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HOSTOS FACULTY INAUGURATES LEARNING COMMONS

First Facility of its kind at The City University of New York

Guests during the Faculty Learning Commons’ open house on November 11, 2010.

The Office of Instructional Technology (OIT) at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College has reopened its Faculty Learning Commons after a redesign and renovation costing approximately $60,000. The reopening was announced at an open house held in November 2010. The Commons’ hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

“The Hostos Information Learning Commons (ILC) is a collaborative learning space created to foster faculty scholarship, intellectual exchange, and new professional working relationships,” said Dr. Carmen Coballes-Vega, the college’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “[In it] our faculty will be able to work across disciplines and generate ideas that can enhance their scholarship and teaching.”

“Thanks to a modern, imaginative, and welcoming design, usable floor space in the faculty support area has been increased by at least 20%,” said Dr. Carl James Grindley, Associate Professor of English and Director of Honors and of Instructional Technology at Hostos (Grindley is also a Consortial Associate Professor of Communications and Culture in the online baccalaureate program at CUNY’s School of Professional Studies.) “The area has been equipped with new computers and media hardware; it is a unique facility where faculty can meet, converse, and work in a multipurpose smart room equipped with the latest technology to create and capture interactive lectures, as well as a comfortable lounge space.”

Hostos Faculty Inaugurates Learning Commons. First Facility of its kind at The City University of New York.

The Commons is the first of its kind at the City University of New York (CUNY), and an example of Hostos’ investment in its infrastructure. The renovation also demonstrates a strategic use of compact dollars to improve teaching and position the college as a national leader in instructional technology.

Hostos Faculty Inaugurates Learning Commons. First Facility of its kind at The City University of New York.

About Office of Instructional Technology (OIT)

The Office of Instructional Technology (OIT) represents Hostos’ effort to make technology an integral part of its academic endeavors. The mission of the OIT is threefold: to enhance professional development, which will empower faculty to apply new technologies that will improve the teaching and learning process; to provide the student body with a level of computer literacy that will enable them to participate more effectively in their education; and to create a supportive environment in which the possibilities of distance education can be realized to meet the needs of an ever-increasing number of students who find it difficult to fit their family and work responsibilities into a traditional academic schedule.

The Office of Instructional Technology’s main focus is to make technology an integral part of the academic life of Hostos. OIT supports the use of technology in teaching and learning to enhance faculty development, provide students with a high level of computer literacy, and foster online education.  The Office maintains many of the college’s websites and develops all sorts of specialty applications. Over the past decade, the Office has aggressively addressed the issue of faculty and student development in the area of technology, and have created a dedicated team of experts who are ready to collaborate with faculty; it has offered workshops to provide faculty with hands–on experience with new software and hardware; online resources for introducing students to Blackboard, email, WEB 2.0, and the most popular software packages; and on demand, course-specific student workshops and open student workshops.

Currently, staff members of the Office of Instruction Technology are working towards the institutional implementation of ePortfolios; an eBook pilot project; a Hostos Social Network; and an Online Media Center.

The team includes Dr. Carl J. Grindley, Director; Mr. Carlos Guevara, Coordinator;  Mr. Iber Poma, Student Support Coordinator,  Instructional Design Specialists George Rosa, Ibrahim Ekin, and Francisco Ordonez; and Christian Salgado, Media Support Assistant .

About Hostos Community College

Created in 1968, Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College is part of The City University of New York. Located in the South Bronx, Hostos currently serves more than 6,000 students. In addition to associate’s degree programs that facilitate transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate programs at other institutions, Hostos also has an award-winning Continuing Education and Professional Studies Department that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a charter class of 623 in the fall of 1970 to an enrollment of over 6,000 in the spring of 2010. The college also serves an additional 10,000 students through its Continuing Education and Professional Studies Department.

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