Student and Alumni Advisory Group (SAAG): Open for Business

By Mollie A. Muenzen ’13, alumna, Center for Distance Learning

February 14, 2014

The Center for Distance Learning (CDL) Student and Alumni Advisory Group (SAAG) has officially emerged on the SUNY Empire State College scene. SAAG merges the creativity and talents of current students and alumni in a unique fashion. Primarily using Blackboard Collaborate as their meeting forum, SAAG members engage in discussions and exchange of ideas to promote their vision of excellence in distance learning.

Previously known as the Student Advisory Group (SAG), with the charter members nominated by faculty and mentor recommendation, SAG’s original framework shifted in 2013. Those student members who graduated chose to continue their work with the group, necessitating a change in the group’s mission and name. All members participate on a voluntary basis.

SAAG members represent diverse educational, career and life experiences, offering a variety of perspectives on how to improve the community of CDL students and alumni. To transform these perspectives into tangible goals, the members generated a mission statement that reflects their array of values as well as their harmony of purpose.

The SAAG members crafted their mission statement as follows:  “The mission of the CDL Student and Alumni Advisory Group is to build and cultivate a forum where students and alumni can share experiences and drive improvements to encourage current and future student success and engagement in a collaborative and interactive manner that promotes a connection for students and alumni to the Center, College and each other.” This mission statement illustrates the strong commitment of each group member and the dynamic energy that supports the continual evolution of SAAG.

In keeping with the democratic format of SAAG, members worked collaboratively to generate a vision statement to support the group’s mission. Highlights include serving as a liaison between students and Center and collegewide administration, focusing on technology and innovation within the Center and college, and maintaining an awareness of and understanding of collegewide policies and procedures. SAAG will strive to fulfill this vision not only through the virtual world of technology, but also by expanding its role by being a greater presence at college events, and by building connections with local SUNY communities throughout the state.

To support the growing aspirations of SAAG, new student and alumni members are needed. SAAG is in the process of developing an application process for prospective members, which will be made available soon to the SUNY Empire State College CDL community. For students and alumni, participating in SAAG is a great opportunity to share in the Center for Distance Learning’s ongoing journey of excellence and achievement.

For more information about how to get involved, please contact              

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Article Contributors

Sandra Barkevich

Joshua Boardman

Kameylah Hakim

David Henahan

Sara Hull

Mollie Muenzen

Paul Ryan