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General Education Guidelines

How to Submit Courses for Designation

Faculty, instructors, and departments interested in submitting courses for General Education designation should use the online course submission form. Before submitting a request, please review the descriptions of the General Education categories below for more information. All General Education courses must be 4 credits, except for B, O, S, and Y courses. Students must take a General Education course for a letter grade in order to fulfill the requirement, except where Pass/Fail is the only option, which will primarily occur in B, S, and Y courses.

For more information on how to submit a course for General Education designation, please contact Liz Abate, Coordinator of General Education, at 607-777-2146 or labate@binghamton.edu.

General Education Guidelines: Language and Communication

NOTE ON C, O & J COURSES: The language of communication for C, O, and J courses shall be English.

C - Composition Courses

Learning Outcomes for C Courses

Faculty teaching C courses must include the following learning outcomes in their syllabi.

Students in C courses will demonstrate

  1. The ability to write effectively and coherently, in ways appropriate to the discipline and the level of the course.
  2. The ability to revise and improve their writing in both form and content.

O - Oral Communication Courses

Note: O courses may be 4-, 2-, or 1-credit courses.

Learning Outcomes for O Courses

Faculty teaching O courses must include the following learning outcomes in their syllabi.

Students in O courses will demonstrate

  1. Proficiency in oral presentations.
  2. The ability to improve oral presentations in response to critiques.
  3. Skill in listening to and critiquing oral presentations.

J - Joint Composition (C) and Oral (O) Courses

Learning Outcomes for J Courses

Faculty teaching J courses must include the learning outcomes for C and O courses in their syllabi.

Foreign Language Courses

Learning Outcomes for Foreign Language Courses

Faculty teaching Foreign Language courses must include the following learning outcomes in their syllabi.

Students who satisfy the Foreign Language requirement will demonstrate

  1. Basic proficiency in the understanding and use of a foreign language.
  2. Knowledge of the distinctive features of cultures(s) associated with the languages they are studying.

General Education Guidelines: Creating a Global Vision

G - Global Interdependencies Courses

The primary focus of Global Interdependencies (G) courses is to study how two or more distinctive world regions have influenced and interacted with one another and how such interactions have been informed by their respective cultures or civilizations. 

Notes: (1) G courses must focus on at least one non-Western region, because Binghamton's Global Interdependencies requirement meets SUNY's Other World Civilizations requirement. (2) G courses may focus on more than one non-Western region. (3) G courses may focus on distinctive cultural regions, at least one of which must be non-Western. A "cultural region" is a portion of Earth's surface that has common cultural elements (http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/socst/grade3/geograph.html, accessed 3/2/12).

Learning Outcomes for G Courses

Faculty teaching G courses must include the following learning outcomes in their syllabi.

Students in G courses will demonstrate knowledge of how two or more distinctive world regions have influenced and interacted with one another and how such interactions have been informed by their respective cultures or civilizations.

P - Pluralism in the US Courses

Binghamton University designates two types of Pluralism courses. Both types bear the "P" indicator in the Schedule of Classes and the DARS report; the DARS report is programmed to recognize which type of "P" course a student needs to fulfill this requirement.

Students who scored 85 or above on the Regents exam in American History (or the equivalent) must take a Pluralism course that meets the following criteria:

Students who have not scored above an 84 on the Regents exam in American History (or the equivalent) must take a Pluralism course that meets both the above criteria and the following additional criteria. (Internally, we refer to these as "Ph" courses, although this is not an official Gen Ed designation.)

Learning Outcomes for P Courses

Faculty teaching P courses must include the following learning outcomes in their syllabi.

Students in P courses will demonstrate an understanding of

  1. United States society from the perspective of three or more groups that constitute that society, including at least three of the following groups: African Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, Latino Americans, and Native Americans.
  2. How these groups have affected and been affected by basic institutions of American society, such as commerce, family, legal and political structures, or religion.

Students in specialized P courses will demonstrate an understanding of

  1. United States society from the perspective of three or more groups that constitute that society, including at least three of the following groups: African Americans, Asian Americans, European Americans, Latino Americans, and Native Americans.
  2. How these groups have affected and been affected by basic institutions of American society, such as commerce, family, legal and political structures, or religion.
  3. An historical narrative of the United States and its institutions over a period of at least a century, including connections to prior and subsequent periods, with this narrative including several themes that have shaped the development of American society, such as the struggle for democracy, citizenship, racial and gender inequality, religious freedom, and civil rights; the conflicts that have erupted over these issues; and the consensus, if any, that has been reached on each of them.
  4. How the history of the United States relates to the history of at least two other regions of the world, as a means of understanding America's evolving relationship with the rest of the world.

General Education Guidelines: Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Mathematics

L - Laboratory Science Courses

Note: Lab courses of less than 4 credits are acceptable if paired with a pre- or co-requisite lecture course. The paired lab/lecture sequence needs to be at least 4 credits in order for students to receive the L.

Learning Outcomes for L Courses

Faculty teaching L courses must include the following learning outcomes in their syllabi.

Students in L courses will demonstrate

  1. Understanding of the methods scientists use to explore natural phenomena, including the formulation and testing of hypotheses and the collection, analysis and interpretation of data.
  2. Knowledge of concepts and models in one of the sciences.

N - Social Science Courses

Notes: (1) If the course is not at the introductory level, it includes the above content in a form accessible to and effective for a student who has not already completed an introductory social science course. (2) Advanced Placement (AP) credit may be used to satisfy this requirement.

Learning Outcomes for N Courses

Faculty teaching N courses must include the following learning outcomes in their syllabi.

Students in N courses will demonstrate

  1. Knowledge of major concepts, models, and issues (and their interrelationships) of at least one of the social sciences: anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, or sociology. 
  2. An understanding of the methods used by social scientists to explore social phenomena, including, when appropriate to the discipline, observation, hypothesis development, measurement and data collection, experimentation, evaluation of evidence, and analysis by mathematics or other interpretive frameworks.

M - Mathematics/Reasoning Courses

Note: Advanced Placement (AP) credit may be used to satisfy this requirement.

Learning Outcomes for M Courses

Faculty teaching M courses must include the following learning outcomes in their syllabi.

Students in M courses will demonstrate competence in an area such as calculus, symbolic logic, the logic of computers, the logic of deductive and inductive reasoning, or probability and statistical inference.

General Education Guidelines: Aesthetics and Humanities

A - Aesthetics Courses

Notes: (1) Although the artistic work studied may include language, courses focusing exclusively or primarily on pre-existing written texts would be designated as Humanities (H) rather than Aesthetics (A). (2) Advanced Placement (AP) credit may be used to satisfy this requirement.

Learning Outcomes for A Courses

Faculty teaching A courses must include the following learning outcomes in their syllabi.

Students in A courses will demonstrate an understanding of the creative process and the role of imagination and aesthetic judgment in at least one principal form of artistic expression in such fields as art, art history, cinema, creative writing, dance, graphic design, music, and theater.

H - Humanities Courses

Note: Advanced Placement (AP) credit may be used to satisfy this requirement.

Learning Outcomes for H Courses

Faculty teaching H courses must include the following learning outcomes in their syllabi.

Students in H courses will demonstrate an understanding of human experience though the study of literature or philosophy.

General Education Guidelines: Physical Activity/Wellness

S - Wellness Courses

Learning Outcomes for S Courses

Faculty teaching S courses must include the following learning outcomes in their syllabi.

Students in S courses will demonstrate knowledge of such topics as diet and nutrition, physical development, substance abuse, human sexuality, stress and stress reduction techniques, relaxation methods, or the characteristics that define physical, mental or emotional fitness/wellness.

Y - Physical Activity Courses

Learning Outcomes for Y Courses

Faculty teaching Y courses must include the following learning outcomes in their syllabi.

Students in Y courses will demonstrate one or more of the following attributes: neuromuscular coordination, muscular strength and muscular endurance, cardio-respiratory endurance, or flexibility.

B - Both Physical Activity (Y) and Wellness (S) Courses

Learning Outcomes for B Courses

Faculty teaching B courses must include the learning outcomes for S and Y courses in their syllabi.

Notes on These Guidelines

The General Education Guidelines were approved 11/14/00 by the Binghamton University Faculty Senate. The Composition requirement was later revised by the UUCC and approved by the Faculty Senate 4/17/01. The Oral Communication requirement was later revised by the UUCC and approved by the Faculty Senate 2/26/02. The Composition requirement was later revised by the UUCC and approved by the Faculty Senate 12/10/02. The Faculty Senate voted on 5/8/07 to remove the following statement from the C requirement and place it in the overall curriculum: "Students are expected to perform the basic operations of personal computer use; understand and use basic research techniques; and locate, evaluate, and synthesize information from a variety of sources."

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Last Updated: 7/29/13