into ENG 112. A minimum grade of “C” is required to successfully complete ENG 101, ENG 102 and ENG 112. Successful completion of ENG 112 with a “C” or higher is necessary to satisfy the General Education requirement for Composition.
The importance of mathematical analysis in contemporary society in a variety of college programs and in general intellectual development is reflected in this component of the General Education Program. The College requires freshmen and transfer students to demonstrate competence in arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and quantitative reasoning. Initial placement into one of the following categories by the Coordinator of Developmental Mathematics is based on high school and/or college transfer courses and Math SAT scores.
Students may meet the General Education requirement in mathematics by passing MTH 112, MTH 122, MTH 221 (or higher, excluding MTH 313) or any approved college-level statistics course. The statistics courses include ECN 204, MTH 243, MTH 346, PSH 202, SOC 200, and HLS 488. Students with strong backgrounds in mathematics may meet the General Education requirement with no further course work. However, other mathematics or statistics courses may be required for specific academic majors.
Students with mathematical skill deficiencies will be placed either in MTH 110 Introduction to Mathematics or MTH 111 College Algebra. Both courses are considered preparatory to courses that meet the General Education mathematics requirement.
Students who have been waived from the College mathematics requirement cannot receive credit for MTH 112 or any course preparatory to it (MTH 110, MTH 111).
NOTE: Brockport requires an Academic Planning Seminar, and courses in composition skills and college mathematics of almost all entering students. Students should begin them as soon as possible, usually in the first semester, and complete them at the earliest opportunity. These courses are entry-level experiences providing a foundation for further college work. Passing the Computer Skills Examination is a graduation requirement and this examination should be prepared for and completed as soon as possible because of the ever-increasing importance of computers in other course work.
As the intellectual “core” of the General Education Program, Knowledge Area courses are designed to introduce the major content areas of a liberal arts education and to reinforce composition and mathematical skills. Such courses will, therefore, normally involve substantial writing assignments. In addition to composition and mathematics, students will be expected to satisfy the following Knowledge Area requirements:
Students are required to complete the equivalent of one semester of a foreign language as a General Education requirement. Students are placed in foreign language courses by performance on a computerized placement examination. Decisions on placements and waivers of this requirement are made by the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures. Students may fulfill this requirement in several ways: successful completion of a 111 Beginning I or higher foreign language course at Brockport, an AP foreign language examination, or a CLEP foreign language examination; an appropriate score on the placement test administered by Brockport; and successful completion of a program of study abroad of at least five weeks duration, in which the language of instruction is not English. International students whose native language is not English should consult with the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures regarding the language requirement.
PLEASE NOTE: Meeting the General Education foreign language requirement does not meet the foreign language requirement for the BA degree and may not satisfy language requirements for certain major and/or educational certification programs. Students entering in or after fall 2000 are subject to the SUNY Trustees’ one-course requirement. Brockport’s one-semester requirement became effective in fall 2011.
Preferably during the junior or senior year, students are required to complete one General Education course that applies their skills and knowledge to a problem or issue facing contemporary society. Such courses encourage students to think seriously about the ethical implications of the problem and to integrate ideas and information from several disciplines. Special attention is directed toward enhancing students’ writing and critical reasoning skills. Students who enroll in a Contemporary Issues course will normally have completed ENG 112 and the Knowledge Area courses. This requirement can be met by courses transferred with appropriate content.
Women represent half of the human population, and all students should be aware of the scholarship on and by women. Perspectives on Gender courses do not necessarily focus exclusively on women’s experiences and perspectives; they will incorporate recent scholarship on women and introduce gender as a category of analysis appropriate to the discipline or area of the course.
Students are required to take one course with outcomes dealing with the analysis of social conflicts, prejudices, and/or intolerance arising from such issues as racism, ethnic hatred, and religious intolerance. These courses are not “stand alone” courses. These outcomes are attached to General Education Knowledge Area courses and are coded “D”.
Courses whose student learning outcomes allow students to demonstrate a knowledge of a broad outline of world history or the distinctive features of history, institutions, economy, society and culture of one non-Western civilization, and to compare the perspective of at least one non-Western, third-world, or developing society with their own. At Brockport, these courses are not offered as “stand alone” courses, but the World Civilizations outcomes are attached to another Knowledge Area course coded “O”.[how many are required?]
These constitute student learning outcomes required by the SUNY Board of Trustees. At Brockport, these outcomes are met in a number of different courses. Because of this "infusion" into several courses, these requirements do not have individual credits assigned to them. Students complete these outcomes as they complete the other required courses in the Brockport General Education curriculum.
The growing importance of computer-based technology in society and its increasing application to many fields of study has led the College to give computer literacy a central place in its curriculum. Passing this examination is required of all freshmen who matriculated in fall 2001 or later. Students may prepare for the examination by online tutorials and by workshops on computer skills. The examination stresses an ability to perform tasks using the Microsoft Windows© operating system, Microsoft Word©, Microsoft Excel©, and PowerPoint©. Currently approximately 89 percent of freshman students pass the examination in their first semester. Although no credit is awarded for the examination, passing the examination is a requirement for graduation and it should be taken in the first year, preferably first semester, at Brockport. Consult with the Office of Assessment and Testing, Drake Library, or see the College web site for additional information.
The codes listed below indicate the General Education requirements that a specific course will satisfy. Only courses that bear the code for a particular requirement are approved for use in the General Education program. General Education codes are placed after the course number in catalogs and course schedules. Courses may bear several codes and in such cases can meet several requirements.
Students’ General Education requirements for graduation are set by the date of most recent matriculation. When students leave the College and return through readmission, their General Education requirements are set by the catalog in effect at the date of most recent matriculation at Brockport. Readmitted students sometimes have to complete different requirements or more requirements than were in effect when they left the College. Taking an official Leave of Absence from the College allows the student’s General Education requirements to remain unchanged for three semesters of non-attendance or of earning no credit. When the student’s leave expires, the requirements may then change upon a future readmission.
It is important to note that the award of an associates degree from a community college after the date of first matriculation at Brockport does not entitle a transfer student to the same Gen-eral Education requirements that would be in effect if the associates degree had been completed before the date of first matriculation. Students completing the associates degree before the date of first matriculation at Brockport may have fewer General Education requirements. General Education requirements, once set at matriculation, are not revised if an associates degree is earned after the first matriculation at Brockport.
Colleges and universities of the SUNY system are required to submit all General Education courses to the SUNY Provost’s Office for approval and registration as courses that satisfy specific SUNY General Education student learning outcomes. Courses that are approved and registered with the SUNY Provost’s Office will transfer and meet the General Education requirements (for which they are approved) at all colleges and universities in the SUNY system. Non-approved SUNY courses and courses from colleges and universities outside the SUNY system are evaluated individually for transferability, equivalency and applicability to degree requirements. The College’s Office of Academic Advisement usually makes the decisions on transferability of courses.
Within the limits of certain criteria, there is both a local and a SUNY-wide appeal process for decisions on transferability of courses between SUNY units. Students who wish to appeal a decision on transfer of courses should consult with the College’s Academic Advisement Office. The first level of local appeal is to the department chair and then to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. If transfer credit is refused at both local levels, students can take the appeal to the SUNY Provost’s office.
The total number of credits that the College will accept by transfer depends on the type of institution (2-year or 4 year) from which the student transfers.
Students awarded an approved associate’s degree from a regionally accredited college may transfer up to 64 credits.
Students who have transferred from a regionally accredited four-year college or university can be awarded up to but no more than 90 credits earned elsewhere toward the bachelor’s degree at Brockport.
All transfer students must complete at least 15 credits of their academic major at Brockport and, where applicable, at least half of the credits for a minor and for a certification program. Students should consult the individual program listings in the current catalog because some programs have more restrictive requirements.
NOTE: Appropriate transfer credits may be used to satisfy any of the General Education requirements except the competency exam.
If a student has a waiver for any of the requirements above, they must still meet the 30-credit minimum for General Education course work.
Under certain conditions, students have the right to appeal Brockport's decisions on award of transfer equivalency credit for lower-division courses taken at other SUNY units. Students transferring from other SUNY units, whose first request for transfer course equivalency to a lower-division course at Brockport is turned down have a right to an appeal process at the local Brockport level and further to the SUNY System Administration level (SUNY Provost’s Office). The appeal process begins in Brockport’s Office of Academic Advisement, where forms and instructions on how to file an appeal can be obtained.