July 29, 2016

Faculty and Staff Garner ITTG Funding for Innovative, Collaborative Research in Online Teaching and Learning

SUNY Empire State College Press Release

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – July 29, 2016) Research projects submitted by SUNY Empire State College faculty and staff again have garnered Innovative Instructional Technology Grant funding.

ITTG, a systemwide program, funds campus initiatives on a competitive basis.

Of the 78 proposals submitted, 35 projects were selected to receive awards.

Approved research projects must enhance, support and extend innovative and collaborative online teaching and learning environments and also must have the strongest potential to be replicated across SUNY’s 64 campuses.

“Because we were founded more than 45 years ago to serve nontraditional students as SUNY’s statewide college, collaborative and innovative teaching and learning are part of our DNA,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of SUNY Empire. “From competency-based learning and a prototype online learning environment to new Open Education Resources, the depth and breadth of our ITTG-funded projects are truly impressive. Congratulations go to our principle investigators, Nan Travers, Tai Arnold, Diane Gal, Nathan Whitley-Grassi and Aimee Woznick, for their efforts to help more students, including at-risk populations, to complete a SUNY degree.”

All recipients share the results of their projects at SUNY’s annual Conference on Instructional Technologies.

“This competitive grant program continues to position SUNY as a leader in innovative instructional practices, while enabling us to take programs that work at one campus and expand them across SUNY to benefit more of our students and faculty,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Congratulations to all of the projects receiving support from this year’s IITG program.”

ITTG funds projects for one year at three tiers. Tier three awards up to $60,000, tier two awards up to $20,000 and tier one awards funding up to $10,000.

The SUNY Empire projects receiving 2016-17 funding are:

In addition to the SUNY Empire-led proposals, Michele Forte, assistant professor in Community and Human Services, and Donna Mahar, associate professor in the School for Graduate Studies, are co-PIs for a SUNY Albany-led team that was awarded $28,000 for its project, Scaling the Metaliteracy Badging System for Open SUNY: Collaborative Customization for Teacher Education Programs.

This is the third metaliteracy-related project that has received support from IITG and involves collaboration with UAlbany.

About SUNY Empire State College

Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system, educates more than 20,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 35 locations in the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels.

The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students’ average age is 40.

Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.

Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.

Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.

The college’s 78,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977. Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

More information about the college is available at www.esc.edu.


Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications


518-587-2100, ext. 2918

518-321-7038, cell