Online Adult Learning Program Secures Funding to Enable Innovative Career Advisement

The Online Western New York Learning Alliance (OWL) program featuring six regional community colleges has been awarded an Innovative Instruction Technology Grant that will enable early career and transfer advisement opportunities for adult online students.

Batavia, NY-The Online Western New York Learning Alliance (OWL) program featuring six regional community colleges has been awarded an Innovative Instruction Technology Grant that will enable early career and transfer advisement opportunities for adult online students.

OWL is a partnership among six community colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system which provides an affordable opportunity for students to earn a SUNY associate degree or certificate in any of 35 academic majors, by taking classes online at any of the participating colleges. The Innovative Instruction Technology Grant (IITG) from SUNY helps provide early, practical information about career opportunities, as well as transfer options for baccalaureate (BA, BS) degrees, when students begin their online associate degree studies .

One key to the success of the OWL program is the “concierge” advisement process, which tailors academic advising to help students meet targeted goals for degree completion within a specified timeframe. OWL advisors work one-on-one with adult learners to find online classes to best fit busy lives.

Robert Knipe, Dean of Learning Technologies at GCC and one of the founders of OWL, says the grant reflects the college’s continued commitment to improving academic accessibility for all. “This grant enables OWL member colleges to provide affordable opportunities to more students, particularly working adults,” Knipe said. “Typically students will work with career and transfer advisors toward the end of their studies. We want to flip that around, so working adult students in online degree programs look at their career and transfer goals proactively, from when they begin their studies, giving them the time, opportunity and resources to plan ahead. Whether full or part time, adult students need to maximize their efforts and make their college studies more efficient.”

GCC and the OWL Alliance are actively enrolling students for the fall 2012 semester. To learn more visit http://owlwny.org/.

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