Posts Tagged ‘Flex Classes’

SUNY Canton Receives Prestigious Award for Online Student Engagement Program

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

SUNY Canton has been recognized for improving the online student experience.

The SUNY Council of Chief Student Affairs Officers (CCSAO) selected SUNY Canton to receive the 2019 Outstanding Student Affairs award for a new program that seeks to engage online students in all aspects of campus life.

Bish and Thayer hold their Student Affairs award

Over the past two years, the college has expanded the availability of college resources and activities virtually. Online students can now watch live-stream videos of guest speakers and events; compete in varsity esports; attend career, study abroad and professional clothing fairs; present research alongside their on-campus peers; and work with an online career counselor. They are also able to participate in real-time with their professors and classmates during lectures delivered through the college’s flex class model.

SUNY Canton Associate Provost and Dean of Academic Support Services Molly A. Mott said the project was developed in collaboration with Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Courtney B. Bish.

“Our goal was to elevate the entire experience of our online students and to explore ways to create community and connectedness in a virtual environment,” said Mott.

In addition to supporting new opportunities to engage in campus life, a SUNY Performance Improvement Fund grant allowed the college to appoint an online student engagement coordinator, Richard J. Thayer. It also assisted the campus in acquiring the technology to automate business processes, provide flex class lectures and improve accessibility on Blackboard, the college’s online learning system.

“Whatever we do on campus, our first question is, what does this mean to our students at a distance, and can it provide value for them?” Bish said. “Through this program, each department has been mobilized to think in terms of our fully online students.”

Bish and Thayer accepted the CCSAO award at the organization’s fall conference in Rochester.

“As one of only a few colleges in the nation working on a project of this scale, it’s gratifying to be recognized by our peers with this prestigious award,” Bish said. “We hope our SUNY counterparts can use this as a model to improve student success.”

Mott and Bish have also presented the online engagement program at national educational meetings, including the Ruffalo Noel Levitz Conference and the 35th annual Distance Teaching and Learning Conference.

Their work will also published in “Rethinking Student Affairs for Online Learners,” a book about best practices for educational professionals, and the journal  “Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning.”

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.

Flex Classes Help SUNY Canton Meet the Needs of Modern Students

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Missing an in-class lecture won’t put a student behind in SUNY Canton’s Flex Classes.

The integration of the new course options allows students to physically attend, participate virtually or complete their work entirely online.

Professor Ryan Hewer speaks to his class.

SUNY Canton Assistant Professor Ryan S. Hewer teaches a Flex Class from one of the college’s two video-enabled classrooms. Hewer is wearing a video camera tracking device and a headset microphone to record and broadcast his lecture while he is presenting.

“We are making our courses accessible to more students,” said Molly A. Mott, associate provost and dean of academic support services. “We began with one course about a year ago and have since expanded to eight different unique options taught by a handful of our forward-thinking faculty members.”

Lectures are live streamed to participants and are simultaneously recorded and posted to SUNY Canton OnLine, where students can access it at any time – or as many times – as they like. It allows online students the option of attending a class in person, while traditional on-campus or commuter students can decide whichever way they’d like to participate.

A student holds a cat while using her laptop.

Jade Kenyon, a SUNY Canton Funeral Services Administration Student, takes Flex Classes online from her apartment in Canton. She is pictured with her cat, Po.

They are also ideal for working professionals who are looking to advance their degree who want to participate in a traditional college-style learning environment.

“Flex classes change the model of delivery from one in which a rigid time schedule is ‘pushed’ on a student to one in which the student ‘pulls’ the class when the student needs it,” said Professor Charles R. Fenner, who teaches two Management classes in the new format.

SUNY Canton has two video-enabled streaming classrooms on campus. Students engage with their faculty members and one another in real time during the streaming class section on large monitors.

Umesh Kumar teaches a Flex Class

Pictured is SUNY Canton Associate Professor Umesh Kumar, who teaches Finance, presenting a Flex Class. Kumar is wearing a video camera tracking device and a headset microphone to record and broadcast his lecture as he is teaching it.

The college also offers two courses in its online Agricultural Management program, several Homeland Security courses and a Construction Management as Flex Classes.

SUNY Canton’s Flex Classes are funded through a Performance Improvement Fund grant from SUNY. A portion of that funding is also used to increase engagement with the college’s substantial online student population by offering expanded college resources.

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 16 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference.

SUNY Canton Creates ‘Flex Classes’ for Traditional and Online Students

Friday, February 16th, 2018

SUNY Canton is developing new course options that adapt to the needs of modern learners.

Until last semester, courses have been offered in two formats: through traditional on-campus classes; or by participating in online lectures and discussion boards through SUNY Canton OnLine. Last semester, the college began offering Flex Classes, which allows a student to attend a lecture one day and participate online the next.

Umesh Kumar teaches a Flex Class

Pictured is SUNY Canton Associate Professor Umesh Kumar, who teaches Finance, presenting a Flex Class. Kumar is wearing a video camera tracking device and a headset microphone to record and broadcast his lecture as he is teaching it.

“Flex Classes help promote student retention and completion rates,” said Associate Provost and Dean of Academic Support Services, Molly A. Mott “They remove barriers to education and fit into the busy and complicated lives of our students, especially those who are continuing their education. We see this as the future of higher education.”

The class is broadcast live during and the video is integrated with the college’s online learning software. Students participating from off of campus can ask questions as part of the class, and all students can watch the online recorded lecture.

Marela M. Fiacco, an instructor who oversees the college’s Healthcare Management program, volunteered to be the first faculty member to pilot the program for her Intro to Health Services Management course. She taught in a special classroom equipped with digital video cameras that follow her as she presents the course material.

“I told my face-to-face students that attendance is flexible,” Fiacco said. “This was especially important for our non-traditional and commuter students who have families and career obligations.”

Out of the 30 students who were enrolled, about nine opted to come to the twice-weekly class.

The instructor assigned group assignments that paired students participating from both on and off of campus.

Healthcare Management recently became the most popular major at the college, with more than 200 students enrolled in the fall 2017 semester. The majority of those students are working professionals who are seeking to advance their career by getting a bachelor’s degree.

SUNY Canton is expanding its Flex Classes through a Performance Improvement Fund grant from SUNY. A portion of that funding is also used to increase engagement with the college’s substantial online student population by offering expanded college resources. “We want to establish a better connection with our online students,” Fiacco said.

Two Flex Classes are currently in session during the spring 2018 semester and the college plans to continue research into, and development of, its newest educational delivery method. Students have been enthusiastic about the new mode of course delivery. “It’s a neat experience and I look forward to the future of the class and more like it,” said Michael B. Smithers, a Heathcare Management Student from Heuvelton.

 

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service and recently received number one rankings in library resources, library services and tutoring services in the SUNY Student Opinion Survey. The college’s faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 13 online degree programs. The college’s 15 athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level and are joining the North Atlantic Conference beginning in the 2018-19 academic year.