Rationale and Guiding Principles
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
The College’s Academic Council
In conjunction with
The College’s Faculty Committee on Instruction
Subcommittee on General Education
October 19, 1999
General Education at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
The high value of an ESF undergraduate education is well known. The accomplishments of graduates from its array of programs are remarkable across a wide range of societal need in relatively specialized areas of science, management and policy, engineering and design. Increasingly, the ability of ESF graduates to deal with new knowledge and societal change and its global context calls for improved ways to deliver and validate student success in their general education as well as in their curricula’s relatively specialized aspects.
Shaping the future through new expectations for student learning in general education at ESF requires understanding of the influence of ESF’s specialized mission on its undergraduate curricula. ESF is not a university and it need not become merely a copy of one. Rather, in relatively specialized areas its undergraduate program degrees include only the Bachelor of Science and the professional Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. This mission and program context provide excellent grounds for distinctive programs that celebrate those emphases while achieving the learning outcome goals of general education in the spirit of and within the parameters defined by State University Trustees. In so doing, ESF can significantly impact the progress of higher education in and beyond the State University of New York.
While ESF is not a liberal arts college and it does not offer a Bachelor of Arts degree, its scientific and professional programs are profoundly influenced by its societal-based mission. Thus ESF has many excellent faculty whose principal contributions include instruction in the humanities and the social sciences. Such ESF general education offerings are complemented as appropriate with accessory instruction from Syracuse University. By this approach, each graduate of an ESF bachelor’s level degree program will possess a thorough grounding in specialized areas and the ability to solve complex problems in cooperation with others. Each will comprehend worldwide implications of parochial decisions and communicate effectively to make contributions as well-educated citizens in a changing world.
and both competency areas of the State University General Education Requirement (SUGER).
Guiding Principles (Cont’d.)
4) or 5) American History or Western Civilization, 7) Humanities and 10) Basic Communication.
4) or 5) American History or Western Civilization, 6) Other World Civilization and 8) The Arts.
NOTE: The three preceding guidelines (5, 6 and 7) apply to the development and accountability of ESF’s General Education program. It may be that guidelines 6 and 7 apply but are not included in the submission to SUNY for review.
NOTE: The faculty of each program will develop this rationale during the month of November for inclusion in ESF’s General Education program submission to SUNY for review.
Guiding Principles (Cont’d.)
NOTE: The Dean of Instruction and Graduate Studies will coordinate task forces of the Academic Council with the needs of the subcommittee of the Committee on Instruction to develop a roster of existing ESF and SU courses having learning outcomes appropriate to each of the knowledge areas. The rosters will be developed during the month of November for inclusion in ESF’s General Education program submission to SUNY for review. This same mechanism will coordinate the development of new offerings for consideration by the College Faculty at their March 2000 meeting to supplement existing offerings in general education at ESF.
13. Methods and procedures to assess and strengthen learning in general education will be developed as appropriate to fully implement the College’s general education program.