Update 4/25 and bumped due to changes: Thanks to Greg Ketcham and Robert Knipe, I have replaced the 2009 interim proposal document with the updated advisory team report. This changes the intro blurb, description of 9 inter-dependent components, and list of contributions below.
I have been surprised at how little interest the Open SUNY announcement last week generated in educational media and blog discussions. Perhaps the MOOC portion of the story, which was prominent in several headlines, caused people to assume this was just another school trying to jump on the bandwagon. What is significant, however, is that one of the largest statewide systems in the country is making a multi-pronged approach to reduce time-to-graduation and therefore lower student costs.
In brief, Open SUNY is part of the system’s agenda to expand access to public higher education by leveraging existing programs or experiments already in place at member campuses or at the system level, and it has strong ties to Open Educational Resources (OER) concepts. The concept for the strategic plan originated in 2009, eventually leading to the report Getting Down to Business: Interim Report of the Chancellor’s Online Education Advisory Team released in December 2012 [updated].
The Advisory Team recommends “Open SUNY” be officially adopted as the name of SUNY’s new online learning initiative. The term Open SUNY represents an opening up of the educational opportunities that SUNY can provide through the enhancement of existing—and development of new—online education resources, courses and degree programs.
Open SUNY has the clear potential to establish SUNY as the preeminent and most extensive online learning environment in the nation by providing affordable, high quality, convenient, innovative, and flexible online education opportunities for the citizens of the State of New York and beyond. As a collaborative online educational network, the Open SUNY Online Consortium (SUNY campuses and SUNY system offices) will draw on the Power of SUNY to connect students with faculty and peers from across the state and throughout the world, and link them to the best in research-based online teaching and learning environments, practices, and resources. Dedicated to providing access to open and online learning opportunities, Open SUNY will connect learner and community needs and will allow the State University of New York to bring this concept to scale like no other college, university, or system in the United States.