SUNY Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) Conference Attracts Worldwide Scholars

March 20, 2014

American Council on Education, SUNY Award COIL Leadership By Xavier University, Glenville State College, Fayetteville State University


New York City — The State University of New York’s 6th annual Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) Conference, held today in New York City, brought together more than 250 university leaders and faculty from eighteen countries and 118 institutions of higher education around the globe to discuss the emerging role of COIL as well as new models for its delivery. 

“The SUNY COIL Center is a pioneering institute that has vastly expanded our capacity for online learning and enabled us to provide students a globally-rich higher education experience without requiring study abroad,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “By bringing the unique opportunity of COIL to students, college campuses and partnering institutions are enhancing the value of the degrees and programs they offer.”

At today’s conference, the American Council on Education (ACE) and SUNY also announced the winners of their Advancing Internationalization Through COIL Award, which recognizes vision and a commitment to develop and implement courses that align with models evolving at the SUNY COIL Center. The inaugural awards were presented to Xavier University Provost Scott A. Chadwick, Glenville State College Provost and Chief Academic Officer John M. Peek, and Fayetteville State University Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Jon M. Young.

“We are pleased to partner with SUNY COIL and Asahi Net on these awards, which will help Xavier University, Glenville State College, and Fayetteville State University harness technology to offer their students excellent opportunities for international learning,” said Patti McGill Peterson, ACE’s presidential advisor for global initiatives. “Not every student has the opportunity to study abroad, but the types of innovative approaches SUNY COIL brings to the table, alongside other on-campus internationalization efforts, will ultimately aid higher education institutions in bringing the wider world into the classroom.”

The Advancing Internationalization Through Collaborative Online International Learning awards, which recognize emerging initiatives, are the second set of awards to be presented by ACE and SUNY this month as part of an Asahi Net International (ANI)-sponsored award program that aims to recognize and promote the use of technology to enhance institutional internationalization and global competence among students at U.S. colleges and universities. Leaders in Internationalization Through Technology awards,which recognize established programs,were presented March 10 at the ACE annual meeting in California.

Participants also explored the role of COIL in Open SUNY, the university system’s online learning initiative launched in January. With enrollments expected to surpass 100,000 new students in the first three years, Open SUNY has the potential to be the world’s largest, most extensive distance-learning environment.

As it prepares to play a larger role in Open SUNY, the SUNY COIL Center over the past year has developed a more rigorous and structured professional development program; reorganized the membership structure of its SUNY Nodal Network (NN) consortium, which supports and enables collaboration of COIL among SUNY campuses; and launched a Global Partner Network (GPN) of international institutions committed to working to develop collaborative courses and programs with the NN campuses.

“With growing interest in COIL development at SUNY, nationally and internationally, our field is beginning to move from a focus on creating individual partnered courses, to integrating this practice into larger programs and disciplines,” said COIL Center Director Jon Rubin. “It is our hope that eventually, the COIL modality will be normalized as a common practice in international education.”

About the SUNY COIL Center

Founded in 2006 at Purchase College, the SUNY COIL Center became a unit of SUNY Global in 2010 and is a leader in the emerging field of collaborative online international learning (also called virtual exchange). This is a teaching and learning methodology which provides innovative and cost-effective internationalization strategies. COIL programs foster faculty and student exchange with peers abroad through co-taught multicultural online and blended learning environments emphasizing experiential collaboration. They also serve as portals for SUNY students considering study abroad or for international students considering study at SUNY. For more information please visit:

About ACE

Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. For more information, please visit or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

ACE Contact: Ginnie Titterton;; 202-939-9368202-939-9368


About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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