Hostos Edtech Online Course Wins Technology Award

Hostos is all about increasing student retention and graduation rates, and the College remains committed to offering the best tools to help students get where they are going.

The Hostos Office of Educational Technology (EdTech) has helped to lead the digital charge in this effort, and the College is thrilled to announce that the EdTech team has been named the winner of the Blackboard Catalyst Award for Optimizing Student Experience for its online student readiness course “Are You Ready.” The award honors institutions whose educational and administrative innovations have markedly improved the total learner experience. This includes their addressing of new and changing dynamics in fields such as student recruitment, financial aid, enrollment, retention and assessment, graduation, and beyond.

“Are You Ready” is an on­line course that evaluates student preparedness for on­line coursework, and covers topics such as working in an online environment, Blackboard, Netiquette, where to get support and on-campus services. Al­though intended for students who plan to take an online course, the course is actually open to anyone in the Hostos community who is registered.

“Blackboard is proud to recognize this year’s Catalyst Award winners for their commitment to leveraging technology to improve the education experience,” said Bill Ballhaus, Chairman, CEO and President of Blackboard. “We look forward to continuing to work with these educators and institutions to support learner success, and to share best practices widely for the benefit of the education community.”

Carlos Guevara, Director, Office of Educational Technology and Co-Director, Center of Teaching and Learning, George Rosa, Senior Instructional Design Specialist, and David dos Santos, Instructional Design Specialist, and authors of the online course received the award at this year’s Blackboard World conference in New Orleans.

“It is always gratifying to receive an international recognition in our field for the work we do at EdTech.  This award is confirmation that my team is on the right track, and that it is making a great impact on our students and Hostos as a whole. It also fills us with motivation and energy to keep innovating and elevating the name of Hostos Community College!” said Guevara.

The course has been running for four semesters now, and is taken by approximately 300 students every semester. This initiative has also been awarded by CUNY at the 2016 CUNY IT Conference for Excellence in Technology. It is also being piloted at three other CUNY colleges: Bronx Community College, Lehman College, and John Jay College.

Founded in 2005, the annual Catalyst Awards recognize and honor innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice and recognizes those who push the boundaries of their education­al programs and technology in order to deliver innovative and effective learning experiences.

For more information on the Blackboard Catalyst Awards, please visit: https://community.blackboard.com/groups/catalystawards

About the Blackboard Catalyst Awards
For over a decade, the Blackboard Catalyst Awards have annually recognized and honored innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice, where millions of teachers and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology.

Blackboard is focused on highlighting client successes and raising awareness throughout the educational industry by celebrating client achievements and milestones. Our community centers on educators and administrators who are passionate about using technology in education and collaborating on best practices. The Blackboard Catalyst Awards are an opportunity to celebrate these accomplishments and help raise standard for the entire community.

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities for nearly half a century. Since 1968, Hostos has been a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs.

Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges.