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Hudson Valley Community College Foundation Awards Grant To Teacher Preparation Program
$10,000 Discovery Grant Awarded

CONTACT: Paula Monaco (518) 629-8085, cell 378-3835,
FOR RELEASE: Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010

The Hudson Valley Community College Foundation has awarded its first Discovery Grant to support a new curriculum in disabilities studies in the Teacher Preparation Department at Hudson Valley Community College.

The new Discovery Grant, funded with $10,000 from the Foundation's Annual Fund, was awarded to Nancy Cupolo, department chair of the Teacher Preparation Department.

The Discovery Grant was established to recognize and promote a culture of excellence at the college and to provide resources to enhance college programming. This competitive grant program seeks to award an annual prize of up to $10,000, with recipients selected by the Foundation Board of Directors. The grant may be used to foster a proposed learning experience that supports the college's mission, vision and values within the context of student learning, or may be used to access professional development opportunities that advance personal skills and expanded understanding within a chosen discipline. It also may be used to further advance technologies across the campus as well as enhancement of the college's overall physical environment.

The first Discovery Grant will be used to help pay for assistive technology and software licenses as well as computer workstations for a newly developed Teacher Preparation course, Assistive Technology: Pre-K through Higher Education. This is an elective in the college's new Disabilities Studies Certificate program. The course will emphasize the need for universally designed instruction and address the issue of the "digital divide" that separates low- and high-income families and the educational consequences of these disparities.

In a letter of support for Cupolo's proposal, Dr. Carolyn Curtis, vice president of Academic Affairs at Hudson Valley Community College, wrote, "As a community college whose mission it is to provide 'student centered' and 'accessible' educational opportunities to meet the diverse needs of our community and whose students come from a wide array of ethnic, racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, Hudson Valley students would benefit greatly from the implementation of this course."

The next Discovery Grant will be awarded in Fall 2010.

The Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable corporation formed in 1983 to philanthropically support the college's mission. Gifts from alumni, corporations and friends are used to enhance programs, facilities and scholarship opportunities. The Foundation raised approximately $1.5 million in 2008-09.

"The Foundation's ability to offer this new grant is due to the many donors who provide cash gifts to the Annual Fund, which provides unrestricted gifts and allow the Foundation to be responsive in assisting the college to address its unmet needs," said Foundation President Sarah Boggess. "It is exciting to be able to support such innovative programming, which will allow the college to better educate tomorrow's teachers."

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 70 associate's degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and workforce and academic preparation programs offered through the Educational Opportunity Center. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 13,500 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has more than 65,000 alumni.