Undergraduate Catalog 2019-2020

General Education Requirements

The College of Staten Island's general education requirements are part of CUNY's Pathways Initiative which are comprised of the Common Core and the College Option.  

I. Common Core 30 credits

The Common Core is comprised of the Required and Flexible Core.  This is required for all AA, AS, and bachelor's degree programs. 

A. Required Core: 12 credits

The Required Core is comprised of four courses: two in English Composition, one in Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning, and one in Life and Physical Sciences.

  1. 6 credits of “English Composition” (RECR)
  2. 3 (or more) credits of “Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning” (RMQR)
  3. 3 (or more) credits of “Life and Physical Sciences” (RLPR)

B. Flexible Core: 18 credits

The Flexible Core is comprised of six courses, with at least one course from each of the following five areas and no more than two courses in any discipline or interdisciplinary field: World Cultures and Global Issues, U.S. Experience in its Diversity, Creative Expression, Individual and Society, and Scientific World.

  1. World Cultures and Global Issues (FWGR)
  2. U.S. Experience in its Diversity (FUSR)
  3. Creative Expression (FCER)
  4. Individual and Society (FISR)
  5. Scientific World (FSWR)

II. The College Option: 6-12 credits

The College Option requirements is comprised of 200-level or higher, except for the laboratory and language courses, and ranges from 6 to 12, depending on whether a student transferred into the college and, if so, how many credits he or she had at the time of transfer. 

Specifics of the Pathways Framework at the College of Staten Island

The guiding principle of the College of Staten Island's Pathways Framework was to retain the CSI General Education requirements with as little loss and disruption as possible and grounded in liberal arts education.

Specifically, the General Education Committee believed that BS degree programs (excepting the Business with International Business concentration, Communications, Dramatic Arts, Music, and Social Work), which did not include a language requirement, where not obliged to add this component to the general education provisions.

CUNY AAS Students

Although specific requirements vary by degree program, all CUNY AAS students must complete part of the Common Core. AAS students must also meet the regulations of the New York State Department of Education, which requires that students must complete at least 20 liberal arts credits to earn an AAS degree.  The AAS degree programs at CSI are: Business (AAS), Computer Technology (AAS), and the Nursing (AAS) degrees. If an AAS student later transfers to an AA, AS, or bachelor’s degree program, that student will need to complete any part of the Common Core that he or she has not yet completed.

STEM Waivers

CSI has received STEM waivers from CUNY for certain CSI degree programs to specify particular courses students must take in STEM areas of the Common Core, the Flexible Core and/or the College Option. If students take different courses other than those specified in these areas, they will be certified as having completed the General Education areas, but it may not be possible for them to finish their degree program within the regular number of credits. 

The degree programs at CSI with STEM waivers are: Chemistry (BS), Biochemistry (BS), Computer Science (BS), Engineering Science (AS), Engineering Science (BS), Electrical Engineering (BS), the Medical Technology (BS), Nursing (BS), Physics (BS) and Physics (7-12) (BS).

CSI General Education Goals

Preamble:  To develop foundations for life-­‐long learning, promote engagement with important local and global issues, and foster intellectual knowledge, practical skills, and ethical judgment, we propose the following as the College of Staten Island’s General Education Goals, not as a substitute for our distribution requirements, but as an opportunity to broaden the scope of general education throughout the College.

 KNOWLEDGE Intercultural Knowledge
knowledge of human cultures through study in the social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, the arts, science and mathematics
engagement with overarching questions, both contemporary and enduring
analyzing and addressing transnational issues, including the role of the United States in the world
skills and knowledge that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts

Knowledge of the Physical and Natural World

knowledge of the physical and natural world through study in the sciences, mathematics, social sciences, humanities, and the arts
addressing important real-­‐world questions, both contemporary and enduring
engagement with global issues
exposure to the experimental method of science 
 SKILLS Critical and Creative Thinking
capacity to adapt knowledge, skills and responsibilities to new settings and questions
analytical and statistical reasoning, including computational thinking
exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and/or events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion
creativity and innovation
Quantitative and Mathematical Reasoning
mathematical reasoning
complex problem solving
solving quantitative problems from an array of contexts and situations
understanding and creating arguments supported by quantitative evidence
Written and Oral Communication
capacity to understand, develop and express ideas through writing and speech in clear, grammatical and appropriate ways
ability to present ideas using a variety of texts, information, styles, images and performances
producing effective communications while working individually or collaboratively
responsible and effective use of technological communications tools
Information and Technological Literacy
application of knowledge in real-­‐world settings
ability to determine the need for information
ability to recognize appropriate technological and other informational tools, and use them effectively and ethically
ability to identify, locate, evaluate, effectively and ethically use and share information
 Ethics Ethical Judgment and Personal Development 
ability to assess ethical values and the social context of issues
application of different ethical perspectives and consideration of the ramifications of alternative actions
an open and aware attitude toward the self and others and awareness of the ethical dimensions of human action whether individual or collective
critical engagement with issues such as beliefs, race, class, ethnicity, gender, ability, and sexuality, both locally and globally
Social Responsiblity and Civic Engagement
civic knowledge and engagement, both local and global
principled participation in activities of personal and public concern
engagement with global issues, including the role of the United States in the world
exposure to service-­‐based learning

CUNY Pathways Learning Outcomes

English Composition Pathways Learning Outcomes

A course in this area must meet all of the following learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Read and listen critically and analytically, including identifying an argument’s major assumptions and assertions and evaluating its supporting evidence.
  • Write clearly and coherently in varied, academic formats (such as formal essays, research papers, and reports) using standard English and appropriate technology to critique and improve one’s own and others’ texts.
  • Demonstrate research skills using appropriate technology, including gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources.
  • Support a thesis with well-reasoned arguments, and communicate persuasively across a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media.
  • Formulate original ideas and relate them to the ideas of others by employing the conventions of ethical attribution and citation.

Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning Pathways Learning Outcomes

A course in this area must meet all of the following learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Interpret and draw appropriate inferences from quantitative representations, such as formulas, graphs, or tables.
  • Use algebraic, numerical, graphical, or statistical methods to draw accurate conclusions and solve mathematical problems.
  • Represent quantitative problems expressed in natural language in a suitable mathematical format.
  • Effectively communicate quantitative analysis or solutions to mathematical problems in written or oral form.
  • Evaluate solutions to problems for reasonableness using a variety of means, including informed estimation.
  • Apply mathematical methods to problems in other fields of study.

Life and Physical Science Pathways Learning Outcomes

A course in this area must meet all of the following learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a life or physical science.
  • Apply the scientific method to explore natural phenomena, including hypothesis development, observation, experimentation, measurement, data analysis, and data presentation.
  • Use the tools of a scientific discipline to carry out collaborative laboratory investigations.
  • Gather, analyze, and interpret data and present it in an effective written laboratory or fieldwork report.
  • Identify and apply research ethics and unbiased assessment in gathering and reporting scientific data.

Pathways Flexible Core Learning Outcomes

All Flexible Core courses must meet the following three learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Gather, interpret, and assess information from a variety of sources and points of view.
  • Evaluate evidence and arguments critically or analytically.
  • Produce well-reasoned written or oral arguments using evidence to support conclusions.

World Cultures and Global Issues Pathways Learning Outcomes

A course in this area must meet at least three of the following additional learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a discipline or interdisciplinary field exploring world cultures or global issues, including, but not limited to, anthropology, communications, cultural studies, economics, ethnic studies, foreign languages (building upon previous language acquisition), geography, history, political science, sociology, and world literature.
  • Analyze culture, globalization, or global cultural diversity, and describe an event or process from more than one point of view.
  • Analyze the historical development of one or more non-U.S. societies.
  • Analyze the significance of one or more major movements that have shaped the world’s societies. 
  • Analyze and discuss the role that race, ethnicity, class, gender, language, sexual orientation, belief, or other forms of social differentiation play in world cultures or societies.
  • Speak, read, and write a language other than English, and use that language to respond to cultures other than one’s own.

U.S. Experience in Its Diversity Pathways Learning Outcomes

A course in this area must meet at least three of the following additional learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a discipline or interdisciplinary field exploring the U.S. experience in its diversity, including, but not limited to, anthropology, communications, cultural studies, economics, history, political science, psychology, public affairs, sociology, and U.S. literature.
  • Analyze and explain one or more major themes of U.S. history from more than one informed perspective.
  • Evaluate how indigenous populations, slavery, or immigration have shaped the development of the United States.
  • Explain and evaluate the role of the United States in international relations.
  • Identify and differentiate among the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government and analyze their influence on the development of U.S. democracy.
  • Analyze and discuss common institutions or patterns of life in contemporary U.S. society and how they influence, or are influenced by, race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, belief, or other forms of social differentiation

Creative Expression Learning Outcomes

A course in this area must meet at least three of the following additional learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a discipline or interdisciplinary field exploring creative expression, including, but not limited to, arts, communications, creative writing, media arts, music, and theater.
  • Analyze how arts from diverse cultures of the past serve as a foundation for those of the present, and describe the significance of works of art in the societies that created them.
  • Articulate how meaning is created in the arts or communications and how experience is interpreted and conveyed.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the skills involved in the creative process.
  • Use appropriate technologies to conduct research and to communicate.

Individual and Society Pathways Learning Outcomes

A course in this area must meet at least three of the following additional learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a discipline or interdisciplinary field exploring the relationship between the individual and society, including, but not limited to, anthropology, communications, cultural studies, history, journalism, philosophy, political science, psychology, public affairs, religion, and sociology.
  • Examine how an individual’s place in society affects experiences, values, or choices.
  • Articulate and assess ethical views and their underlying premises.
  • Articulate ethical uses of data and other information resources to respond to problems and questions.
  • Identify and engage with local, national, or global trends or ideologies, and analyze their impact on individual or collective decision-making.

Scientific World Pathways Learning Outcomes

A course in this area must meet at least three of the following additional learning outcomes. A student will:

  • Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a discipline or interdisciplinary field exploring the scientific world, including, but not limited to: computer science, history of science, life and physical sciences, linguistics, logic, mathematics, psychology, statistics, and technology-related studies.
  • Demonstrate how tools of science, mathematics, technology, or formal analysis can be used to analyze problems and develop solutions.
  • Articulate and evaluate the empirical evidence supporting a scientific or formal theory.
  • Articulate and evaluate the impact of technologies and scientific discoveries on the contemporary world, such as issues of personal privacy, security, or ethical responsibilities.
  • Understand the scientific principles underlying matters of policy or public concern in which science plays a role.