Curriculum changes streamline new student degree requirements

( PHOTO CREDIT: SB.CC.STONYBROOK.EDU)

Starting fall 2014, new SBU students will follow the Stony Brook Curriculum rather than the Diversified Education Curriculum. ( PHOTO CREDIT: SB.CC.STONYBROOK.EDU)

To earn a degree from Stony Brook University, students need not only meet the requirements of his or her major but also those of the Diversified Education Curriculum, the purpose of which is to provide students with a general, well-rounded education to complement the narrower and more specialized focus of majors and minors offered.

But for those new SBU students beginning their college career in fall 2014, the system is different. As announced in an email by Dr. Charles Robbins, vice provost for Undergraduate Education and dean of the Undergraduate Colleges, any new students will follow the Stony Brook curriculum.

Robbins could not be reached for comment.

The learning objectives for the SBC are to “demonstrate versatility,” “explore interconnectedness,” “pursue deeper understanding” and “prepare for life-long learning,” according to the online undergraduate bulletin.

The current DEC system has courses classified in categories A through K, grouped in three tiers—”university skills,” “disciplinary diversity” and “expanding perspectives and cultural awareness.” Similarly, the SBC contains 10 fundamental learning objectives through which students can demonstrate versatility.

These categories include familiar areas such as global studies, humanities and writing, but also were expanded to incorporate different approaches to learning. Some new categories are quantitative problem solving, studying the natural world and experiential learning.

Some of these courses are intended to satisfy multiple requirements, also potentially contributing to a student’s major or minor. New areas of focus will help students to practice critical and ethical reasoning, evaluate and synthesize researched information, speak effectively before an audience and write effectively within one’s discipline.

One aspect remaining the same in the transition from DEC to SBC is the acceptance of advanced placement courses, challenge exams, placement tests, transfer credits and course waivers that currently allow students to place out of some course and fulfill learning objectives.

A new aspect of the SBC curriculum though, is that a minimum of 30 general education credits must be completed in college—not high school.

The Undergraduate Bulletin has already updated the course listings with their SBC designations, but DEC categories are still listed alongside these new labels.

Current matriculating students will continue to follow the DEC system.

In implementing the SBC system, Stony Brook intends to better prepare students for the world after college and provide more depth to a degree upon graduation.

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