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Learning outcomes

  • Learning outcomes must be published on the course syllabus, along with other information.
  •  SBC Learning outcomes on the syllabus should be copied verbatim from those that are defined in the Bulletin.  The learning outcomes on the syllabus should adhere to the minimum "standards," as defined for each SBC category in the Bulletin. The faculty author of the course must specify (a) which SBC learning outcomes they are teaching in the course by using verbatim language from the Bulletin and (b) what learning activity(ies) align(s) with each SBC outcome in the context of the class.
  • Faculty must make every attempt to deliver the stated learning outcomes as approved for each course for each semester the course is offered and for each section of the course.  The learning objectives should not vary depending upon who is teaching the course.  It is incumbent upon the department chair or director to review the syllabus of each course to ensure that the learning objectives are delivered.

Double and Triple certifications

  • In general, you can combine up to two "content" areas (demonstrate versatility, pursue deeper understanding) with up to two "skills" areas (prepare for life-long learning).  STAS counts as two "content" areas  since it is by design an interdisciplinary category, so you can double certify STAS with up to one "skill" area (prepare for life-long learning).
  • Some courses might be designed in such a manner that they fulfill the learning outcomes of two or three areas. Students who pass this course will fulfill requirements in two or three categories, if the courses are approved.
  • Multiple certification is limited to no more than THREE categories, with no more than TWO categories among “demonstrate versatility" and “pursue deeper understanding” PLUS no more than TWO from “prepare for life long learning.”  For example, valid triple certifications could include ARTS/SBS+/ESI or ARTS/ESI/CER or TECH/QPS/ESI. Invalid certifications would include ARTS/USA/STEM+ or ESI/CER/SPK.
  • Theoretically, a course may be double or triple certified, as long as (a) the learning outcomes of each certification are distinct and (b) each set of learning outcomes are satisfied according to the standards of each distinct category.  It would be unlikely that a course would be double certified as USA/SBS+ if the SBS+ objectives are predominantly focused on US history.  An important clue for the certification committee will be what prerequisites the course requires.  For example, a course proposed as USA/SBS+ with a prerequisite of “understanding of introductory US History” would likely not pass muster.  However, a course that introduces US history but has advanced discussions in another Social Science topic might be a good candidate for USA/SBS+ certification, as long as the sets are distinct.
  • STAS courses are meant to satisfy ONLY the STAS requirement, and may not carry multiple certifications.   By design, STAS courses are interdisciplinary, so double certification of STAS courses would imply that they are ALL double certified in some fashion.  STAS courses, however, can be double certified to satisfy “Prepare for Life Long Learning” 

Course Clusters and Themed Paths. See below.  For more information, please contact Scott Sutherland

  • Within the Stony Brook Curriculum (henceforth SBC), all requirements are defined in terms of learning objectives and standards, rather than specific courses.  In addition to helping clarify the goals of such requirements, doing this enables the SBC to have a variety of methods of achieving such goals.
  • Three related, but distinct, means of delivering parts of the SBC are multiply-certified courses, course clusters, and themed paths.
  • The first, multiple certification, is perhaps the easiest to describe.  If a single course is designed in such a way that it meets the standards of more than one category, it can be certified as meeting the requirements for more than one category.  There are some limitations on multiple certification, but that is described elsewhere.
  • A Course Cluster is a group of two or more courses that may not meet all of the standards for the requirements when taken individually, but when taken together, the learning objectives are covered.  There may be fewer or more requirements than the number of courses in a cluster.  For example, a single course might meet the USA requirement, and another course might meet the ARTS requirement, but when taken together, they cover enough sociology that the student who completes the pair of courses would fulfill the USA, ARTS, and HFA requirements.  Or, a sequence of courses required in a major might be structured so that no single course fulfills the standards for a category, but when taken as a whole, the standards are met. As an explicit example, several of the Honors College courses are structured in this way.
  • Finally, a Themed Path is a group of courses which fulfill SBC requirements, but focus on a specific theme or topic.  Such themes may be related to a major or minor, or may be just an area of interest.  The individual courses which make up a theme may be sequenced, or they may be such that students can take any number of them in any order.  They might be part of a cluster, or not.  As an example of a theme, a suggestion has been made to structure courses from the sciences, english, history, and technology around the idea of "interconnected systems".  Faculty teaching these courses would work to link the content of each to the other.  While individually these may only give the SNW, HFA, USA, and TECH categories, students would be energized by the common theme viewed from different perspectives.
  • From a requirements perspective, a themed path provides nothing that non-themed courses don't also provide. However, from an educational perspective, a themed path provides an interesting and exciting way for students to organize their curriculum around an area of interest to them, and gives a more personally meaningful way of exploring these areas.