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Published 6/14/2004

Owens Community College Receives Grant To Heighten Online Teaching and Technology

Owens Community College has been selected as one of only three community colleges statewide to receive a $20,000 Ohio Learning Network grant for the purpose of enhancing innovation within the area of online teaching and technology.

The Ohio Learning Network will be awarding a total of $420,000 to 21 groups at 15 academic institutions designated as "Learning Communities". Recipient members include Owens Community College, Bowling Green State University, Capital University, Hiram College, Hocking College, Kent State University, Lorain County Community College, Miami University, Miami University - Middletown, The Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, University of Toledo, Ursuline College and Youngstown State University.

"Owens Community College's selection as a lead academic institution demonstrates the College's responsiveness to increasing academic accessibility through e-Learning education," said Mark Karamol, Owens Division Director of e-Learning. "Area residents want the flexibility that allows them to fulfill coursework at their own convenience. Owens' Office of e-Learning has made a fundamental point to meet such needs and will continue to aggressively develop additional methods of providing higher education through distance learning."

Owens' online project initiative is titled "Peer-to-Peer Development for e-Learning" and will focus on establishing a learning community to develop and conduct peer-to-peer training and sharing of practices in the delivery of web-based instruction. Individuals involved with the online learning endeavor will include six Owens faculty members, an instructional designer and a group facilitator.

According to Karamol, the ultimate goal of the project is to improve student learning through the continued advancement of innovative teaching methods and educational resources. "The project also is intended to foster collaboration among colleagues within the College and fellow academic institutions throughout the state of Ohio."

Owens continues to develop innovative ways of offering higher education through technology and currently provides more than 150 e-Learning courses on the College's Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses. Among the program areas available to students are accounting, art, business, computer information systems, psychology and speech.

Since incorporating e-Learning into its academic curriculum, the College has seen a significant enrollment increase in this area. This past academic year more than 8,900 students chose to advance their studies through Web courses and telecourses.

The Ohio Learning Network was established by the Ohio Board of Regents to work with colleges and universities using technology to improve teaching and learning, as well as to help build partnerships among higher education, schools, businesses and communities.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Ohio with 27 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 44,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for Northwest Ohio college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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