October 4, 2011
(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Oct. 4, 2011) – SUNY Empire State College President Alan R. Davis today announced the college has joined the Open Education Resource university as the first anchor partner in the United States.
Further, the college has established a presence on the WikiEducator community website facilitated by the Open Education Resource Foundation. “By joining OERu as the first United States’ anchor partner and participating in advancing open educational resources, Empire State College will expand its own reach far beyond our 35 locations around the state and extend the national and global reach for SUNY,” said Davis. “Most importantly, we will join the global community of learners who contribute to and benefit from the expansion and dissemination of open educational resources.”
WikiEducator acts as a collaborative node for the OERu concept and aids in achieving goals such as the planning of educational projects to develop free open education resources and to develop free content for e-learning.
As an organization, the OERu has two primary goals: First, OERu seeks to provide free learning opportunities using open education resources to learners worldwide and secondly to provide avenues for learners to obtain credible qualifications from recognized institutions of higher learning.
“Empire State College is a globally recognized pioneer in the evolution of the ‘open curriculum’ drawing on the vision and foresight of its American founder, Ernest Boyer,” said Wayne Mackintosh, director of the OER Foundation. “The OER university network is privileged to stand on the shoulders of an open learning ‘giant’ and to join forces with New York’s open university in this international collaboration to widen access to more sustainable learning futures.”
“Open education has the power to educate millions of people around the world,” said SUNY Empire State College Provost Meg Benke. “SUNY Empire State College’s belief in a just society is evident in both the mission statement and the many core commitments we strive to make as a community of learners. As a practical matter, the college acknowledges multiple avenues of learning and prior college-level learning and evaluates this learning through a clear process for awarding credit for college-level learning, which is what OERu is all about.”
As such we use the lowercase "u" to refer to the OER university collaboration. The OER university is not a formal teaching institution and does not confer degrees or qualifications -- but works in partnership with accredited educational institutions to provide credit for OER learning on the pathway to awarding credible credentials.
About SUNY Empire State College
Celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout 2011, SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York. Students learn through independent studies, online courses, seminars and residencies. Learners also may earn credit for prior college-level learning from work and life experience.
The college serves more than 20,200 students worldwide at 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 63,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, not-for-profit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.
For additional information, visit www.esc.edu. More information about the college’s 40th anniversary is available on the college’s 40th anniversary web page.
David M. Henahan, Director of Communications 518-587-2100, ext. 2918 David.Henahan@esc.edu
518-321-7038(after 5 p.m. and weekends)