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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Provost Bergeron appointed a General Education Task Force in April 2016 to consider changes to the GenEd program. All academic departments and other key campus units were invited to send a representative to serve on the Task Force.

 The charge for the Task Force was to:

  • Review current literature and case studies that focus on exemplars in General Education
  • Determine best practices currently incorporated into our existing General Education requirements
  • Identify any current programmatic barriers related to our existing General Education program (e.g., transferability, impact on retention or graduation, “siloing” of requirements, course availability)
  • Consider avenues for including cross-representational student input throughout the planning process
  • Determine “next steps” and timeline for the Task Force and/or an Implementation Steering Committee
  • Draft a proposed framework for a new General Education program that considers the following:
    • Alignment with SUNY Potsdam’s core values and mission
    • Alignment with SUNY system’s competencies
    • Elimination of any hidden prerequisites
    • Ease of transferability from other institutions into SUNY Potsdam
    • Recognized best practices related to a contemporary Liberal Education
    • Incorporation of high impact practices, including applied learning
    • Incorporation of emerging/innovative technologies such as “badges”
    • Integration of interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary models
    • Creative uses of open source materials to enhance access and reduce costs for students
    • Budget neutrality

The Task Force concluded its work in Spring 2017 with the creation of a broad outline of a proposed new GenEd program, The Potsdam Pathways.

A smaller Steering Committee was drawn from Task Force members to continue the work of developing The Potsdam Pathways.

The current Steering Committee members are Carrie Bates, Kelly Bonnar, David Curry, Sheila McIntyre, Gordon Plague. The Steering Committee is co-chaired by Alan Hersker and Krista Medo.

Final Documents for 5/2/19 Vote

The following documents are available in Adobe PDF format for those with a Campus Computer Account (CCA).

Working Group Members

WAYS 101: Potsdam Seminar Pilot Faculty:
Kelly Bonnar (HLTH)
Kim Bouchard (DRAM)
Laura Brown (EDUC)
David Curry (PHIL)
Christine Doran (E&C)
Hadley Kruczek-Aaron (ANTH)
Sheila McIntyre (HIST)
Mike Rygel (GEOL)
Michael Schaff (CRANE)
Arlene Stillwell (PSYC)

WAYS 102: College Writing Seminar:
Carrie Bates (E&C/Assessment)
Lynn Hall (EDUC)
Nancy Lewis (SOC/CJ)
Sheila McIntyre (HIST)
Liberty Stanavage (E&C)

1st Year Communication:
Jennifer Mitchell (E&C)
Victoria Leavitt (E&C)
John Youngblood (E&C)
Donald McNutt (E&C)
David Curry (PHIL)
Sheila McIntyre (HIST)
Gordon Plague (BIOL)
Kelly Bonnar (HLTH)
Krista Medo (A&S)
Alan Hersker (GenEd)

Thinking Aesthetically:
Iggy Beerbower (ARTS)
Robin Collen (DANC)
Morgan Perkins (ANTH/ART)
Oscar Sarmiento (ML)
Michael Schaff (CRANE)

Thinking Foundationally:
Deborah Conrad (EDUC)
David Curry (PHIL)
Bethany Haessler (ARTS)
Phil Neisser (POLS)
Steven Stannish (HIST)

Thinking Historically:
James Donahue (E&C)
Hadley Kruczek-Aaron (ANTH)
Sheila McIntyre (HIST)
Jay Pecora (DRAM)

Thinking Mathematically:
Peter Brouwer (EDUC)
David Bugg (SOCI)
Jason Howald (MATH)

Thinking Scientifically: Natural World:
Nasser Malit (ANTH)
Tim Murphy (PHIL)
Gordon Plague (BIOL)
Clifford Rossiter (CHEM)
Michael Rygel (GEOL)

Thinking Scientifically: Social World:
Heather Beauchamp (PSYC)
Shakuntala Das (ECON)
Robert Hinckley (POLS)
Janelle Jacobson (HLTH)
Lydia Rodriguez (ANTH)

WAYS 301: Connect the Ways of Thinking
Jim Fryer (PSYC)
Tanya Hewitt (HLTH)
Brian Ladd (CIS)
Jill Pearon (CRANE/Provost)
Gordon Plague (BIOL)

Connecting with Others:
Kelly Bonnar (HLTH)
Lynn Hall (EDUC)
Savita Hanspal (BUS/DIAC)
Heather Wheeler (CRANE/DIAC)

Connecting through Language:
Department of Modern Languages

Connecting Globally:
Patricia Anafi (HLTH)
Krista LaVack (International Educ)
Shiho Imai (HIST)
Michael Popovic (POLS/IS)
Julie Hunter (CRANE)
Liliana Trevizan (ML)

Connecting Theory to Practice:
Alan Hersker (Gen Ed Director)
Krista Medo (A&S)
Lisa Stewart (EDUC)
Heather Sullivan-Catlin (SOCI)
Adam Wheeler (WILD)

Selected Resources

Selected Websites:

Also see General Education websites for SUNY Research Universities & Comprehensive Colleges

Selected Texts:

  • Academic Affairs Forum (2015). Reaffirming the Liberal Arts with a Modern and Practical Twist. Washington, DC: EAB.
  • Academic Affairs Forum (2013). Common First-year Course Requirements for Graduation. Washington, DC: EAB.
  • Academic Affairs Forum (2016). Reclaiming the Value of the Liberal Arts Education for the 21st Century: Strategies for Integrating Career Development with Traditional Arts and Science Curricula. Washington, DC: EAB.
  • Anderson, P., C. M. Anson, T. Fish, R. M. Gonyea, M. Marshall, W. Menefee-Libey, C. Paine, L. Paluki Blake, S. Weaver (2017). How writing contributes to learning: New findings from a national study and their local application. Peer Review: New Frontiers in Writing (19(1).
  • The Association of American Colleges (1994). Strong Foundations: Twelve Principles for Effective General Education Programs. Washington, DC: The Association of American Colleges.
  • The Association of American Colleges & Universities (2009). Revising General Education and Avoiding the Potholes. Washington, DC: AACU.
  • The Association of American Colleges & Universities (2011). The LEAP Vision of Learning: Outcomes, Practices, Impact, and Employers’ Views. Washington, DC: AACU.
  • The Association of American Colleges & Universities (2015). General Education Maps and Markers. Washington, DC: AACU.
  • The Association of American Colleges & Universities (2015). The LEAP Challenge: Education for a World of Unscripted Problems. Washington, DC: AACU.
  • Blumenstyk, G. (2016, June 9). Liberal arts majors have plenty of job prospects, if they have some specific skills, too. Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • Brint, S., K. Proctor, S. P. Murphy, L. Turk-Bicaki, R. A. Hanneman. General education models: Continuity and change in the U.S. undergraduate curriculum, 1975-2000. Journal of Higher Educaiton 80(6):605-642.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan 2016-2011 (2016). SUNY Potsdam.
  • Dwyer, P. M. (2017) Transforming a core curriculum – and minimizing the battle scars. Liberal Education: Taking Stock of the Assessment Movement, 103(1).
  • Ferren, A. & D. Paris (2015). Faculty Leadership for Integrative Liberal Learning. Washington, DC: AACU.
  • Flaherty, C. (2016, May 24). Champlain College touts benefits of interdisciplinary four-year general education. Inside Higher Ed.
  • Gaston, P. (2015). General Education Transformed: How We Can, Why We Must. Washington, DC: AACU.
  • Geary, C. (2015). The LEAP challenge: Transforming for students, essential for liberal educators. Liberal Education: The LEAP Challenge 101(1/2).
  • Gladstein, J. and B. Fralix (2017). Supporting data-driven conversations about institutional cultures of writing. Peer Review 19(1).
  • Hart Research Associates (2016). Recent Trends in General Education Design, Learning Outcomes, and Teaching Approaches. Washington, DC: AACU.
  • Harvard General Education Review Committee (2015). General Education Review Committee Interim Report.
  • Joselow, M. (2016, June 10). SUNY Buffalo and University of Virginia Reform General Education. Inside Higher Ed.
  • Kezar, A. and E. Holcombe (2017) Support for high-impact practices: A new tool for administrators. Liberal Education: Taking Stock of the Assessment Movement, 103(1).
  • Latzer, B. (2004) The hollow core: Failure of the general education curriculum. Washington, DC: American Council of Trustees and Alumni.
  • Maki, P. (2015). Assessment that Works: A National Call, A Twenty-first Century Response. Washington, DC: AACU.
  • Morris, K. (2017). Full-time faculty, threshold concepts, and the vertical curriculum. Peer Review: New Frontiers in Writing 19(1).
  • Newton, R. R. (2000). Tensions and models in general education planning. Journal of General Education 49(3):165-181.
  • Rutz, C. and N. D. Grawe (2017) How writing program best practices have transformed Carleton College. Peer Review 19(1).
  • Schreiner, J. (2013).  Annotated Bibliography: General Education.
  • Student Affairs Forum (2016). Transforming the First-Generation College Student Experience. Washington, DC: EAB.
  • Trainor, S. (n.d.). Designing a Signature General Education Program.
  • University of Maryland (2010). Transforming General Education at the University of Maryland. College Park, MD: UMD.

Important Documents

Phase III Implementation

Spring 2018 Potsdam Pathways Survey