SUNY Outcomes in General Education

In 1999, the SUNY Provost's Advisory Task Force on General Education established general education learning outcomes that every SUNY campus was to adopt by Fall 2000. Geneseo responded to this new system-wide requirement by demonstrating how Geneseo students were already meeting most of these outcomes through the College's existing general education curriculum, and by working the handful of additional outcomes into the curriculum.

As a result, Geneseo has maintained the integrity of its general education curriculum, which dates to the early 1980's. You can view a table analyzing the correspondence between Geneseo's curriculum and the SUNY outcome areas. However, for the most part, gen ed area chairs and program assessment coordinators need only concern themselves with Geneseo's locally developed learning outcomes.

Campus-Based Assessment of SUNY Gen Ed Outcomes

In addition to the task force on general education, the SUNY Provost's office established the Advisory Task Force on the Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes to develop a mechanism for assessing the new SUNY-wide general education learning outcomes. This second task force gave rise to the General Education Assessment Review (GEAR) group, established in spring 2001. GEAR's initial charge was to oversee the development of campus-based general education assessment plans. The group continues to review campus-based plans, and it conducts periodic seminars and workshops in general education assessment. GEAR's website includes an archive of documents related to the development and oversight of the SUNY Assessment Initiative, as well as news about conferences and examples of "best practices" in general education assessment.

Geneseo's Plan for General Education Assessment and accompanying Tools for General Education Assessment (consisting mainly of scoring rubrics) were approved by GEAR in 2002.

Strengthened Campus-Based Assessment


From the start, the SUNY assessment initiative envisioned the adoption of some assessment measures that would not be unique to individual campuses. In fall 2006, GEAR began requiring all SUNY campuses to conduct "Strengthened Campus-Based Assessment" (SCBA) in three SUNY general education areas: Critical Thinking, Basic Communication (written), and Mathematics.

Assessment in these areas is "strengthened" by the requirement that campuses collect assessment data capable of comparison to either national or SUNY-wide norms. It nevertheless remains "campus-based" because campuses may choose among several methods for meeting this requirement and need not administer standardized tests.

Geneseo has chosen to meet the requirement by adopting, with slight modification, rubrics developed by faculty panels assembled through GEAR. The table below shows how the three SUNY General Education areas correspond to Geneseo's General Education Curriculum and contains links to the Geneseo rubrics for these areas.

SUNY Gen Ed Area

Geneseo Gen Ed Area


Critical Thinking

Critical Writing/Reading

Critical Thinking/Writing Rubric

Basic Communication (written)

Critical Writing/Reading

see above


Numeric/Symbolic Reasoning

Numeric/Symbolic Rubric


The SCBA initiative includes a commitment from the SUNY Provost's office to help campuses fund certain aspects of assessment. The commitment was announced in a July, 2006 memo from Provost Salins. More details on SCBA funding (including procedures for completing an expense report for purposes of reimbursement) may be found in this fall, 2008 document from the Office of the SUNY Provost.

More Information

More information on SCBA may be found on the websites of the SUNY Provost and GEAR. A timeline of events from October, 2003 to July, 2006 related to the development of SCBA is here.