Mission of the Interdisciplinary Studies Programs
The major and minor programs within Interdisciplinary Studies constitute one curriculum code area within the Inventory of Registered Programs with New York State Education Department (NYSED) and within the State University of New York (SUNY) system. These programs satisfy a variety of student/faculty/programmatic needs at SUNY Fredonia:
1. New undergraduate major and minor programs can be housed under the Interdisciplinary Studies umbrella for the purposes of program development. While in this incubator stage, the curricula will be initiated, developed, refined and tested under the direction of a coordinator. At some point, an academic department might decide to adopt the major or minor, at which time the program would move out of Interdisciplinary Studies and into the department.
2. Some of the undergraduate major and minor programs, even though completely developed, are cross-disciplinary to the extent that no department feels that the program would meet their mission criteria. In those cases, the programs would continue to stay housed in Interdisciplinary Studies.
3. The self-design program serves as an entry point for students who want to design their own major or a safety net for those students who are in good standing with the university but not with their chosen major department. With as little as one semester remaining in their program, they can declare Self-Design as a major and graduate with a B.A., B.S., M.A. or M.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies. This degree is, in essence, a general studies degree, meeting all SUNY and NYSED requirements for graduation.
4. Undergraduate students can also declare Self-Design as a minor to complement their major program of study.Even though no actual Department of Interdisciplinary Studies exists, there is an advisory Coordinator Council that meets twice a year in order to share concerns, successes and ideas. This council does not create policy, but is advisory to the Associate Provost for Curriculum and Academic Support and the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research. The two Associate Vice Presidents sit on the Vice President's Advisory Council, which serves as a policy-generating body.