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Liberal Education Committee

Liberal Education Committee


The Liberal Education Committee


History and Charge

Current Documents

Your Input




History and Charge

In April of 2012, the faculty voted to approve the recommendations of the Liberal Education Ad Hoc Committee. Subsequently, a new committee was formed, which composition was determined by faculty vote in September of 2012.


  • Regularly engage all sectors of the campus community in discussion of the ratified liberal education philosophy, principles, and goals. Our plan calls for a shared liberal education philosophy.
  • Offer the community several scenarios for realizing Liberal Education and SUNY GE goals without adding to the current 39-42 credits of New Paltz GE III. Make recommendations for the integration of SUNY GE goals within a four-year liberal education plan.
  • Work with Provost to secure appropriate faculty and administrative support and professional development to put new curricular proposals into place.** Discuss and appropriately consult to determine the specific needs of transfer students. Make a recommendation to the community about whether transfer students should follow a modified liberal education program. Make specific recommendations for such a modified plan.
  • Determine the objectives for skills at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels for critical thinking, oral communication, written communication, information literacy, and ethical reasoning. The Committee may wish to consult or adopt AAC & U rubrics already designed for these skills.
  • Determine a mechanism for affording all students multiple opportunities to practice these skills and for assuring that they can achieve them at advanced levels.
  • Identify or propose curricular structures for each of the Ad Hoc committee principles and curricular proposals.**
  • Determine which General Education goals the first-year seminar will meet.
  • Develop guidelines for and call for faculty proposals of STEM-enhanced courses.
  • Make a recommendation for ensuring that all students complete a capstone in accordance with the Liberal Ed proposal for capstone courses.

*Note that the Liberal Education committee has already outlined possible scenarios for the first-year seminar. See May 9 Resolutions.

**Proposals that will require particular support for faculty include:

Training faculty to implement an interdisciplinary and preferably co-taught first-year seminar.
The application of disciplinary learning to human or community needs




Current Documents

In March 2014 the Liberal Education Committee made the following documents available:







During the faculty meetings in April 2014, the following amendments to the proposal were voted upon and passed:

  • Natural Science requirement:      In the table at page 2, line 19, of the original proposal, replace the NSCI line with the following:

    1 or 2 Students must have credit for at least one 4-credit NSCI course with attached lab, which may be satisfied as a 3 credit course + a 1-credit lab, or two 3 credit courses with inquiry based components.


  • STEM requirement:  The STEM-enhanced requirement has been removed.
  • Eng 110: This is a required course focusing on writing skills critical to academic success. It may be alternately fulfilled through an AP test score of 4 or above (with equivalent scores for CLEP and IB exams); college credit for equivalent coursework completed during high school; or by placement based on evidence of strong academic writing skills.


Also in April 2014, a substitute proposal put forth by Professor Bruce Milem was passed.  This, with subsequent amendments and another pending substitute proposal, is what is currently on the table for Faculty Governance.

The Liberal Education Committee is currently working to pursue other options that will promote liberal education while addressing faculty concerns.




Your input

Campus Involvement

In addition to meeting with several units and individuals to address specific aspects of the proposal, the Liberal Education Committee held one public forum in April 2013 and five public forums in Fall 2013.  Representatives from the LEC met with nearly every academic department in early 2014 to incorporate feedback before releasing the proposal in March 2014.  Our two student representatives have kept the student body up to date with our deliberations and brought back student opinions on these topics.


Your input is important throughout this process. Please send comments to Megan Ferguson (fergusom@newpaltz.edu), Chair of the Liberal Education Committee, or to one of the other representatives.