THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF
Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee
May 30, 2006
Goals 2 and 4
Issue for Decision (Consent Agenda)
Should the Regents authorize the amendment of the master plan of the State University of New York in order for the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill to offer a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Agricultural Biotechnology?
††††††††† Required by State regulation.
††††††††† This question will
come before the Higher Education and Professional Practice Committee at its
June 2006 meeting where it will be voted on and action taken.† It will then come before the full Board at
its June 2006 meeting for final action.
††††††††† Master plan
amendment is required because this would be the Collegeís first baccalaureate
degree program in the discipline of Biological Sciences.
At its March 13, 2006 meeting, the State University Board of Trustees adopted a resolution to amend the State University Master Plan to authorize the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill to offer instruction leading to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Agricultural Biotechnology. A master plan amendment is necessary as the proposed program will be the Collegeís first baccalaureate degree program in the MPA discipline of Biological Sciences.
††††††††† The Department has
determined that the proposed program, if approved, would meet the standards for
registration set forth in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.
It is recommended that the Board of Regents approve an amendment to the master plan of the State University of New York authorizing the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill to offer a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Agricultural Biotechnology.†
Timetable for Implementation
††††††††† This amendment will
be effective until June 20, 2007, unless the program is registered by the
Department prior to that date, in which case master plan amendment shall be
in Support of Recommendation
proposed program leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural
Biotechnology† will prepare graduates either for transfer to related
graduate programs in the fields of biotechnology, molecular biology, cellular
biology, and agricultural biotechnology or to gain immediate employment in the
biotechnology industry, government, and universities with research and
technology applications to agriculture and food production. Students in the proposed program will complete 127 credit hours of
undergraduate coursework.† All students
will be expected to take a minimum of 58 hours of major-specific courses,
including an independent study project in their area of interest and/or an
internship in the agricultural biotechnology industry.† The program requirements include a sequence
of biology, chemistry, and related mathematics courses.† Students take advanced specialization courses
focused on modern cellular biology, genetics, and molecular biology as they
relate to organisms important in agriculture.
Applicants to the proposed program must have
a minimum high school average of 80 percent and a minimum SAT score of 1050,
with strong mathematics and science courses taken at the high school
level.† Transfer students must have a
minimum 2.0 GPA with a completion of the major's biology and chemistry sequence
(grade of C or better) and at least one college-level mathematics course (grade
of C or better).
SUNY Cobleskill projects an enrollment of 15
students for the first year of the program, growing to at least 25 students
within three years.† As this will be only
the third such program in the nation, and as the demand for research into
agricultural genetics increases, the College expects that the recruiting base
will extend beyond its typical catchment area.
appropriate level of resources has been allocated for the implementation and
continuation of the proposed program.†
of the Natural Sciences Department and the
Although there are several generic programs
in biology in New York that offer biotechnology concentrations, SUNY
Cobleskillís program would be the first baccalaureate program in the State
specific to agricultural biotechnology, with the next closest at the University
of Kentucky. One of the largest growth areas in biotechnology is in the area of
genetic enhancement of agriculturally important organisms (e.g., salt
tolerance, immunotolerance, pest resistance). Conversations with faculty at two
graduate institutions (Cornell and SUNY Albany) have resulted in preliminary
discussions on articulations to graduate programs in related disciplines; for
example, Plant Cell and Molecular Biology doctoral programs.†
Department conducted a canvass of all degree-granting institutions in the Northeast region to access the possible
adverse impact the proposed program would have on them.† None of the institutions that responded cited
any adverse impact or objected to the proposed program.† In fact, all responses received supported the