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The Faculty at Fulton Montgomery (FM) Community College are Ready for You!

Posted: August 19, 2020 — FM is a SUNY institution that embraces its title of a community college. FM proudly serves both Fulton and Montgomery counties and welcomes all communities. The faculty at FM focus their efforts on the art of teaching and their academic passion. My passion is in the field of business and accounting. As we move into the fall, and these unchartered waters, all colleges across the country have been grappling with how to move forward with teaching remotely or with a combination of in person and online instruction. FM has announced its’ plan for the fall in the article “Fall 2020 Plan Unveiled” but many colleges haven’t had the time or resources to address the bigger question of how the professors will be prepared to deliver the instruction in this new environment. This question addresses the obvious gap that exists across higher education between the traditional lecture in a physical classroom and the remote online environment. This gap cannot and should not be filled by just a copy and paste function, or bridged by selecting the ‘record my lecture’ button and putting it on YouTube in the hopes of a voila, or as I say, “Bob’s your uncle” (look it up if you never heard of the British saying).

In response to this gap, FM has developed its very own eTeaching Academy. The eTeaching Academy has focused its goal on streamlining the delivery of instruction in the fall semester, making it a high-quality learning experience for FM students. The eTeaching Academy has built a bridge to cross this newly created void, supporting students and faculty with their move from a traditional classroom to a remote learning environment.  This bridge blends the old with the new in a seamless delivery system for FM students to get the best quality instruction during these unprecedented times. Under the guidance of the eTeaching Academy the professors at FM have been going through a series of trainings that started in March and will continue throughout the summer and beyond. Faculty are learning how to deliver their academic content in a variety of ways that best serves all students. FM professors are committed to using the same student management system, Blackboard. All professors have structured their Blackboard classrooms in the same way so students will know where to consistently look for the content, syllabi, lessons and help. This purposeful design was created to eliminate confusion for students as they move from one class to another. As the student walks the virtual academic hallways of FM’s eLearning environment using Blackboard as they transition from one classroom to the next. Blackboard also leads the student to the virtual offices of the library, advising and tutoring. Where they can find, help writing and editing papers, talking to a math tutor, a librarian to support research and paper citations and most importantly individual communication with their professor and other students within the same classes.

While we, the faculty and staff are ready for you in this new virtual space we are also committed to a physical place for those classes that need it. Blackboard will remain a consistent support, whether during in person instruction or during remote instruction throughout your academic journey at FM this coming fall.

Maybe your college plans have been delayed for a variety of reasons but you should consider taking SUNY accredited classes at your community college, FM. Don’t put your education on hold, take this opportunity to pursue your dream in a new way.

Before I finish I would like to let you know why I teach, and why I teach at FM. I love helping all students navigate their educational journey and watching how proud their family and friends are as they watch them walk across the graduation stage. I am a professor who is the first in my family to achieve a college education and I will always remember how proud my family were of me receiving my associates degree.

If you would like to learn more about FM’s academic preparedness for the upcoming fall semester please contact Mark Swain, Ed.D. mark.swain@fmcc.suny.edu

This article was written by Dr. Mark Swain, Assistant Professor of Business & Accounting and board member of the eTeaching Academy at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

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