SUNY Learning Network Earns National Award; UAlbany Serves as Largest Provider of Graduate Courses

Contact: Heidi Weber (518) 437-4993

The SUNY Learning Network (SLN), one of the world's leading providers of higher education distance learning, has received the "2001 EDUCAUSE Award for Systemic Progress in Teaching and Learning," a national award that recognizes programs supporting "learner-centered teaching." The University at Albany, which joined the SLN in 1997, is the program's largest provider of graduate level courses. UAlbany's role in the SLN has been principally through its School of Education.

The SLN is an Asynchronous Learning Network (ALN). An ALN is a new approach to teaching and learning that is student centered. It eliminates the constraints of time and location that higher education normally places on students.

To reach nontraditional students, UAlbany offers an array of on-line courses through the SLN. The School of Education currently offers two on-line master's degrees programs - a Master of Science in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology and a Master of Science in Reading. While UAlbany does not offer complete on-line undergraduate degree programs, several of its schools and departments do offer undergraduate level courses.

According to UAlbany Education Professor Karen Swan, teaching on-line classes is particularly rewarding. "I've been pleased with the quality of the on-line discussions. The students seem to really enjoy the classes, not only because of the flexibility they have to learn, but because they can attend meaningfully to their learning."

Created in 1995, the SLN is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and SUNY System Administration. The SLN currently has more than 25,000 students who can choose from 1,500 courses and more than 40 on-line degree programs. Courses are offered mainly by community and four-year colleges. For more information, visit or

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October 11, 2001


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