Date of this Version
Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship (Summer 2002) 3(3). Also available at http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/content/v03n03/Jurkowski_o01.htm.
(It says Spring 2002 in the document, but it was actually in the Summer 2002 issue.)
Saint Anthony College of Nursing (SACN) is a small private Catholic institution that offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Founded in 1915 as a school of nursing offering only diplomas it is now fully accredited regionally by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association (NCA) and program specific by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLN-AC). As a single purpose institution with 13 faculty, 11 staff, and fewer than 100 students, SACN has continued to strive to modernize the program over the past decade with limited resources. Recent technological improvements led by the library director include the development of it’s own college Web site, a newly remodeled and enhanced skills lab, networked classrooms with teacher computers and projectors, and a renovated library with a computer lab, full-text online databases, and around 70 computer assisted instruction programs along with the usual slew of videos and print resources.
During the 1999/2000 academic year ideas were tossed around about enhancing courses with class Web sites and tools to create a blended learning approach. Technology has been steadily improving and costs have become more manageable during that time. Faculty, however, were not comfortable creating sites from scratch, so a commercial course management system was required. Informally faculty and staff had looked at different options, vendors, and services. During 2001, in conjunction with our sister school, Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing, we decided to jointly license with eCollege, an application service provider (ASP), to provide faculty with the ability to Web enhance all of our courses. This would also serve as a learning stage before jumping into full-blown distance education courses at some point down the road.
The interesting part to this endeavor is how involved the library director has been in instituting these technologies due to the size of the college. The smaller the college, the more hats you have to wear. This can be both exciting and draining at the same time. Everyone is truly expected to play broad roles at the college, from heavy committee assignments to being responsible for several areas. Because of my comfort with technology my position had been expanded from those of library director to also include support, guidance, and planning for technology not just in the library but for the college as a whole. Following are some of the experiences I’ve had in these distance education technologies, from the initial groundwork to troubleshooting and support through the first year.