SUNY Potsdam Assistant Professor of Business Administration Dr. Karen Caldwell Receives Grant to Infuse Inclusive Design into Graduate Courses
SUNY Potsdam Assistant Professor of Business Administration Dr. Karen Caldwell is the recipient of a 2023-24 Teach Access Faculty Grant Award to incorporate teaching about accessibility into her coursework and share best practices.
Caldwell was one of 19 recipients nationwide. The faculty member partnered with one of her graduate students, Laura Perry ’96 & ’24, who is the director of academic technology and support at nearby Clarkson University.
“Accessibility is intimately tied to inclusion and belonging. No field or discipline can function or flourish without accessibility as a foundation,” Caldwell said. “The main focus for the project, with graduate student Laura Perry, will be to infuse inclusive design knowledge, skills, and attitudes (mindsets) throughout my curricula.”
Perry is a graduate student in SUNY Potsdam’s Master of Science degree program in instructional design and educational technology, one of two programs that Caldwell teaches in. An Online Faculty Fellow, Caldwell also teaches courses in the popular Master of Science degree program in management.
“My students, whether in a leadership or learning design class, will learn about and apply principles of accessibility and inclusion. As an example, my students already format their work with screen readers in mind. That is one small but meaningful step to ensure that individuals with vision challenges can access their content,” Caldwell said. “Moving forward, my courses will focus even more on what accessibility means and how inclusive practices impact organizations and learners in positive and meaningful ways. Examples include exploring accessibility within a specific organization in its daily practices and designing learning experiences with multiple supports for all learners, such as transcripts for audio content.”
Thanks to the grant support, Perry and Caldwell will spend the next two semesters on the project, which includes a research component.
“My role in this project is to help redesign course curricula that will be aimed at giving students the lens of accessibility through which to do their work moving forward. Dr. Caldwell and I will team up to conduct problem and audience analysis; design objectives and learning activities, and measure growth of student skills in the areas of inclusive and accessible design. We plan to share the outcomes of this project widely, and I am looking forward to being a part of that process,” Perry said.
To find out about SUNY Potsdam’s growing list of virtual graduate programs, visit www.potsdam.edu/online.
SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Business Administration prepares students for fulfilling and successful careers, with flexible undergraduate and graduate programs offered both online and in person. For more information, visit http://www.potsdam.edu/academics/SOEPS/BusinessAdmin.
About SUNY Potsdam:
Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit www.potsdam.edu.