November 7, 2000

Revised Version of Proposed Guidelines

for some of the new General Education Requirements

from the Faculty Senate University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee

Social Sciences

The University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee approves courses at any level and in any department or school to count toward the Social Sciences requirement on the basis of the following criteria:

1. The course imparts knowledge of major concepts, models, and issues of anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, and/or sociology as recognized academic disciplines.

2. The course provides an understanding of the methods used by anthropologists/economists/geographers/- historians/political scientists/sociologists to explore social phenomena including, when appropriate to the discipline, observation, hypothesis development, measurement and data collection, experimentation, evaluation of evidence, and employment of mathematical and interpretive analysis.

3. If the course is not at the introductory level, it includes the above conceptual and methodological content in a form accessible to and effective for a student who has not already completed an introductory course in the social sciences.



Pluralism in the US: American History

The University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee approves courses at any level and in any department or school to count toward the Binghamton Pluralism requirement on the basis of the following criterion:

The course must consider 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, American Indians, Asian Americans, European Americans, and Latino Americans. The course must show 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 who have not scored above an 84 on the Regents exam on United States History and Government must take a Pluralism course that meets these additional criteria.

1. The course must present an historical narrative of the United States and its institutions. This narrative must include several themes that have shaped the development of American society, such as the struggle for democracy, citizenship, racial and gender equality, religious freedom, civil rights, etc.; the conflicts that have erupted over these issues; and the consensus, if any, that has been reached on each of them.

2. The narrative must cover at least a century of American history and connect that period to periods before and after it.

3. The course must situate the history of the US within the context of world history or of two or more regions of the world, as a means of understanding America's evolving relationship with the rest of the world.



Global Interdependencies: Western Civilization and Other World Civilizations

The University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee approves courses at any level and in any department or school to count toward the Binghamton Global Interdependencies requirement on the basis of the following criteria:

1. This course must focus on how one or more of the regions of the world have influenced and interacted with the West and with one another, and how the West has affected and been affected by the distinctive cultures and civilizations of the world, either in the course of world history as a whole or the history, institutions, economy, society, culture, etc., of one or more non-Western civilization.

2. A major portion of the course content must focus on broad, foundational aspects of the long-term development of distinctive features of Western civilization in Europe and North America.

3. A major portion of the course content must focus on the distinctive features of one or more non-Western civilizations, such as those of Asia, Africa, or the indigenous peoples of the Americas.



The Arts

The University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee approves courses at any level and in any department or school to count toward the Binghamton requirement in The Arts on the basis of evidence that the proposed course enhances students' understanding of the creative process and the role of imagination and aesthetic judgment in the conception and production of work in at least one principal form of artistic expression in such fields as art, art history, cinema, creative writing, dance, graphic design, music, and theatre. Although the artistic work studied in such a course may include language, courses that focus exclusively or primarily on pre-existing written texts will not satisfy this requirement but rather the Humanities requirement.



Oral Communication Courses

are discipline (or program) based, just like Composition courses.

base at least 25 percent of the course grade in a four-credit course on oral presentations, including critiques of such presentations and other listening skills. In a two-credit course, 50 percent of the grade must be based on oral communication; in a one-credit course 100 percent.

provide ample opportunity for students to critique presentations, based on criteria such as:

rapport with audience

voice, projection, and audibility

clarity of purpose

originality of ideas

organization

persuasiveness of evidence

ability to respond to questions

provide as much as possible for students to improve their oral presentations in response to feedback

may organize the assignments in various forms: one instructor may assign three to five short oral presentations throughout the term and another may build towards one or two major presentations. Oral presentations may be collaborative as well as individual and may be closely related to writing assignments.

should emphasize listening as well as speaking skills

are limited to 25 students when taught without teaching assistants.

Larger courses may be oral courses as long as they regularly divide into discussion sections that emphasize oral communication instruction and student presentations.