ESF Open Academy: Fall 2016 Update

As we embark on a new academic year, this is an update on the status of ESF’s Open Academy (Announcing the ESF Open Academy and Teaching & Learning Collaboratory, Posted on May 12, 2016).

OAOur efforts are supported, in part, by a SUNY Investment Fund grant (Chancellor Announces Funding in State of University Address, Posted on January 25, 2016).  An important dimension of this grant and related activities entails working through a SUN-facilitated “Open SUNY Institutional Readiness” process.  This process is a system-wide effort designed to assist campus leadership teams to assess and improve resources, processes and policies necessary to successfully meet our own and SUNY’s aspirations strengthen online-enabled learning opportunities for current and future students. Among our next steps, we will reconvene the ESF leadership team to discuss our progress and to prepare for the third phase of this process.

We are also pursuing several projects that have emerged as pilot Open Academy initiatives. These projects will both inform and advance our Open Academy efforts, and include

  • SUNY Grand Challenge: Water Course.  This SUNY-led initiative is envisioned as a collaborative online-enabled course intended to serve students throughout SUNY and beyond.  Faculty from several SUNY campuses (currently Binghamton, Buffalo, Stonybrook, Albany, and ESF) are collaborating.
  • Advanced Certificate: Leadership for Environmental Problem-Solving and Public Engagement. This is a new fully online advanced certificate based upon the College’s long-standing advanced certificate in Environmental Decision Making (EDM) offered by the Environmental Studies Academic Department.
  • SUNY SPARE (Solar Power as Renewable Energy). We developed SPARE, with support from a Congressional Earmark grant, and have offered it as a four-day face-to-face workshop for over a decade.  This project entails adapting this non-credit professional development program, with its focus on system design and applications for grid-connected and off-grid photovoltaic (PV) systems, to an online-enabled approach.
  • eCybermission Online Science Fair.  Consistent with our longstanding commitment to engage middle school students in STEM education and careers, eCybermission is a virtual science fair that engages students in STEM fields by asking them to identify and propose a solution to a problem in their own community. See related post.
  • COIL (Center for Collaborative Online International Learning).  ESF has committed to re-engaging in the COIL program that supports international co-teaching opportunities.

I welcome and look forward to your further thoughts and questions – thank you.

Chuck Spuches

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