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WISE receives ADEC National Award for Excellence in Distance Education

May 14, 2008

SU News Services

SU News Services

The Web-based Information Science Education Consortium (WISE) has been selected as the recipient of the 2008 American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC) National Award for Excellence in Distance Education. The award, which was established in 2000, represents one of ADEC's most esteemed honors and helps fulfill the consortium's mission of increasing international awareness of the critical role of distance delivery in higher education.

On April 22, WISE Director Kathleen Schisa of Syracuse University's School of Information Studies and WISE+ Coordinator of Instructional Design Anne McKinney of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) joined Associate Dean Ken Spelke of the UIUC GSLIS at the 2008 All-ADEC Annual Meeting in Minneapolis to accept the award and the accompanying $5,000 cash prize.

Schisa and McKinney were also invited to present an overview of WISE quality standards, the consortium's course-sharing model and the WISE+ pedagogical training initiative at the meeting. Audience members included the ADEC awards selection committee, the ADEC Board of Directors and representatives of the membership at large. The presentation also featured comments from WISE co-founders Bruce Kingma, SU associate provost for entrepreneurship and innovation, and Linda Smith, associate dean and professor at the UIUC GSLIS.

"We started this [WISE] because it is the right thing to do for our students," Kingma says. "We need to pay attention to quality, help our faculty become better teachers, and share our resources with each other."

ADEC is dedicated to "creating and providing access to learner-centered distance education, anywhere, anytime, to virtually anyone who seeks it." The National Award for Excellence in Distance Education rewards dedication to innovation, collaboration and professional development, as well as demonstrated positive impact in the field of higher education. After a competitive multi-stage review process, the ADEC awards selection committee deemed WISE deserving of this prestigious honor.

WISE is a ground breaking collaborative distance education model that seeks to increase the quality, access and diversity of online education opportunities in library and information science (LIS). Through WISE, the world's leading LIS programs come together to enrich education and foster relationships among students, faculty and universities. Kingma and Smith developed the concept in 2002, piloting the course-sharing model with the LIS programs at SU and UIUC.

In 2004, a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services enabled Kingma and Smith to establish the WISE Consortium; today, WISE has 15 active member schools and has received support from more than 20 professional library and information science organizations. WISE has provided access to more than 250 courses through the consortium, enrolling 489 students to date. The ADEC award is the second national recognition WISE has received since fall 2006, when the consortium was recognized by the Sloan Consortium for effective practices in online education.

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