New General Education Requirements Underway

As Part of the Second Phase of General Education Revisions, the amount of GE categories will decrease and amount of competencies will increase. Photo Courtesy of Nick Young for Nyphotographic.

On April 14, the General Education (GE) board discussed the future of SUNY General Education. The discussion was held online via WebEx, where faculty was invited to discuss a new report from SUNY that showcases a multitude of revisions to the GE policies. 

SUNY’s General Education Advisory Committee issued a report in March, that included a revised and restructured plan for GE categories. A main change will be reducing the number of categories and instead increase the number of competencies.  

The meeting began at 3:30 p.m. on and ended at 4:45 p.m.

 “The GE Board meeting will focus on how the proposed changes may impact departments and programs at New Paltz, and feedback gathered at that meeting will be incorporated into a report to Interim Provost Barbara Lyman,” said an announcement posted on the New Paltz News site on April 6.

The same post also wrote that all SUNY faculty and staff are invited to provide feedback and comments on the Advisory Committee report via a survey. It is asked that the survey be submitted no later than April 26.

The GE Board and the Associate Provost for Strategic Planning and Assessment Laurel M. Garrick Duhaney will be collecting the feedback from staff, faculty, administration and students and report it back to Interim Provost Lyman who will send it to the GEAC. Then the GEAC will work towards adding the feedback into their plans for New Paltz. 

“If these proposed changes are passed, it will introduce some major changes to the GE program across SUNY. Specifically, it changes the GE categories and competencies,” said Committee Chair and Associate Philosophy Professor Rebecca Longtin, Ph.D. “This means SUNY New Paltz will have to make changes to our GE program so that it meets the requirements of the new GE framework. This will involve developing a proposal to revise our GE program, having administrators, faculty, students, and staff discuss the proposal, voting on it, then implementing the changes (all of which will take years).” 

“In the Fall of 2019, the General Education Advisory Committee (GEAC) was charged by then Provost Tod Laursen to ‘develop policy recommendations for a cohesive University-wide general education framework by Spring 2021,’” reads the committee report. 

“This report is the result of a three-phased shared-governance review and revision process conducted by the General Education Advisory Committee (GEAC) that began in fall 2017,” Longtin said.  “It’s important to note that the proposed changes are meant to incorporate more diversity into GE requirements.”

In 1998, the SUNY Board of Trustees created a 30-credit General Education Requirement. The requirements were made to guarantee that all students receiving a baccalaureate degree would have knowledge and skills in ten different areas: American History, Arts, Basic Communication, Foreign Language, Humanities, Math, Natural Sciences, Other World Civilizations, Social Sciences and Western Civilization

These revisions will be the second of a three-phased process to change the SUNY General Education requirements after twenty-plus years of the same requirements. 

The report provides an overview of the proposed revisions, “the proposed revised General Education framework represents a shift from the current SUNY-GER list of 10 knowledge areas with two competencies, to a more evenly balanced mix of eight knowledge areas and six core competencies.”

Additionally, any questions about the GE Advisory Committee report should be sent to Associate Provost of Strategic Planning and Assessment Laurel M. Garrick Duhaney at

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About Zoe Woolrich 56 Articles
Zoe Woolrich (she/her) is the Editor-in-Chief of The Oracle. Over the past five semesters she has served as Copy Editor, News Editor and Managing Editor. She is fourth-year media management major from New York City. You can contact her at