Jul 12, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Programs

Center for Teaching Excellence

The Center for Teaching Excellence at SUNY Plattsburgh promotes and supports strategies and activities that strengthen our faculty’s teaching on behalf of our students. The Center sponsors workshops on pedagogies and teaching practices, facilitates discussions on teaching in organized faculty learning communities, and provides consultative assistance to the faculty on a wide range of issues that concern teaching. The Center is located in Room 301 Feinberg Library, phone 518-564-3043.

Center for the Study of Canada

Established in 1975, the Center for the Study of Canada is dedicated to promoting and providing comprehensive scholarly professional development programs on Canada to academic, government, and business constituents in the United States. Recognized as a Title VI National Resource Center on Canada by the United States Department of Education since 1983, the Center is at the forefront of innovative Canadian-focused curricular, research, and program initiatives. Center staff plan and implement an extensive national educational outreach program that includes workshops, seminars, institutes and conferences.

The Center is located in a beautiful home at 133 Court St. This setting serves as an ideal locale for receiving distinguished guests who visit the campus each semester, as a teacher resource center, and as headquarters for the dissemination of information to promote teaching, research and professional development initiatives on Canada.

English as a Second Language (ESL)/English Bridge Program

ESL courses and services are offered to international students or to resident non-native speakers of English. Students with TOEFL scores of 450 to 477 (45-53 IBT) are generally placed at the intermediate level of the English Bridge Program (EBP). Students with scores of 480-507 (54-63 IBT) are generally placed into both intermediate and advanced level courses. Students with scores of 510 to 537 (64-75 IBT) are generally placed at the advanced level. Students at both levels are enrolled in 15 to 18 credit hours in the EBP. (Please see the table below.) Students earn academic credits for courses taken at the advanced level. In addition to the ESL courses, the more proficient students (those who have scores above 520 [68, IBT]) may also take one or more general education courses or courses in their major. The objectives of the EBP are to provide English-language skills, academic study skills, and familiarity with U.S. culture, which enable students to function successfully at the university level.


The ESL Program coordinates with other programs to offer students additional services. Students are referred to the Learning Center for tutoring for their ESL classes. They are referred to Student Support Services for extended-time testing and help with lecture notes. The Speech and Hearing Clinic offers group and individual instruction in pronunciation and conversation for students enrolled in ESL conversation classes. Literacy Volunteers in Hawkins Hall also provide tutoring or conversation practice for ESL students. The ESL Program and the English Department coordinate ESL sections of ENG 100  and ENG 101 . In particular, students in the ESL sections of ENG 101  are encouraged to take ESL 110  a critical reading course. Some departments offer courses structured for ESL or international students. For example, the Communication Department offers international sections of CMM 101 , Introduction to Public Speaking.


Honors Program

The Honors Program is a special program of educational opportunities; it is a sign of the college’s commitment to provide the best education for its best students, and its recognition that most students realize the quality of their education will help determine their future. The program unites students and faculty in small seminars and research projects that enable students to have greater freedom and responsibility for their education.

The program assumes that excellence can be achieved in any area of formal study, and that the most satisfying and rewarding form of learning occurs when curiosity is aroused.

The program helps students realize their educational goals in two levels. The first, General Honors, is designed for freshmen and sophomores. Students complete four special honors seminars in approximately their first four semesters. Each seminar is limited to about 15 students and is taught by faculty who have a reputation of excellence in teaching. Seminar topics vary and most seminars satisfy a general education requirement. Through student representatives on the Honors Council, all students in the program can participate in the development of the General Honors seminars.

The second level of this program is Advanced Honors. Ordinarily juniors and seniors are admitted to this portion of the program. Advanced Honors work continues the goals and ideals of General Honors, except the work is focused in the student’s major and requires that students design and carry out a project in research, in performance, in fieldwork, or whatever else would be appropriate to a particular major. Students share the results of their project with others. A number of academic programs have developed Advanced Honors opportunities for their students. Students should inquire about the availability of Advanced Honors opportunities in their field of study at the Honors Center.

The program continually searches for and implements innovative and challenging educational experiences. For example, specially designed learning communities are sometimes offered which associate an Honors Seminar with one or two non-honors courses related by subject and content. Occasionally, distance-learning experiences are available which allow students to work with faculty at other colleges and universities in the United States.

Admission to the Honors Program is likely on a space-available basis for any interested student whose high school average is 92 or above and whose combined SAT score is 1200 or above, or whose GPA is 3.5 or higher. Students who do not meet these standards but who would like to be in the program are frequently admitted after consultation with the Honors Program director.

Facilities include seminar rooms, a computer lab, a small library, and a pleasant study/lounge area. Students may contact us at Redcay Honors Center, Hawkins Hall 121-123, 518-564-3075, or visit plattsburgh.edu/academics/honors/ .

Institute for Ethics in Public Life

In its mission statement, SUNY Plattsburgh has identified fostering students’ commitment to ethical values and responsible citizenship as major objectives. This requires that students acquire an understanding of ethical sensitivity and reasoning in terms of their future professional roles, as well as in their public responsibilities as citizens. To enable the college to meet this commitment to its students, the Institute for Ethics in Public Life was established on the campus in 1998. The purpose of the institute is to provide faculty with the opportunity and support for sustained review of ethical issues in their disciplines, with the intent that they will then be able to construct for students, both in their own courses and through curriculum leadership within their departments, newly designed educational experiences. These experiences will provide students with an understanding of ethical sensitivity and reasoning especially as they relate to their professional preparation.

Each semester three faculty members are selected as fellows at the institute, where they work at developing their skills in teaching ethics and civic responsibility.

Study Abroad and Exchanges

Study abroad programs offer students an opportunity to explore new and exciting cultures while studying at internationally respected institutions. In this era of global economics, Internet communications, and worldwide technological advancement, an understanding of other cultures and languages has become increasingly important.

SUNY Plattsburgh currently has study abroad agreements with institutions in Australia, Canada, China, England, Germany, Japan, Spain and more. Students may also apply to more than 600 programs in more than 60 countries through other SUNY institutions. These programs provide students with opportunities to become immersed in the academic and cultural life of the host countries. Specifically, students may study the language, literature, art, culture, geography, history, economy, government, and social institutions of individual countries and world regions. Courses are offered in all academic fields (French, Spanish, business, literature, science, computer science, history, politics, sociology, geography, and anthropology, to mention a few). Students who meet the minimum GPA requirement of 2.5 are eligible to apply for many of the study abroad programs administered by SUNY Plattsburgh or other SUNY institutions.

Credits earned through a SUNY study abroad program may be applicable toward a student’s degree requirements at SUNY Plattsburgh provided a grade that would be acceptable at SUNY Plattsburgh is earned in the course. However, before going abroad students must submit a Study Away Course Approval form (available at the Global Education Office) in order to have the courses they plan to take evaluated for SUNY Plattsburgh equivalences. The final grades and credit hours are recorded on the Plattsburgh transcript but are not automatically factored into the student’s GPA. The minimum grade for a study abroad course to count as SUNY Plattsburgh credit is D, unless a higher grade is required (e.g. C for ENG 101 ).

Students who have participated in a SUNY-approved study abroad program (outside the U.S.) may request to have the grades earned in that program count in their GPA. If such an election is made, it must include all the courses computed in the specific program (including any D’s and E’s), and the request must reach the Registrar’s Office no more than one semester after completion of the study abroad course work and prior to final degree clearance. Contact the Registrar’s Office for more information, registrar@plattsburgh.edu or 518-564-2100.

All students must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours at SUNY Plattsburgh. Students completing their final course in a SUNY study abroad and/or student exchange program are exempt from the requirement that 30 of their last 36 credits be completed at Plattsburgh. Any semester-long, (fall or spring), approved, satisfactorily completed study abroad program will satisfy the Integration requirement (Global Issues) of the General Education Program.

Detailed information on all SUNY programs, including eligibility requirements, cost and application forms, is available at the Global Education Office, Kehoe 210, 518-564-3287, or via email at geo@plattsburgh.edu. Interested students may also visit our website at studyabroad.plattsburgh.edu.

NOTE: Plattsburgh students participating in SUNY study abroad programs may apply for special scholarships through the Global Education Office. Certain eligibility criteria apply.

Short-Term Study Abroad Programs

SUNY Plattsburgh offers various short-term study abroad programs throughout the year. The destinations and number change annually. In the past, programs have taken place in Mexico, France, China, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Martinique, Canada, and England. Students interested in current short-term programs should contact the Global Education Office at geo@plattsburgh.edu or 518-564-3287.

National Student Exchange

The National Student Exchange (NSE) offers full-time undergraduate students an opportunity to study for a semester or academic year at one of nearly 200 member colleges and universities located throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and Canada. The purpose of the NSE is to provide students with the opportunity to access different courses, internships, or field studies while living in a different geographical and cultural setting. NSE offers two payment plans: Plan A where the student pays the host institution’s in-state tuition rate and Plan B where the student pays normal SUNY Plattsburgh tuition while attending another NSE institution. The NSE experience is seldom more expensive than attending your home institution, excluding travel.

Students eligible to participate in the NSE are usually sophomores, juniors, or seniors at the time of participation. All participants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher and demonstrate adaptability, motivation, and the ability to act as a good ambassador for their home campus.

Credits earned through participation in NSE may be applicable toward a student’s degree requirements at SUNY Plattsburgh provided a grade that would be acceptable at SUNY Plattsburgh is earned in the course. However, before participating in NSE students must submit a Permission for Off Campus Study form (available at the Global Education Office) in order to have the courses they plan to take evaluated for SUNY Plattsburgh equivalences. The final grades and credit hours are recorded on the Plattsburgh transcript but are not factored into the student’s GPA.

The NSE Directory of participating campuses, applications, and college catalogs for participating campuses are available at the Global Education Office, Kehoe 210; geo@plattsburgh.edu, 518-564-3287.