Batker, who works with Desiree Shaw, director of the Pleasanton campus, in setting up programs and online courses, has considerable experience as a teacher and community communicator. She holds a doctorate degree in English, cross-cultural studies and women's studies. She's also the author of a book that was published in 2000 on women's literature and journalism. While teaching at Florida State University, she recognized the benefit for local public schools of partnering with the college, and brought the college experience into classrooms to encourage younger students to continue their education. From there, she moved to New Hampshire University as the dean of the new online and continuing education division, and later to Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., part of the 35-campus State University of New York (SUNY) system. SUNY was organized on a "distributed campus model," Batker says, which makes her new role as the USF vice provost in charge of branch campuses and online education a perfect fit.
Batker says the USF education adheres to the admonition stated at last week's Pleasanton campus celebration by the Rev. Stephen Privett, USF's president. He said that the university's mission is to provide a Jesuit education not only with knowledge and skills but also by inspiring and motivating students to use their education to fashion a more humane and just world for all. He also quipped, while standing in the bright sunlit student conference room where the celebration took place, that the new campus offers a quality USF education "without the fog."
Batker emphasizes that its that special USF experience that sets the university apart from other online-focused and night and weekend colleges, whether private, nonprofit or for-profit schools. It's an amazing relevant education utilizing the best "bells and whistles" of today's technology with a 450-year old tradition established by the Catholic order of Jesuits.
For more information about USF, sign on to its website at www.usfca.edu or visit the Pleasanton campus at 6120 Stoneridge Mall Road.
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