Video visit to introduce students to colleges

A collaborative effort between GE Energy, Schenectady City Schools, SUNY Oswego and the New York Institute of Technology on Feb. 2 will give about 30 high school students a preview of the options that college may open for them.

GE Energy is a partner with the Schenectady City Schools in the College Bound Program. It will make its videoconference facilities in Schenectady available to erase the distance in helping students to explore colleges and meet with college admissions staff.

Students from Schenectady High School will meet with staff from the two colleges via video hookup between 10:50 a.m. and noon Feb. 2, after viewing a CD about each college. At SUNY Oswego, Dan Griffin and Liz Bridges from the Admissions Office and Mark Humbert from the Financial Aid Office will greet students from Room 118A of Rich Hall.

In the first half hour, half the students will get together with SUNY Oswego’s staff while the other half meets with staff from the New York Institute of Technology. Then the groups will switch, so that all students get to hear and ask questions about both colleges.

The two colleges are each about three hours from Schenectady, and this may be the only chance for some of the students to get a closer look at them as they consider whether either college is in their future.

“Many colleges and schools have videoconference technology now, and this kind of virtual visit may become more common,” said Dr. Joseph Grant, vice president for student affairs and enrollment at Oswego. “It can be especially helpful to students who don’t have the opportunity to travel to colleges for tours.”

The GE Foundation is giving the Schenectady School District $300,000 to support technology for future virtual college visits and other enhancements.

“A focus of this latest GE grant is to further the use of technology to enhance learning,” said Mike Lisi of the Schenectady School District. “Initiatives include expanding the high school’s capacity to connect with regional and national college admissions offices via teleconferencing—such as the virtual college visit students will experience on Feb. 2.”

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(Posted: Jan 26, 2005)