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Office of Experiential Learning Awarded $7,000 Grant from SUNY Works

DATE: 03-13-2013

A $7,000 grant from the SUNY Works program will allow the Office of Experiential Learning to support and expand on cooperative education, internship, and service learning opportunities for Cayuga Community College students. SUNY Works is a State University of New York program initiative funded by the Lumina Foundation to encourage more students to obtain experience in the workforce while in college, thereby establishing an essential and valuable foundation for lifelong learning and professional development.

Through the Office of Experiential Learning, the College provides a variety of educational opportunities that allow students to learn by doing, connecting classroom content with real-world situations, and reflecting on the experience. As a result, students at Cayuga obtain a deeper understanding of their discipline, are better prepared for service and leadership in their careers and communities, and develop critical thinking skills.

According to Sheila Myers, assistant professor and coordinator of experiential learning, funds from the SUNY Works grant will be used to execute the goals outlined by the College’s Experiential Learning Committee in its ongoing student support efforts. “One goal we’re working toward is that of students having an experiential learning designation on their transcripts,” Myers said. She is currently collaborating with committee members Maureen Erickson, the College’s director of assessment, and Linda Alfieri, professor and nursing program director, in developing a pilot program to lead and instruct students in designing and

developing professional e-portfolio profiles that showcase students’ experience and work products while at the College. Modeled after Alfieri’s work with nursing students, the pilot program is meant to set an example for and inspire CCC students in all disciplines of study, Myers said.

Another goal being undertaken by the Experiential Learning Committee is development of a Liberal Arts internship option. Additionally, funding from the SUNY Works grant is being used to encourage and support attendance at professional development conferences and workshops offered by SUNY, including the upcoming SUNY ENGINE (Educational Network to Grow Innovation and Entrepreneurship) Conference being held on April 19 at Hilton Garden Inn in Auburn. SUNY ENGINE is a consortium of education partners, economic development groups, and venture capitalists committed to sharing best practice, pooling resource, and supporting entrepreneurship. CCC business instructor Amy Valente is helping to coordinate attendance to the event, which the College is co-sponsoring.

For more information about experiential learning opportunities at the College, contact Sheila Myers at sheila.myers@cayuga-cc.edu.