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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Ways of Beginning 3 courses (9 credits) required

WAYS 101: Critical Thinking Seminar (3 cr.)
(SUNY Critical Thinking/SUNY Information Management)

WAYS 101 will be a “Big Ideas” course focusing on “wicked problems” and the contexts in which those problems occur. The courses focus on significant and messy issues with which the faculty experts are deeply engaged. They feature explicit instruction in critical thinking—the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do and what to believe—as well as oral and written applications of those abilities. Critical Thinking has been characterized as “... the awakening of the intellect to the study of itself.” This is important, as it implies a high degree of self-consciousness about and reflection on one’s thinking processes. Wicked problems seminars are specifically designed to introduce students to a rigorous and demanding liberal arts curriculum, to provide the opportunity for students to work closely with a faculty mentor, and to establish a sense of community among participants. View Criteria & Student Learning Outcomes

WAYS 102: College Writing Seminar (3 cr.)
(SUNY Basic Communication/SUNY Information Management)
WAYS 102 helps students develop skills as critical readers, compelling writers, and thoughtful participants in the academic community. This course is designed to help students write effectively in other university courses; develop critical thinking and writing fluency; and find, critically evaluate, and incorporate source materials. Each WAYS 102 seminar will have a particular framing question/issue that provides a focused context within which students will approach texts and assignments. Students will read, discuss, and write about a variety of texts, identifying underlying assumptions, evidence, and points of view, drawing inferences, and reaching independent conclusions. They will begin to work with resources—evaluating, incorporating, and acknowledging them—with increasing sophistication.

Some students will choose to take a Core Writing course to help prepare them for WAYS 102: College Writing Seminar. 


WAYS 103: Talking about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Seminar (3 cr.)
(SUNY Basic Communication/SUNY Information Management)

WAYS 103 is a speaking class that exposes students to concepts necessary to live, work, and create in the diverse populations and social identities that characterize the U.S., including but not limited to the following: race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability status, socioeconomic status, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, and age. Students will explore personal and societal assumptions about differences, and will examine systemic cultural, political, and economic imbalances. Students will model civil and respectful discussions about difficult topics and charged issues. View Criteria & Student Learning Outcomes