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Newly Updated Digital Language Lab Unveiled at Hudson Valley Community College \"Photo

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8072,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006

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As businesses search for new workers who can compete in a global environment, Hudson Valley Community College on Wednesday took a big step toward boosting its foreign language instruction with the unveiling of a newly updated, 24-station digital language laboratory.

During the past several years, the college has increased its language offerings significantly. With the addition of Arabic last year, students now can choose from among nine languages to study. Russian and Chinese were added in the past two years to complement French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Italian and English as a Second Language.

The newly updated language lab allows instructors to use digital technology and the Internet to make teaching more relevant, allowing, for example, students to translate a Mexican soap opera or a Russian television commercial. With the new teaching consoles, language instructors at the college can track and archive students’ work and also better facilitate group study.

“It’s like moving from riding a horse to driving a car,” said Spanish instructor Ana Almonte, who is piloting the college’s first online Spanish Language and Culture course this fall.

The language lab is located in Brahan Hall, one of the college’s main classroom buildings, and is officially named the Walter D. Karpiak International Language Laboratory in honor of Professor Karpiak’s 18-year career as a professor of languages at the college. In 2003, Mary Karpiak Foster, Walter’s sister, made a significant charitable gift to the college in his honor.

Funding for the new digital language lab was provided through a Title III Grant submitted to the federal Department of Education in 2004. In addition to the language lab upgrades, the $1.8 million grant will pay for a semiconductor manufacturing technology laboratory, a computer networking laboratory and other classroom technology upgrades over the next five years. In all, the improvements to the language lab totaled $263,500.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 60,000 alumni.