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Past Projects

A Case Study Analysis: Student Perceptions of the SUNY Applied Learning Program (2015)

Recently, the State University of New York (SUNY; www.suny.edu) Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and the Business-Higher Education Forum announced a partnership to create over 100,000 new applied learning SUNYopportunities for SUNY students. To effectively scale-up SUNY’s program, administrators needed to gain an understanding of student perceptions on applied learning experiences. SUNY partnered with Hezel Associates to conduct focus groups at Cayuga Community College, SUNY Oswego and Stony Brook University.

The three institutions showcased the diversity of applied learning experiences within the SUNY system. In total, Hezel Associates researchers conducted four on-site focus groups. At Cayuga Community College and SUNY Oswego, Hezel Associates facilitated one focus group, while at Stony Brook, two focus groups were moderated by researchers.

A focus group protocol was designed to collect data to assess (a) if students are participating in SUNY’s definition of applied learning and the strategies used and (b) students’ perceptions of applied learning and understanding the outcomes of their experiences. Specifically, this study explored the following research questions:
          1.Did student experiences meet the SUNY definition of Applied Learning?
          2.What were the students’ perceptions of their applied learning experiences?
          3.How did learning outcomes differ from traditional educational experiences?
          4.Do students have a preference in terms of learning approaches?

By addressing these questions, the study informed policy and planning for applied learning programs within the SUNY system. With the analysis of data for each research question, administrators will be able to infer potential program elements to replicate or modify, in order to meet student needs at other SUNY institutions.

Read the full report here: http://www.suny.edu/media/suny/content-assets/documents/applied-learning/CaseStudy-Student-Perceptions-of-SUNY-AppliedLearningProgram.pdf