May 18, 2012

EDUCAUSE®: SUNY Empire State College a Game Changer

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – May 18, 2012) The State University of New York Empire State College is the subject of an entire chapter in the new e-book “Game Changers: Education and Information Technologies” published by EDUCAUSE and available at no cost online.

According to the EDUCAUSE website, “Game Changers” is about how “institutions are finding new ways of achieving higher education’s mission without being crippled by constraints or overpowered by greater expectations.”

“'Game Changers' showcases institutions like Empire State College that are using innovative approaches and the tremendous potential of information technology to improve the educational experience for their students," said Diana Oblinger, president and CEO of EDUCAUSE. “At all levels and in all kinds of higher education settings we have examples of people and technology working together to help students achieve their goals — and to create long-term educational value for both students and society.”

Chapter 11: SUNY Empire State College: A Game Changer in Open Learning highlights, among many other aspects, the college’s strengths in analyzing, evaluating and awarding credit for college-level learning that occurs outside the traditional college and university setting, the importance of the faculty mentor-learner model in developing and completing personalized degree programs and the college as a learning community.

The chapter also discusses the college’s involvement with the open-education movement and specifically discusses the college and open education in relation to accreditation, academic technologies and learning outside traditional college classrooms and lecture halls.

“Receiving a request from EDUCAUSE to provide a chapter for 'Game Changers' was most satisfying,” said college President Alan R. Davis. “For more than 40 years, Empire State has been New York’s open university by providing an alternate, affordable path to a college degree, which includes respecting the learning people bring to us and for awarding credit where credit has been earned. 'Game Changers' enables the college to share its story with important audiences and I am grateful to EDUCAUSE for the opportunity to be heard.”

“Game Changers” is a collection of chapters and case studies contributed by college and university presidents, provosts, faculty and other stakeholders.

“While there has been a good deal of attention paid to ‘super’ courses offered through notable institutions, the real game changing has occurred at public institutions such as SUNY Empire State College that have created progressive and personalized learning environments that include the recognition of independent and work-place learning and also allow the learner to document this learning toward a degree,” said college Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Meg Benke.

The chapter on the college was written by Davis, Benke and Director of Collegewide Academic Review Nan Travers.

About SUNY Empire State College

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.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout her or his college career. Students engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in New York state and online. Its 63,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

Additional information about the college is available here.

About EDUCAUSE

EDUCAUSE® is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. EDUCAUSE helps those who lead, manage, and use information resources to shape strategic decisions at every level. A comprehensive range of resources and activities is available to all interested employees at EDUCAUSE member organizations, with special opportunities open to designated member representatives.

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