New state-of-the-art Language Learning Center to open Fall Semester 2002
NEW PALTZ -- SUNY New Paltz's new state-of-the-art Language Learning Center will open for students at the start of Fall Semester 2002. The center will allow New Paltz to expand language learning possibilities using modern technology and establish New Paltz as the leading venue for foreign language learning within SUNY.
The $558,000 project received $100,000 in additional state aid from State Sen. John J. Bonacic last month, a boost that will help create a more efficient and effective digital delivery over the Internet of audio and video instructional materials and that will contribute to distance learning programs throughout the region.
"This funding for our language laboratory will add significantly to New Paltz's real intellectual strengths," said SUNY New Paltz Interim President Steven Poskanzer. "We are enormously grateful to Senator Bonacic for his leadership and understanding of the importance of this effort to the enhancement of our academic programs, as well as to meeting the needs of the region for language instruction and training."
The center will also offer opportunities to establish partnerships with other colleges and universities by acting as a hub for SUNY-wide video conferencing of less commonly taught languages, such as Arabic, Korean, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Swahili and Portuguese.
Additionally, the center will support the Mid-Hudson School Study Council (initiated by SUNY New Paltz and housed on campus for 35 years), a program that has established a longstanding and productive relationship with more than 70 regional high schools, through continuing education workshops for foreign language teachers and school administrators.
The center is divided into two labs located in Lecture Center 110 and 112. Each lab has 25 workstations, including four stations for disabled students. Each station is a private work area with ergonomically designed furniture and adjustable, indirect lights for a glare-free environment.
The recent terrorist attacks on the nation revived the reality that foreign language study is vital for national defense and economic well-being. Education in languages is at the center of New Paltz's international focus and its commitment to international study. At a time when many colleges are retreating from foreign language instruction, New Paltz offers study in 10 languages, maintains a strong language requirement in its general education curriculum, and continues to be a primary source of foreign language and bilingual teachers for the Hudson Valley.
"The ability to speak a foreign language significantly improves employment opportunities in today's global economy," Bonacic said. "The Language Learning Center will boost SUNY New Paltz's standing as a leader in foreign language education. I commend President Poskanzer for pursuing this initiative."
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.