Jul 22, 2022
St. Bonaventure University has been awarded $125,000 from the George I. Alden Trust to upgrade its instructional computer science labs.
The university sought the grant for lab improvements to benefit all students, not just computer science and cybersecurity majors.
The upgrades will provide the infrastructure needed to incorporate a technology module into SBU 101: Community of Learners, a first-semester course required of all new students as part of St. Bonaventure’s general education curriculum.
The Community of Learners module will provide all undergraduate students a centralized pathway for technological literacy, including a hands-on computing experience and peer-to-peer learning.
“We want to merge pedagogical innovation with technological improvements to provide technological literacy to all of our undergraduate students,” said Dr. Megan Walsh, director of the Honors Program and acting dean of the School of Arts & Sciences when the grant application was submitted. “SBU will not only better educate its students for their careers but also give them the skills necessary to become citizens of our global world.”
In 2017 the university transitioned to a general education core curriculum with an intentional focus on several defined areas of competency, including technological literacy. The revamped core curriculum aligned with one of the four primary goals in the university’s strategic plan — a focus on academic excellence.
As part of the SBU 101 course, all students will visit the newly upgraded lab for two 50-minute sessions, each led by a full-time faculty member from either computer science or cybersecurity.
Undergraduate student assistants, drawn from approximately 70 computer science and cybersecurity majors, will help with some of the practical skills learning in the lab and earn internship credit within their majors, Walsh said.
The upgraded labs will also enhance the learning experience of the students pursuing bachelor’s degrees or minors in computer science or cybersecurity.
Upgrades to the labs in Walsh Science Center, rooms 101 and 203, are expected to be done by September 2023.
The Alden Trust supports independent undergraduate education in institutions with student enrollments between 1,000 and 5,000. This support is directed to institutions in the six New England states and in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. St. Bonaventure was named the #5 regional university value in the North in U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 college rankings edition.