Panel: SUNY Online Student Supports

Larry Dugan, Provost Fellow, SUNY Online Enrollment Management & Student Success.
Molly Mott, Associate Provost and Dean of Academic Support Services & Instructional Technologies, SUNY Canton.
SUNY Online Student Coach – Lynn Ann Hinds McCoy, SUNY Online Student Success Coach
SUNY Online Students – Tamika Maise, ESC SUNY Online Graduate Student, and enthusiastic mom of 2
Panel Moderator:
Michele Forte, Project Manager, Open SUNY Student Supports/Success & ESC Associate Professor/Mentor Human Services


Day 1 Panel

Leveraging Innovation to Meet the Needs of Post-Traditional Online Students
This panel shares how SUNY Canton and a SUNY Online team of specialists provide personalized support and engagement opportunities to post-traditional online students. The discussion will focus on the launch of a coaching model that helps students navigate institutional processes, transition to the online environment, and overcome barriers to enrollment and student success. Best practices for reducing student isolation and creating community and connectedness in a virtual environment will be shared. Innovative strategies for providing academic, social, and co-curricular opportunities to students at a distance will be described.

 Student Panelist Video Script

Hi Everyone,

I am Tamika Maise and I am currently enrolled in the MBA program. I am honored to share my experience thus far with you.

I would have loved to be there in person, but it would have been extremely challenging for me.

As a mother of two, and very little support around, a lot of my daily activities are already difficult, not to mention the decision to enroll and now being an online student. After weighing the options in regard to continuing my studies, online schooling was the best choice for me for a number of reasons including time and money.

Before I applied I was confident, thinking; ‘I got this’, when I applied I thought the same thing and, after being accepted I was like,” what have I gotten myself into?” hahaha

But the thought soon left me when I realized that I had a circle of support, a support team from empire State. From the emails to the phone calls with Samantha, Dr. Rufer and just the willingness from everyone to assist I thought again “I got this”.

I am no expert in this as this is my first semester and I do not want to paint a picture as if this is easy.  But I can say for sure that I know who to call whenever I feel stuck or just overwhelmed.

I would like to share a few thoughts:

  1. I think that one of the things that hinder online learning is time. I am always on the go and this does affect the time I try to set aside for learning. I had to learn to make time and use every single minute I had away from the children to put in a little reading. I have learnt that a little goes a long way. I had to find a little rhythm. It is still challenging but it works for now.
  2. The online experience does seem a bit lonely. Having done undergraduate studies face-to-face, my classmates were gems, we use to bounce ideas off each other in real time. It’s hard not seeing any one or having anyone respond to you when you make a post.
  3. I was expecting to see my lecturers face. I thought that he or she would post a lecture that they did along with the readings etc. It would have been nice to see their faces. That makes a difference to me. I also think they can check in on us from time to time.
  4. In regard to assessment, I would prefer not to do group work, but I know it is an important aspect of the world of work and this does help to prepare one for that.
  5. Students should not be afraid to ask questions and utilize the resources available. For example, I hate numbers and figures and equations and I realized the courses I was doing was all about so I sent an email to my team to explain my difficulty and in no time I was connected to a tutor. I decided that I would not take for granted the resources available to me as they were never afforded to me back home when I studied at the undergraduate level.
  6. Although it is said that online students are bored in their courses, I cannot say the same. I do not have the time to be bored. I guess it is because I don’t bombard myself with everything at once.

I continue to try my best with my best option which is online learning.


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