Megan Colburn ’13 has been selected to participate in a year-long apprenticeship as part of The Instructional Technology Apprentice Program (ITAP) of The New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium. This new program is for students at member institutions who are interested in combining their liberal-arts degree with paraprofessional experiences in the field of instructional technology. As the 2012-13 ITAP apprentice at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Colburn will benefit from instructional workshops, mentoring, and hands-on experience, working with faculty and students to incorporate technology into courses, course-related projects, and scholarship.
“The New York Six apprentices are providing valuable service to their campuses, and at the same time they are using the problem-solving and critical thinking skills acquired in their liberal-arts studies in a more applied setting,” says Jeffrey Wetherill, director of digital learning at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and chair of the New York Six instructional technology working group.
Colburn has always been interested in and proficient at utilizing technology both in her academics and daily life. She has had the opportunity over the past four years to gain formal exposure to information technology by working in the Digital Learning Center. Her role has been primarily working with students and faculty both teaching and supporting various technologies in the classroom.
“I have really grown both in my ability to teach the technology and in my overall exposure to various technologies over the years,” explains Coburn, who looks forward to the opportunity to work with the apprentices and IT staff from the other five New York Six institutions. “The networking and collaborative opportunities made possible by this program are seemingly endless, and I plan to take full advantage of that both now and in the future.”
“The ultimate value of the consortium to its members is its ability to enhance the work of faculty and students in the classroom and beyond,” says Amy Doonan Cronin, executive director of the New York Six. “ITAP is a good model for how students can complement their liberal-arts education with meaningful experiences in areas of professional interest.”
As a media and society major and economics minor, Colburn says her studies have added an interesting layer to her perspective on technology. “I enjoy finding ways to utilize various media platforms and technology tools in the corporate and academic worlds. My interest lies within exploring the range of technical and non-technical options and coming up with innovative alternatives and solutions that best suit the specific need.”
In addition to her apprenticeship, Colburn participates in Koshare Dance Collective and the KiNK advertising club. Last fall, Colburn studied abroad in Galway, Ireland. This summer, she completed an internship for the Gilroy, Kernan, & Gilroy (GKG) insurance firm in New Hartford, N.Y. As part of the ITAP program, she has created a blog.
The New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium is a cooperative venture of six upstate New York liberal arts institutions: Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, St. Lawrence University, Skidmore College, and Union College. Through the sharing of expertise and resources, the Consortium enhances opportunities for students, faculty, and staff, while reducing colleges’ individual and collective operating and capital costs.