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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Literacies in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, & Natural Sciences
Potsdam graduates will demonstrate a familiarity with the methods, concepts, processes, and creative and cultural expressions of the liberal arts and sciences adequate to make relevant and informed decisions.

Ways of Thinking 6 courses (19 credits) required

Thinking Aesthetically (TA-3 cr.)
(SUNY The Arts or SUNY Humanities)

Thinking Aesthetically courses will develop students’ reflective engagement with the creative process by engaging them in a variety of forms of artistic creativity—developing their ability to identify, understand, and appreciate the processes through which works of art are produced, analyzed, and interpreted. TA courses can be devoted to one of the following:

  1. producing forms of artistic creativity (such as painting, acting, poetry writing, dancing, singing, scenic design, music, etc.)
  2. analyzing, interpreting, and critically discussing forms of artistic creativity, or
  3. combining the production (doing), analysis, interpretation, and critical discussion of forms of artistic creativity.

View Criteria & Student Learning Outcomes


Thinking Foundationally (TF-3 cr.)
(SUNY Humanities or other)
Courses approved for Thinking Foundationally designation must list WAYS 101 as a prerequisite.


Thinking Foundationally courses are designed to uncover and critically (i.e., skeptically and argumentatively) examine foundational assumptions. Foundational assumptions occur in every subject area: i.e., every subject area is grounded in theoretical/foundational assumptions that guide inquiry in that subject area. Thinking Foundationally courses will build upon the basic critical thinking skills introduced and exercised in the WAYS 101 seminars. Students will be required to develop and practice higher-order argumentation skills. Thinking Foundationally courses will require a significant amount of writing in which students demonstrate their ability to understand and explicate arguments, and to anticipate, appreciate, and respond to objections. This might be done in a series of papers arguing on multiple sides of an issue, culminating in a paper which synthesizes the previous work and advocates for a particular position. View Criteria & Student Learning Outcomes


Thinking Historically (TH-3 cr.)
(SUNY American History or SUNY Western Civilizations or SUNY Other World Civilizations)
Courses approved for Thinking Historically designation must list WAYS 102 as a prerequisiteor corequisite.


Thinking Historically courses explore some of the sources, arguments, and methodologies used to understand the past. Why does the past matter? How do we know what we know about the past? How do we move beyond the idea that how we know things now is the only way we need to know them? Our understanding of the past is constructed from individual stories that are themselves shaped by larger cultural contexts. These courses are designed to help students become critical consumers of historical knowledge to assist their navigation through contemporary concerns that are themselves rooted in history.
View Criteria & Student Learning Outcomes


Thinking Mathematically (TM-3 cr.)
(SUNY Mathematics)

Thinking Mathematically courses build proficiency with fundamental tools of mathematics, such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, functions, graphs, and statistics. They teach students precise quantitative logical reasoning and applications of mathematical problem-solving skills in abstract and real-world problems. They engage students in oral and written communication of mathematical ideas. View Criteria & Student Learning Outcomes


Thinking Scientifically (TS – 7 cr: (1) NW – 4 cr. Includes lab; (1) SW – 3 cr.)
(SUNY Natural Sciences/SUNY Social Sciences)

Courses that fulfill the Thinking Scientifically requirements (Natural World-NW and Social World-SW) engage students in the basic methods and goals of the natural and social sciences with the aim of making them scientifically literate and able to make reasonable and well-founded judgments on matters concerning the natural and social worlds. View Criteria & Student Learning Outcomes