Grant Will Help Improve Student Performance in Assessment Testing and Developmental Courses

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – The State University of New York today announced that SUNY Orange has received an Innovative Instruction Technology Grant of nearly $13,000 to help the College improve student performance in developmental courses and on the placement assessment exam required as part of the admissions process.

In all, SUNY announced 48 grant awards today (117 proposals were submitted) across three different funding tiers. SUNY Orange was one of just two community colleges to receive a mid-level Tier Two award, while no community colleges received awards at the highest level.

The successful projects are intended to foster study and development of educational gaming tools, e-textbooks, online classes, e-portfolios for lifelong learning, and other projects that SUNY hopes can be replicated throughout the 64-campus system in order to benefit students and faculty worldwide. Grant recipients will be expected to openly share project outcomes, enabling SUNY colleagues to replicate and build upon innovations.

“This new competitive grants program will enable partnerships across SUNY to leverage technology as a means to educate students,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “It serves as an excellent example of the power of SUNY to realize efficiencies through the sharing of resources and instructional partnerships within our system.”

SUNY Orange will develop a series of customized video presentations about the Accuplacer assessment instrument, used to determine if applicants to the College are required to take developmental courses in reading, writing and math before being able to register for college-level courses in those areas. Upon completion of these new videos, SUNY Orange will make them available to area school districts, and they will be housed on College’s admissions web site.

In addition, the College will build a series of webinars and events for instructors of developmental courses, with focused workshops geared toward part-time faculty in those areas. In the past several years, SUNY Orange has aggressively examined creative ways to support the growing numbers of students who must take developmental courses. Recent successful initiatives include intensive summer courses for developmental students, expanded academic support services, and the creation of learning communities to help students more easily adjust to college-level academic expectations.

The new grant will also help SUNY Orange purchase some innovative technology to support the webinars and videos, including a teleprompter and green screen technology that will enhance and personalize the video productions.

SUNY Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost David K. Lavallee, who administers the program, added, “The IITG program puts SUNY is a position to support specific projects on our campuses that have the potential to be implemented elsewhere in the system, to the greater benefit of our faculty, staff, and students across New York.”

The grant will be managed by Mary Ford, director of Educational Partnerships at SUNY Orange and the College’s liaison to area school districts, and Dena Whipple, coordinator of the on-campus Center for Teaching and Learning. For more information, contact Ford at (845) 341-4760.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940