SUNY Learning Network, State University of New York System Administration Higher Education Tech Innovation

Quotes from students in SUNY Blend

The Innovation: SUNY Learning Network ‘Catch-up’ and ‘Complete’ Enhanced Blended Learning Initiative (aka SUNY Blend)

SUNY Blend addresses the potential barriers to success for at-risk and first-generation community college students.

  • Catch-up’s modularized, blended developmental math course strengthens students’ academic readiness
  • Complete’s blended degree program design provides flexibility and access for those students with jobs, family, or distance barriers.

The program assists faculty and students alike. Ongoing blended instructor development, online development math course components, and course templates prepare faculty for blended learning teaching.  The Starfish early alert system monitors class progress and warns faculty about struggling students. Learning concierges and digital librarians steer students to appropriate campus resources and services.

Overview of SUNY Blend
Overview of SUNY Blend

Results Achieved:  SUNY Blend helped at-risk and first generation students perform successfully:

  • Students in the control and experimental groups exhibited similar grades and persistence; the addition of online components did not impede success.
  • There was no difference in teaching, social, and cognitive presence (measures of the Community of Inquiry Framework) at the end of the course. However, the experimental group showed gains in all measures of the framework; the control group did not.
  • Research analysis suggests that blended learning may be particularly beneficial for students who are less able to self-regulate.

Long term Goal:  To understand what technical and support interventions significantly and positively influence student success, persistence, and completion.

Video Presentation from SUNY Learning Network SOL Summit 2012


The Grant Project: SUNY/SLN received a grant from NGLC in April 2011.

NGLC funding enabled SUNY Blend to implement its support program and to scientifically test the role of its student supports in student success.

Connections with fellow grantees led to several partnerships that influenced the project design: Carnegie Learning’s developmental mathematics courses, University of Central Florida’s Blended Learning Toolkit, and Iowa Community College Online Consortium’s analytics practices.

SUNY/SLN plans to scale system-wide these SUNY Blend supports:

  • Blended learning initiative with faculty development and certification
  • Online student commons for all SUNY online and blended students
  • OER available SUNY-wide
  • Certificate training program for the learning concierges
  • Early alert system implementation


  • Herkimer County Community College
  • Finger Lakes Community College