Bay College in the Top 10 Digital Colleges in the Nation

9/9/2015
 

Christine Williams, Vice President of Operations accepting Bay College’s Top 10 Digital Colleges award.

Bay College has been recognized and awarded as one of the Top 10 Digital Community College’s in the nation. This is the second year in a row the college has placed in the top 10 ranking for small colleges (up to 5,000 students). Last year Bay placed number 10 and this year the college reached a pivotal point at number 5! The Center for Digital Education is in its tenth year of analyzing community colleges use of digital technologies to improve services to students, faculty, staff, and the community at large. “Technology is being used on campuses and in lecture halls to lower costs and improve student outcomes,” said Alan Cox, Senior Vice President for the Center for Digital Education. Bay College ranked 5th in the nation by increasing the use of technology in academic programs and supporting a strong commitment to professional development for faculty teaching with technology. “Bay College continues to focus on quality online courses through the Quality Matters program. We have certified 60 Instructors, Administrators, and Staff in various levels of the Quality Matters program. Quality Matters has become a worldwide benchmark for online course design,” says Joseph Mold, Director of Online Learning and Instructional Technology. This commitment shines through as Bay’s faculty are more engaged in using technology in their teaching and learning environments. “I am very proud of Bay’s ranking as a Top 10 Digital College.  Bay College’s commitment to providing instructors with adequate technology in the classroom is outstanding compared to other schools I’ve been to. By incorporating the latest technology in the classroom, such as digital books, online tests, and online/hybrid classes, Bay ensures students will develop the skills necessary for a job market that demands workers to adapt and evolve to their fields of employment.” Michael Young, Sociology Instructor. Use of technology is also reducing the cost of college by “using FREE Open Educational Resources (OER) to replace the cost of textbooks. Bay College, committed to student success, has also built an online tutoring center all students have access to from anywhere. The tutoring site allows students to meet with tutors virtually, reducing the cost of travel. These web meetings can provide real time one-on-one tutoring in a variety of subjects,” explains Joseph Mold.

In addition to using technology in the teaching and learning environments, another measure in the ranking that propelled Bay to 5th place is the practice of using virtual servers. Justin Izzard, Director of IT, says, “the majority of Bay’s IT services are hosted out of a virtualized server environment, in this way the college is able to protect students and employees from service outages due to hardware failures. Virtualized and redundant systems are able to tolerate failure and continue operating until repairs are complete. The virtualized server environment hosts approximately 75 virtual servers running on 5 physical servers; which translates into significantly reduced energy consumption and significantly increased availability.” He further states, “the college is continuously reviewing and improving upon technology to engage students and this year alone Bay added technology in the Computer Network Systems and Security division, hardware upgrades in the Graphics Design area, including a state of the art graphics printer, two new online video conference/collaboration systems, robotics in Welding and Mechatronics, and simulation in the EMT/Paramedic program.”

Dr. June Klees, Instructor, shares her experience using technology as a teaching tool, “from my earliest years as an educator at Bay College, we have been on the front lines of offering digital-education opportunities to our students. The technical support that the college provides instructors has enabled us to advance and maintain the quality of our offerings online, on-campus, and remotely via ITV.  A number of us have used audio, video, and other digital tools to enhance our instruction and to increase connections with students.  In particular, we continue to be forward thinking about the ways in which we can use the digital world to service remote locations, such as using communication software to link area high school students to existing Bay College classes.  I am proud to be part of the strong tradition of digital growth and excellence at Bay College.”

“As technology continues to play an important role in society, Bay College will provide robust and real-world experiences for our students through the use of technology. Bay College is fully committed to maintaining a technology-rich environment where our students, employees, and community can prosper”, says Christine Williams, Vice President of Operations.
Bay College Main,
2001 N Lincoln Road, Escanaba, MI 49829
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