Instructional/Information Technology at CUNY:
Opening Access

The escalating costs of higher education—both tuition and the collateral expenses of textbooks and course materials—have widespread effects. With the announcement of the Excelsior Scholarship and new funding to develop Open Educational Resources, CUNY is poised to ease financial barriers to college for even more students than we already serve.  And yet “access” to higher education is a complex issue that extends far beyond the mere costs of attendance to adequately meeting student needs.  “Access” includes ADA compliance, access to course materials and devices used for digital materials, Internet access, access to campus spaces and services, access to faculty and community, and more.  CUNY’s 16th Annual IT Conference will examine the complex and evolving relationship between technology and manifold issues of access to higher education.

As has been the case since its inception, the conference will be held at John Jay College, offering overviews of the University and colleges’ key IT initiatives, discussions of how technology can support and advance teaching, scholarship, and administration, and a chance to meet with vendors. As always, proposals for presentations are invited from the CUNY community, particularly on how we can foster access and success.

Proposals are invited for panels or presentations as well as roundtables, workshops, or other interactions. Each proposal should include a title, an abstract of no more than 200 words, and the name and affiliation of each participant. Proposals from individuals are welcome, but panel proposals from groups that can present varied perspectives on a subject are particularly welcome. The theme of “Opening Access,” includes:

  1. What does “access” mean for CUNY, and what does it mean to make higher education accessible using technology? What barriers to access can technology mitigate? What barriers might technology create?
  2. What technological and pedagogical challenges and opportunities do we face in expanding access to programs and learning materials? How do CUNY’s scale and mission affect our approach?
  3. How can we enhance student experiences and outcomes by sharing materials and best practices across departments, programs, campuses, and between faculty and administration?

Proposals are due September 15, 2017 at 5:00 pm.  Acceptances will be announced by the end of that month.