August 31, 2010

SUNY Empire State College Joins New Century Learning Consortium at University of Illinois, Springfield

(SPRINGFIELD -- August 31, 2010) The New Century Learning Consortium (NCLC), founded at the University of Illinois Springfield has added the State University of New York, Empire State College as its eighth member. The Consortium is designed to assist universities in implementing high quality, large-scale online and blended learning programs.

“We are very pleased to have Empire State College join the consortium. Empire State College is an institution with a strong history of quality online learning programs. Its Center for Distance Learning (CDL) is one of the largest providers of online learning in the state of New York,” said Shari McCurdy Smith, NCLC director and associate director of the Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service (COLRS) at UIS.

SUNY Empire State College is pleased to join the New Century Learning Consortium, said Meg Benke, Vice Provost for Global and Online Learning at Empire State College. The college recognizes the need for inter-institutional cooperation.

“We are particularly interested in efforts to promote degree completion and faculty exchange,” she said.

The Consortium plans to expand to 14 institutions by May of 2011. Consortium activities include developing a clearinghouse of online classes where there is excess capacity; shared research projects; shared IT expertise to support building infrastructure capacity; and peer support at the upper administration, dean, and faculty member levels. NCLC was founded utilizing a grant from the Sloan Consortium, who is also providing funding for the expansion.

"NCLC is an exciting initiative that brings together state universities spread across the U.S.," said Ray Schroeder, director of COLRS and founder of NCLC.

Umiversity of Illinois Springfield Logo

Celebrating 40 years, Illinois Springfield is the small,
liberal arts campus of the world class University of Illinois.

The member institutions are dedicated to developing vigorous online and blended learning initiatives to expand and stabilize student enrollments.

Current members are University of Illinois Springfield; California State University Easy Bay, Hayward; Southern Oregon University, Ashland; Chicago State University; Oakland University, Rochester Hills, Michigan; University of Southern Maine, Portland; and Louisiana Tech University, Ruston.

For more information about the Consortium, contact Shari McCurdy Smith at 217-206-7360 or email


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