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Hudson Valley Honored For Developmental Education Practices

CONTACT: Jeff Foley or Sarah Boggess (518) 629-8071
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, September 22, 2000

The American Quality and Productivity Center (APQC) recently named Hudson Valley Community College a "Best Practice Partner." The college was honored after participating in a benchmarking study entitled "Best Practices in Developmental Education." The study, which began in November 1999, was the result of a partnership between the APQC and the Continuous Quality Information Network (CQIN), a consortium of 13 colleges across the county, to identify and document best practices in developmental education.

After a process that included planning sessions, evaluating responses from a study screening survey, on-site interviews, and comparing developmental education initiatives with best-practice criteria, Hudson Valley was named one of five organizations with exemplary developmental education initiatives – a Best Practice Partner. Other Best Practice Partners include: Durham Technical Community College, General College University of Minnesota, Oakton Community College and Richland College.

At the completion of the study, Kathy Quirk, director of Hudson Valley's Instructional Support Services, was invited to Houston, Tex., to participate in a Knowledge Transfer Session. There, she discussed Hudson Valley's academic support services and was presented with an award recognizing "innovative performance in the area of best practices in developmental education."

"The award demonstrates the comprehensive and high-quality services Hudson Valley Community College provides to its students," Quirk said.

"Hudson Valley Community College is committed to making sure that anyone who enters the doors of this institution is going to have the opportunity for success," president John Buono stated.

Under Quirk, Hudson Valley has linked the Learning Assistance Center, the Computer Learning Centers, the Placement Testing Office, and other retention efforts and initiatives (such as adviser training, the early warning system and the freshman orientation course).

"Developing a knowledge base of what to do for underprepared students and how to do it is essential for the successful community college," said Hunter R. Boylan, Ph.D., director for the National Center for Developmental Education at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. "This is not only true for faculty and staff, but also community college administrators. Although it may not be possible to train all those who work with underprepared students in the research, theory and practice of developmental education, it is possible to identify the most promising practices currently used for this purpose and adapt them to other organizations. Therefore, this is the purpose of the current benchmarking study."

Among Hudson Valley's instructional strengths, as noted by the consortium: The qualifications and high profile of the Instructional Support Services staff (staff members must have a master's degree, they have faculty status, and they are encouraged to venture out and participate in campus activities); support from senior administration, especially the college president and the vice president of academic affairs; a high level of autonomy to experiment with new ideas; and interaction with classroom faculty.

The information gathered during the Best Practices in Developmental Education study will be used on-campus by the 13 sponsoring colleges. Eventually the information will be made public.

"Hudson Valley Community College is an example for those 13 colleges," Quirk said. "And we can learn from them."

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions; Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, Hudson Valley has an enrollment of more than 9,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining.