2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog 
    May 30, 2024  
2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]


Message from the President

Welcome to SUNY Cortland. As the 10th president of the College, I am proud of this fine institution and its place within the State University of New York system.

SUNY Cortland has compiled an impressive record of accomplishment and is poised for even greater achievements. In particular, I am excited that teaching remains the central function of SUNY Cortland and that excellence in teaching continues to be its primary goal. I am also proud that the College is a place where faculty members are teacher-scholars who recognize and appreciate how scholarship and teaching can inform the learning process. Further, as a SUNY institution, the College shares SUNY's commitment to excellence and access, providing a quality education to many citizens who never could have afforded it otherwise.

Throughout the years, SUNY Cortland has met the needs of students of varying abilities and backgrounds, providing them with the opportunity and tools to meet educational, career and life objectives. Many of our more than 65,000 alumni are first-generation college graduates, and they occupy positions that run the gamut from teacher to performing artist to politician to stockbroker. Still, these alumni share common bonds, such as the lifetime friendships they developed on campus, and the faculty, staff members and coaches who motivated them to achieve more than they thought was possible. Frequently, too, SUNY Cortland students and graduates understand their responsibility to their communities and play an active service role in those communities.

Virtually any institution of higher education is capable of producing literate graduates who have mastered fundamental skills and knowledge. At SUNY Cortland, we strive for more: To produce graduates who can make a difference in an ever-changing world. As you review this catalog, take note of the qualities we emphasize in our programs, including: a solid knowledge base; writing, reading and speaking skills; problem solving and critical thinking; effective interpersonal communication; and the intelligent use of technology.

We also seek to develop these qualities within the context of challenges facing our world, such as the preservation of our environment; the appreciation of diversity and of art, music and theater; an understanding of history; the roots of prejudice; and the power of science and technology. In this way, we strive to prepare our students to apply what they know for the betterment of society, for "the common good."

Once more, welcome, and I hope this represents the beginning of a productive and lasting relationship between you and the College.

Erik J. Bitterbaum

Mission, Campus Priorities, Strategic Plan

SUNY Cortland 2010-2020
A Commitment to Excellence

Endorsed by the SUNY Cortland Faculty Senate on March 2, 2010, and approved by the president of the College on March 3, 2010.

Our Mission

SUNY Cortland is an academic community dedicated to diverse learning experiences. Students grow as engaged citizens with a strong social conscience fostered by outstanding teaching, scholarship and service.

Campus Priorities

Strategic Plan

The College and Cultural Diversity

State University of New York College at Cortland is dedicated to the affirmation and promotion of diversity in its broadest sense. The mission of the College requires that people of every background be able to study and work here with an expectation of respectful treatment.

The College seeks to establish standards of behavior that honor the dignity and worth of individuals regardless of gender, ethnicity, race, age, physical or mental abilities, religious beliefs, sexual and affectional orientation, or socioeconomic class.

A major goal for Cortland is to develop and maintain an atmosphere that supports learning about prejudice and discrimination so that the College community can strive to reduce it not only on campus but wherever it is encountered.

While open debate on diversity issues can often make discordant viewpoints more highly visible, the College recognizes the need for individuals to become educated about the effects of personal biases within an atmosphere of safety and respect.

An environment where it is safe to explore differences enables everyone to make more progress toward a campus community that celebrates, rather than simply tolerates, the richness inherent in the pluralism of the College.

All-College Student Learning Goal

All major programs of study at SUNY Cortland establish specific learning objectives for their students. On April 30, 1996, the College's Faculty Senate endorsed the All-College Student Learning Goal, a statement of desired learning outcomes for all who graduate from the College. This goal is stated as follows: A major expectation for all SUNY Cortland students at the point of graduation is that they possess the skills necessary to gather relevant information, evaluate it critically, and communicate it effectively to an audience in written and oral forms.

Assessment Philosophy

SUNY Cortland is committed to an ongoing assessment of its programs and services. Outcomes assessment offers a means of ascertaining the nature of our students' experiences as learners and as part of the College community. At the same time, students become more aware of the stages in the learning process through the reflection that assessment encourages. SUNY Cortland's assessment program helps students see their college experience in a larger context and take greater responsibility for their own education.

Assessment is closely tied to program enhancement, planning, and faculty and staff development. As faculty and staff members articulate their goals and reflect on the effects of their work, they discover new possibilities for meeting their own expectations and their students' needs.

SUNY Cortland views assessment as a shared responsibility. Faculty, students and staff are expected to participate in a variety of assessment activities, both in and out of class. The College's administration actively supports assessment by providing resources and recognizing faculty and staff efforts as significant service to the College. Our collective effort allows us to monitor ourselves in order to benefit students and to produce a satisfying college experience of high quality.

In an effort to obtain the fullest possible picture of their strengths and weaknesses, programs and units use multiple methods of evaluation, many of which are embedded in course work and program activities. Educational outcomes measures, portfolios, alumni and student opinion surveys, exit interviews, discipline-specific content tests, and course-teacher evaluations are among the most commonly-used approaches.

We see assessment as a dynamic process that provides all areas of the College with valuable information about how well we are accomplishing our objectives as an educational institution. Through outcomes assessment activities and what we learn from them, the College continually seeks to improve the quality of its offerings.

About SUNY Cortland

State University of New York College at Cortland traces its beginnings to 1868 and offers programs leading to the award of the bachelor of fine arts, bachelor's and master's degrees in the arts and sciences, education and in professional studies, as well as certificates of advanced study.

SUNY Cortland is a moderate-sized institution with approximately 6,000 undergraduate students and 1,300 graduate students. State assisted, Cortland is a charter member of the State University of New York. The College now has more than 60,000 living alumni, and Cortland graduates can be found in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and more than 40 foreign countries.

The campus is located in Cortland, a small city in the geographic center of New York state, adjacent to the Finger Lakes and within an hour's drive of Syracuse, Ithaca and Binghamton.

The College campus covers 191 acres located within walking distance of the city of Cortland’s business district.

The main campus is divided into three distinct areas. Most of the classroom buildings, the Memorial Library, the Miller Building, Brockway Hall and Cheney and DeGroat residence halls are found on the upper campus. The remaining residence halls, Education Building, Neubig Hall and Corey Union are at the center of the campus. The Professional Studies Building, Park Center, Lusk Field House, the Stadium Complex, athletic fields and tracks are located on the lower campus. Off-campus locations in Cortland include the Alumni House, Main Street SUNY Cortland, the McDonald Buidling and West Campus Apartments.

A shuttle bus service is operated between the lower and upper campuses when classes are in session.

The Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education manages the College's outdoor/environmental facilities: the Brauer Education Center in Selkirk, N.Y., the Hoxie Gorge Nature Preserve in Cortlandville, N.Y., and the Outdoor Education Center at Raquette Lake in the Adirondacks.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Office

Division of Academic Affairs
Miller Building, Room 408
(607) 753-2207
Fax: (607) 753-5993


Mark J. Prus, provost and vice president for academic affairs; Carol Van Der Karr, associate provost for academic affairs; Marley S. Barduhn, assistant provost for teacher education; Dennis Farnsworth, teacher education coordinator; Eunice Miller, senior staff assistant to the provost

Role of the Provost and Vice President

The provost acts in the absence of the president and serves as the chief academic officer, with responsibility for maintaining academic standards within the College and also has oversight for academic support programs. The office is responsible for development and application of College policies within the academic areas of the College, management of the academic affairs budget, review and approval of curriculum changes, review for recommendation to the president of all new academic positions, replacements, promotions, tenure decisions or continuing appointments, and assistance in the development of College responses to accreditation and other external mandates. The provost represents the College at various SUNY, regional and national meetings.

Role of the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs

The associate provost is a member of the provost's senior executive staff, reporting directly to the provost and vice president for academic affairs. The position is responsible for the overall coordination and support of SUNY Cortland's implementation of all curricular issues and programs.

Role of the Assistant Provost for Teacher Education   

The assistant provost is responsible for the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) process and all services that support campus-wide teacher education programs. These include the Teacher Education Council, Field Experience and School Partnerships Office, Professional Development School, Access to College Education (ACE), Liberty Partnerships Program and the Migrant Education Opportunity Program (MEOP).  

Role of the Teacher Education Coordinator

The teacher education coordinator facilitates preparations for the NCATE accreditation of all teacher education programs and assures that programs are in compliance with NCATE standards. This position also coordinates all Teacher Education Council and the Teacher Education Candidate Review Committee activities, including but not limited to scheduling, maintenance of records and the recording of minutes.

Role of the Senior Staff Assistant to the Provost

The senior staff assistant has responsibilities in the areas of academic dishonesty, national searches, special event planning and budgeting, and serves as the provost's liaison to a variety of groups.

Academic Centers and Programs Within the Office

Access to College Education (ACE)
Center for Environmental and Outdoor Education
Center for the 4th and 5th Rs
Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies
James M. Clark Center for International Education
College Writing Program
Cortland's Urban Recruitment of Educator's (C.U.R.E.) Program
Faculty Development Center
Field Experience and School Partnerships Office
Honors Program
Institute for Civic Engagement
Institute for Disability Studies
Liberty Partnerships Program
Migrant Education and Outreach Program (MEOP)
Undergraduate Research Council


Enrollment Managment and Marketing
Information Resources
Research and Sponsored Programs